Difficult food decision

It seems hard to believe that I am totally inept when it comes to food.

I come from a long line of amazing cooks. My mom made her own wine, tofu, and sausage — all from scratch!

But not me. I hated being in the kitchen. I had a traumatic experience with an ant in the frying pan when I first started to learn to cook. I lost 5 lbs in one summer because I lived on my own and ate peanuts and rice for dinner. I didn’t learn how to cook until I married my husband.

So over time I have developed cooking skills. Ironically, I have always liked to read recipes. (No doubt due to the pretty pictures of the recipe cards I saw as a child.) But when it comes to deciding on food, it is just pretty much hopeless.

I’ll give you an example… to decide what recipe to cook, I go to an online random number generator and pull out my cookbook that is the page I turn to and I cook the first recipe. Takes all the decision making out.

The other thing I do is make a long list of recipes and their ingredients and every week I just cook the top 2 things on the list. No thinking. I like it.

So tonight I had a meeting… and my friend recommended that I get food for the meeting. After all, if you are doing brainstorming, you need brain food! He even told me what aisle on Target to look at… the one with the snack cakes.

So I said to my teenage son, “Would you like to go to Target with me?”

Well, being the great son that he is, he said, “Sure!”

We went to Target. I went to the snack cake aisle. The items there didn’t look so appealing.

I went to the cookie aisle. More appealing, but also more expensive.

Chip aisle. That was an easy one. Maui Onion Chips. I love Maui Onion Chips. I snagged a bag.

Back to the snack aisle.

Back to the cookie aisle.

Back to the snack aisle.

My thinking: “Well, Item A is cheaper but it’s got more sugar and not as healthy. And I don’t know if people like Item A. And maybe my goal shouldn’t be to be healthy, but just go for yummy. So perhaps I should get Item B. But Item B is more expensive. But it’s not  THAT expensive. And it’s more yummy. But I don’t like to eat Item B that much. But maybe other people like Item B. Or I could go for Item C, which is really yummy, but even more expensive. Or maybe Item D, which I totally love and has peanut butter. But Daniel is allergic to peanut butter, which means he can’t eat them. Or Item E, but Item E isn’t on sale. Or Item F, which is on sale, but doesn’t have the appeal of the other Items. Or maybe I should get Item A after all. Maybe people would like Item A. Or perhaps Item B is really better. Maybe people will like Item B better. Or maybe they would like Item C. Or maybe Item D…”

I said, “I am stressed.”

Daniel said, “Why are you stressed?”

I said, “Because I can’t decide what to get. Aaaaauuuuugh!!!!!!!!”

Daniel interrupted and said, “That will not do, for my mom to be stressed.” He put his arm around my shoulder and guided me to the cookie aisle and said, “I am deciding.”

He grabbed a box of Oreos and marched me to the cash register, where I paid for the Oreo cookies.

He pretty much saved me another 10 to 15 minutes of agonizing. This is fairly typical of me when it comes to decisions on what to feed other people. Spinning, spinning, spinning… you’d think I was part spider. All this over a $2 box of cookies!!!

Well, it just so happens that Daniel loves Oreos, but it was actually a huge help that he took care of that difficult decision for me. Lesson learned: take my teenage son shopping next time I have to make food decisions. He’s a great decision maker!

Problem solved!

So the meeting went great. We had a great time brainstorming. And what was eaten the most?

The chips.

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — angelayeedesign.com) and teaches leadership skills at strategysketchnotes.com.

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  1. doubletkris - March 17, 2010

    Hahaha! That’s so funny! I would have totally eaten the oreos if I could have…they used to be a favorite of mine. 🙂

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