I enjoy cooking most of the time and I am a reasonably good cook. I can usually boil water without burning it and I can whip out Kraft mac and cheese with the best of them! But I wish I didn’t have to cook to feed a family; it takes some of the enjoyment out of it. Not because I don’t love my family, but it cuts deeply when you have slaved over a hot stove and someone takes a look at your hard work and says “Oh gross, I’m not eating that!”
And heaven forbid I should try to do something to improve their diets. After listening to one mom talk about how she almost never cooks with beef, I cringed because I almost never cook anything else. I decided to try and substitute ground turkey for ground beef. I made tacos with it one night and my son accused me of trying to poison him. “That was TURKEY????” he asked in disbelief. “I thought it tasted rotten!” Thanks babe!
I remember several people advising me not to waste my time cooking elaborate homemade meals. “I used to make homemade spaghetti sauce,” one woman told me, “but my children actually prefer Ragu.” What’s sad is she’s right. The little darlings’ tastebuds are highly evolved and they have a fondness for anything with monosodium glutonate and xanthic acid. Don’t try to pull that organic crap because they’ll be on to you in a heartbeat. They dismiss homemade macaroni and cheese as “too chewy” and homemade mashed potatoes as “too lumpy.” Heathens!!
Tonight I made a pot roast. Ah pot roast, that most beloved staple of the middle class. Does anything else say “home” or “comfort” in quite the same way? With the roast, I did the obliatory potatoes and carrots, some broccoli, and Pillsbury crescent rolls. Nancy M’s children were here as well, so I fed them too. Her son ate two helpings and cleaned all the vegetables off of his plate. He was truly a pleasure to feed.
When Dad came to pick them up, he admonished them to thank me. “Thank you,” the 9 yo told me politely. Then she added to her dad “and her rolls were AWESOME!!” Ouch. I seared the pot roast to lock in the flavor, I made homemade gravy and I even peeled potatoes. But I am going to be neighborhood legend for my crescent rolls.
I must modestly admit I do have a special knack with them. The first and most important thing is to ALWAYS buy Pillsbury; anything else is just a pale imitation. I know you might save $.30 buying the store brand, but it’s not the same. Pay extra for the doughboy. I keep them well chilled until I am ready to use them. I unfold them just so, making sure to separate them carefully along the perforations. I always preheat the oven, because a hot oven yields a better roll. I am careful not to overhandle them when I twist; I use an economy of motion to achieve the classic crescent look.
I hope you are all taking notes. Maybe someday you will be as highly regarded in the Pillsbury world as I am. But for now, bragging rights belong to me! My Pillsbury crescent rolls are AWESOME!! Just ask any nine year old!