A Family Affair?

Rain, rain, go away. Come back another day when I don’t have a run planned, please.

I went on a 5 mile run yesterday- one of the few runs, either outside or inside, I’ve done since the marathon over two months ago. It felt so weird to be out there, and not just because it was raining. Despite doing a 5k and a 10k recently, my runs have been few and far between. I really want to get back into it, so despite rain that didn’t  let up all day, I headed out.

I’m glad I went! I’m sure I’ve lost both speed and endurance. I didn’t bring Nora with me, because I wanted to focus on just finishing the run. She can either be really motivating or really depressing. (I’m referring to my Garmin, by the way 🙂 ) So I don’t know my pace, but either way, I was still pretty proud of myself when I finished! I want to start running outside at least twice a week from now on. I’ve run a few times on the treadmill in the last few months, but the longest I ever stay on it is 10 minutes. I refer to it as the ‘dreadmill’ for a reason 🙂

After a rainy run, nothing is better than a hot shower and pancakes!

I halved The Kitchen of a Runner’s pumpkin oatmeal pancake recipe for my breakfast. What they lacked in appearance, they made up for in flavor. These were great! I’m pretty cocky about my pancake making skills, but these looked so ugly I’ll never brag again. I remember watching Bobby Flay saying that the first batch of pancakes never turn out well and thinking, “Mine do!” Touche, Flay, touche.

When my dad saw I was making pancakes, he hinted that he wanted some as well. (I didn’t ask him because at this point, it was almost 11 and I was sure he had had breakfast!) After I ate mine, I got to making him a batch of ‘regular’ pancakes that he and my mom split.

Which brings me to my next question- when you cook for your family, do you serve them the same things that you eat, or do you make things you know they like? In this case, I knew my dad wouldn’t be a fan of these pancakes. I loved them, but he’s not a huge pumpkin fan, and something told me he wanted the pancakes he was accustomed to, not my delicious, whole wheat pumpkin ones 🙂

Every time I bake or cook, my family knows they are more than welcome to eat it too, but they rarely do. When I’m cooking beans, my family grimaces. When I’m housing an entire 3 pound kabocha squash (I was hungry yesterday!) my family looks on in disgust. When I tell my parents I’m making brownies and I pull out a pan of black bean brownies with banana in them, they’re not interested.

But when it’s time to cook for them, I prefer to make them what I know they’ll like. I once asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday dinner, and he told me lasagna. I kept asking him, “Are you sure you really just want lasagna? What kind?” His response? “I’m a regular guy that wants a regular lasagna.” So true, Pops, so true. A regular lasagna it was!

When I bring cupcakes to a friend’s party, I make real red velvet ones, because let’s just say that I once used beets as a food coloring alternative and they were not a hit.

If I’m going to make scalloped potatoes for Easter, I’m going to use real cream, even if I can’t eat it because I was a vegan.

When it comes time to make holiday cookie, I’m going to use real sugar, because that’s what the recipe calls for.

Don’t get me wrong- I would love if it my family squealed with enthusiasm every time I offered them a smoothie, saying, “Can you put extra spinach in mine?” But everyone’s taste buds are not created equal. So until my dad starts requesting black bean brownies for his birthday, I’m going to make him real ones, and enjoy them alongside him.

How do you cook for your family?

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28 Responses to A Family Affair?

  1. I am the same way! While I cook for myself with a little less of everything…when it comes to parties or other family things I typically cook as they would want me to, unless it wouldn’t be noticeable OR they ask for it to be made healthier.

  2. Matt says:

    Glad you liked them! Remember that the ugliest food tastes the best 😉

  3. runyogarepeat says:

    My mom usually tries all my kitchen experiments – even Green Monsters! I just don’t tell my sisters what’s in my cookies & baked goods even more. They don’t have to know about the secret healthy ingredients. My dad’s great because he will eat anything.

    • I love that fact that your mom tries green monsters! My family is repulsed by the sight of them 😦 Sometimes I don’t tell people what’s in my baked goods, but after trying one too many things with banana in them, they know to ask now 🙂

  4. I love to healthify recipes, but sometimes the tried and true does definitely please the masses! 🙂

  5. Evan Thomas says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. It used to be the case that I pushed healthy desserts, and they just were never a hit. Now sometimes I make healthy food for myself, and if my family wants to try it they’re welcome to and if not c’est la vie. And if it’s a special occasion I’ll find a “happy medium” and make a tried and true crowd pleaser with gluten-free flour and Earth Balance “butter” so we can all enjoy the same splurge.

  6. I do a bit of both really! But if I am baking something with ‘weird’ ingredients, I won’t usually say, and people never know 🙂

    • I need to learn to not tell people what I put inside my baked goods! If I had never told anyone there were beets inside the cupcakes, they might have been eaten faster. Actually, someone ended up loving them and finished the whole batch that night!

  7. AlisonM says:

    Loved this post. I think too many people are prescriptive. As a life-long veggie, I wouldn’t (couldn’t) cook meat for people. But I will always try and cook them something that I think they will genuinely enjoy; not something I think they *should* eat. Though I have to say, I *love* beets in baking, especially chocolate brownies!

    • I can’t make myself like beets! I swear it runs in my family. I actually gagged when I ate the cupcake! Do you have a recipe for your brownies, though? Maybe it will be the recipe that changes my taste buds 🙂

  8. my family is SO not into the healthy food I like.. so its VERY difficult to find things we will all eat!

  9. Lisa says:

    If my husband and I cook a meal, I always pick something we’ll both like. If I cook on my own, it’s usually just for me and he won’t like it. If I’m cooking for a family gathering, I try to pick something unusual, but I always try to pick something I think they’ll like.

  10. I make what they’ll like but my way (gluten-free). I’ve got to test it first you see 🙂
    And I’m so jealous of your rain; if we had rain, it would mean this evil snow had gone…!

  11. Kat says:

    Haha I always healthify the meals I make for my family. My father in law is diabetic, so whenever I can I try and add some nutrition to his food!! They always love whatever I make too, so I figure why not keep doing it? What they dont know wont hurt them right? 😉

  12. It definitely depends on the situation. I don’t eat meat, but I am learning how to make meals for all of us either by making components that we all can eat or by taking a recipe to a certain point and branching it off into what I can or will eat and then what they can or will eat. The pancakes look delicious…I would have eatin’ them gladly!

    • I don’t eat meat as well, and I haven’t cooked meat for my family in a long time. I don’t know how I feel about it, either. I think there are so many good vegetarian dishes, there’s bound to be something we can all agree on!

  13. Jess says:

    My family and I definitely do not have the same tastes, at all! It’s kind of hard to cook for them, but I tend to go with the make classic dishes healthier approach.

  14. Kat says:

    My Mom doesn’t usually let me cook (which is ironic, because I got my skills from her…hahaha), so I end up rocking simple things that are crowd-pleasers like Dough Balls, Buffalo Chicken Dip and that sort of thing.

    As for running, I don’t own a Garmin, so I usually just judge my pace based on the amount of time I’ve run and where I am on my usual “loop.” Obviously this is totally effective when I’m setting goal times 🙂

    • I trained for a half marathon without a watch and beat my goal time, so I don’t think watches are necessary at all 🙂 A good thing about them, though, is finding out how far you’re running! Kind of life changing, actually 🙂

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