28 Apr
Snack Attack During Dinner Preparations

If you’re looking to live a more greener, organic life, Daphne of A Greener Biener is the girl to emulate. Luckily for us, she took a break from growing tomatoes and making jam to be a guest Mouthy Housewife. She was also a sorority sister of mine so if you’re really nice, we’ll teach you the secret handshake.   – Kelcey

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Dear Mouthy Housewives,

If you’ll allow me to start with boasting, let me say I am a very talented home cook. The problems is that I taste test so much of the food as I’m cooking that I’m never hungry by the time the meal is on the table. Not only is it a let down to my taste buds to eat when full, but it’s no friend to my waistline either. I have no idea how all of the Food Network chefs manage to not nibble while cooking. Do you have any advice of how I could stop this bad cooking habit?

Signed,

Just Too Finger Lickin’ Good
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Dear Finger Lickin’,

Hats off to you, girl.   I like a self-possessed woman who can take credit for her strengths.   If you’re telling me that you are a talented home cook, I have no doubt you are indeed tomorrow’s next Top Chef.

The problem here, however, doesn’t seem to be the provision of quality meals for your family. (I’m assuming that some of the food actually makes it to the table for your family? Or are you scarfing down the good stuff and throwing out a bowl of cheerios for them?)

Tasting is an important part of creating in the kitchen.   That being said, you won’t be able to lift that ladle if you insist on snacking your way through the process. You mentioned that the chefs on the Food Network never nibble while they cook. So I think the obvious solution is to hire a neighborhood kid to film you every day while you make dinner (tell her you’ll kick in a couple extra bucks if she also does your hair and make-up). Once the camera is rolling, you’ll be too self-conscious to keep up your snacking habit.

Of course, once you tire of being an imaginary Food Network star, you’ll need a different solution.   Just like we should never enter the supermarket on an empty stomach, perhaps you should not confront the stove in your weakened state.   Does Happy Hour coincide with cooking time at your house? Why not sip a glass of wine while you stir the pot? Or peel an extra carrot while preparing the salads, then munch away.   You’ll feel satisfied and your appetite should still be intact for the dinner table.

Feel free to check the flavor and toss in a little salt, but leave the rest for the table.   This is where the good stuff happens anyway.   Showing your children that you’ve got a handle on how to eat right is the best way to promote healthy eating habits in them.

Trust yourself; we’ve established that you’re a good cook.   So don’t go licking the bowl clean trying to prove it.   Here’s what you do if you can’t get control of that wandering tongue — act like a Queen:   claim paranoia and hire yourself a royal food taster.

Signed,

Daphne, Guest TMH

12 Responses to “Snack Attack During Dinner Preparations”

04.28.10#1

Comment by Formerly Gracie.

“I like a self-possessed woman who can take credit for her strengths.” Ha! You slay me yet again!

04.28.10#2

Comment by Sophie.

I thought snack attack was when snacks fall on you from the upper cupboard. Happens to me all the time.

04.28.10#3

Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

I enjoy good cooking too, but I never fell into the tasting habit, and yet my friends all praise my cooking.

I came to realise over the years that smelling is just as good as tasting: by sheer smelling I can tell if there is enough salt in a dish.

Just try to develop this sense of yours: smell an unsalted preparation, then add the salt, stir and smell again: you’ll notice there is a difference.

Once you learn this, you’ll never need to taste again, or at least to taste too often.

During the learning process, there is no need to snack anyway: just 1/4 teaspoon is enough to establish if the dish is savoury enough. If you are really hungry, eat a carrot as suggested: it will require munching but won’t alter your appetite.

Ciao! 🙂

04.28.10#4

Comment by Megan.

I find that if I drink a 100-cal protein shake as I’m leaving work (aka about an hour or two before dinner) it takes the edge off and I’m not tempted to snack while cooking / calling the pizza place. Good luck!

04.28.10#5

Comment by Erin at Im Gonna Kill Him.

You lost me at “very talented home cook.” I think I lack talent at anything that happens within the home. Other than changing diapers in the dark.

Chew gum.

Or, you could drink a lot of beer. My husband routinely skips out on my cooking when he’s drinking a lot of beer. Could have something to do with my menu…

04.28.10#6

Comment by Karen at French Skinny.

I thought everyone did this but I guess not.
On occasion I set up the tripod and film myself for my pretend Food Network Cooking show. Being on camera has taught me a few good lessons.
1. Stop shoveling food down my fat neck.
2. Stop saying “like” every five minutes.
3. My 3 year old should probably not be in the studio screaming “You’re a butt!” in the background.

04.28.10#7

Comment by Wendi.

I lose my appetite every time I just THINK about my cooking. I wonder if there’s a way I can market that?

04.28.10#8

Comment by Rachel.

I am a recipe developer and you don’t have to taste the food to know it is good. The smell/look is enough to go on until it is finished. Frankly, tasting as you go is a good way to get food poisoning because until the dish is finished, it often isn’t fully cooked.

04.28.10#9

Comment by gigi.

I find wine an absolute necessity while cooking. Of course, I end up burning a lot of my stuff.

Heather Reply:

I end up putting the wrong ingredients in.

04.28.10#10

Comment by GrandeMocha.

I have a similar problem driving home with McDonalds french fries. What is this “cooking” you speak of?

04.29.10#11

Comment by Mary Ann.

The “wandering tongue” mental image is too much. I’m going to be giggling in the corner for quite a while now.

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