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It’s been over two years since I moved out of New York City to the land of suburbia.

And most of the time I really like it.

Although I do miss the creative energy of the city.

I have gotten to know a lot of nice people here. In fact, last week, I was able to convince THREE of them to go see “Footloose.”

I was a bit stunned myself.

Afterwards, I was on a Let’s Hear it for the Boy high and I could hardly take a breath as I rambled… “I loved the way they had the “new Ren” wear a tie on his first day of school just like the “Kevin Bacon Ren” did and how Ariel’s prom dress was a nod to the original one. And Ariel still had those red boots. And how so much of the dialogue was the same… like when the preacher’s wife says to her husband, “You can lift a congregation up so high they have to look down to see heaven. But it’s the one to one where you need a little work” and….

That’s when I took note of a few blank stares and realized that maybe not everyone has seen the original 87 times. Which is tragic. But just the reality.

But there is one area of suburban life, where I don’t fit in.

No, not tennis. Please. I own two tennis skirts! I’m like Martina Navratilova over here. You know, if I was less straight and more Czech.Β  I mean, I don’t exactly own a racket.Β  But I think we can all agree that the outfit is obviously the focus of the sport.

So clearly I’ve got that tennis thing covered but I really lack the suburban spirit when it comes to food preparation. Because although I make sure my kids are well fed, I am more of a take-out girl when it comes to adult meals.

And I keep looking for my take-out soul mate out here. Another mom who does not enjoy cooking but all I seem to find are conversations about casseroles, roasted chickens and slow cookers. I mean, I just found out that a slow cooker is the same thing as a crock pot.

The very same thing.

I think.

And judging from Rick’s ecstatic response every time I make him a side salad, I’m sure he’d love it if I’d prepare something in a slow cooker. If we had one. Which we don’t.

I think back to our days in the city and sometimes I feel a wave of nostalgia as I remembering flipping through the thick pile of menus. Rick would usually order from Dallas BBQ. I’d order from a sushi place.

No discussions about the best recipe for veggie lasagna. No expectation that I am supposed to be cooking some kind of savory, low fat, well balanced meal for my family.

Not a slow cooker to be found within a 3 block radius.

Just complete food happiness with a $4 tip.

36 Responses to i am not rachael ray of the suburbs

  • Jenn says:

    Oh dear. I love my crock pot. I love my steamer. I love my air-fryer and my breadmaker. Why? Because you throw the ingredients in, push a button, and HEY PRESTO 10 minutes to 6 hours later (depending on how long it takes you to say Heeeyyyyy pppprrrreeeeeessssstttoooooooo) (and what implement you’re using) there’s a meal!
    Who’da thunk that ten years ago my motto was, “I don’t cook! I don’t clean! I don’t sew! Don’t ask!”

  • Nancy Walton says:

    Didn’t Carrie Bradshaw use her oven to store her sweaters in? Maybe you really ARE a city girl forever?! I love, I mean LOVE my slow cooker and I love my collection of slow cooker cookbooks! You can cut up various veggies, throw in some kind of chicken or a roast and some herbs or some chili makings, turn the thing on low and 6 to 8 hours later, voila! Dinner! Not only that but your house will smell all home and yummy – all day and night too! Try it and you’ll probably win big husband points. Not that I’d know. . .

  • Traci says:

    I knew I loved you! Not only are your posts side splitting funny – and I’ve been reading them for almost 3 years, but I am sooo with you on this cooking thing. I do not like to cook, even with a slow cooker (which I blow the dust off of every so often). One of my favorite stories: there was a tube of sausage sitting on the counter that my husband was cooking for breakfast and my daughter said “hey, mom is baking cookies!” And that was 10 years ago…..somethings just don’t change.

  • Chelle says:

    Another woman after my own heart. I cannot cook. I have been married for 23 years and still haven’t found a good crock pot (or for you, slow cooker) recipe. Just ONE that my husband will eat. It’s like a sickness with me. If you put me in the kitchen, I get sick. I mean if I cook, I feel physically ill by the time the food is ready.

    We have gotten around this problem by having the kids learn to fend for themselves (that’s MY cookie!) and a lot of ordering pizza. I LOVE the IDEA of the slow cooker. But no one in my house can even say the word “vegetables.” I think there would be a stroke if I actually gave them any.

  • Beth says:

    Seriously. You need a crock pot. You really can’t mess up cooking in one and you can throw everything in and turn it on and forget about it for HOURS! Then, wa-lah! Supper’s ready! No talent necessary, just some slow-cooker recipies, which can be found everywhere. Even on facebook! I’ve stumbled upon The Crockpot Girls and hence, into a world of crock pottery! YUM. You can’t beat it, I’m just sayin’…you should give it a try in between your sushi and barbeque nights! πŸ™‚

    • Julie says:

      Don’t say you can’t mess up cooking in one! For me that is the kiss of death. So many people said that to me that I had to prove them wrong by completely destroying many a roast or chicken. πŸ™‚ After over 14 years of marriage I am FINALLY getting the hang of the crockpot and have a couple of recipes under my belt that my family loves. I honestly used to think that my crock pot must be defective or something, except that the one I have now successfully cooked yummy meals in is the same wedding present that I used all those years ago. I am left to conclude that it was my younger, more incompetent self that was defective.

  • LSNYC says:

    Counting down the days until I can move back into the City and leave my crock pot behind… only 11 more years as my little one just started 1st grade.

  • Jordana says:

    Remember when we were roommates and one of us would come home and say to the other, “What are we making for dinner?” and then we’d both laugh? Sigh.

  • Jesabes says:

    I don’t have the paitence for cooking and I really prefer eating takeout anyway. So my husband started cooking. He does ALL of the cooking in our house and all I have to do is eat it instead of ordering takeout (he’s a good cook, but it’s not delivery Chinese or anything…)

  • N and Em's mom says:

    Love to cook and love take out- it’s the best of both worlds for me. I don’t use the crock pot that often, but baked potatoes in the crock pot rock! They taste like they were in the oven, and if you wrap them in foil, you don’t have to wash the crock pot.

  • Megan says:

    What?! You know how to make a side salad?! Kudos to you then, girl…you’re heads above me. And I totally get it: my core group of 7 gfs use words like Ina, braze, etc. Bonus: girls’ night at their houses is like visiting a 5-star restaurant. Just add it to your list of “why I keep my husband around!”

  • Tonya says:

    I have a crock pot. It’s still in its box. It was a gift. I can’t even unwrap and pretend I can cook. Frankly, I’d rather redo the gutters of our apartment building than make a meal for my family.
    I was really hoping having a kid would somehow change that in my DNA. It’s only made it worse.
    I feel for you. You can call me anytime to discuss take out.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    No one cooks anymore unless they have Diabetes or another food related death sentence if they eat the ‘wrong stuff’. Can’t count on take-out or restaurants to cook it ‘right’…so we cook and suffer and pay the price for having eaten all the wrong/tasty/unhealthy foods in our younger days.

  • Issa says:

    I had that life. I was that woman. Until we moved from Los Angeles to the suburbs of Denver. I can’t get anything delivered to save my life.

    I had to learn to cook or starve to death. Ha.

  • Teri says:

    I cant even say I dont cook although I LOVE take-out I prefer to make dinner myself. My house is the one everyne flocks to for a “real” dinner LOL

  • Sarah says:

    Cripes, okay, if you can breastfeed two children at the same time, you can time manage a crock pot, promise! Two options: Throw in either a roast (“inside round” on the sticker, about the size of a venti from Starbucks) or a package of boneless chicken breasts and 1 bottle of barbeque sauce (best ones do not have sugar as the first or second ingredient), turn to LOW, cook for “all freakin day.” Remove meat, shred by pulling at it with two forks on cutting board, mix in a bit of the hot BBQ sauce from cooker, serve on buns with a side salad! (Side salad = box of baby greens, pick out the frisee–why is that in there?–drizzle of Brianna’s poppyseed dressing.
    Also easy: Cut up boneless chicken breast, saute with cut up veggies, when cooked through add spice paste packet from Asian Home Gourmet like “butter chicken” (it’s all natural!), 1 big tin diced tomatoes, 1 tin coconut milk, serve over rice. SO easy, and yummy. Really.

  • Lanie says:

    Perhaps you should bring back the hot pot from dorm days. Maybe it is easier than a crock pot/slow cooker. I don’t have one but I do remember making a mean ramen noodle in the hot pot.

    Do you think if the paella

  • N and Em's mom says:

    I have always wanted red cowboy boots. Now I remember where I got the idea. If only I could fit into the jeans she wore…..[sigh]. And Sarah’s recipe sounds awesome. It’s now on my list.

  • Jackie says:

    I feel ya sister! I hate to cook. I like home cooked meals though. But, isn’t that what Cotton Patch and Black Eyed Peas and other resturants like them are for?

    Now that my son is in college we live like we live in a dorm our selves. No not the sex the cooking. After one of us fix whatever my dad wants for dinner it’s every man or woman for their self. And we LIKE it like that.

  • Lisa says:

    Lots of easy crockpot recipes, seriously you cannot screw it up. And your house smells good. And there are leftovers. Best invention ever are the liners for crockpots so you don’t have to scrub to get it clean, throw the mess away, quick wash and you are ready to go again. You can do this.

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kelcey kintner