Monday, September 22, 2008

Midas in Reverse

My lone tomato plant actually produced tomatoes (and is still working on a few green ones). I had brought the ripe ones in, washed them off and put them in the fridge to cool down. Then, I sliced one for Buddy - that kid LOVES tomatoes.

He put a little salt and pepper on the slices and ate every last bite.

I didn't even taste it.


Because I was afraid it wouldn't be suitable for eating since I had something to do with it. Actually, I had very little to do with it, other than sticking the plant in the ground and watering it on a regular basis.

But, something in my mind tells me, "Well, if I was involved then it's just not going to be any good."

I have very little faith in any of my accomplishments or endeavors. Most of the time, things turn out fine.

So, the Evil Twin said to me, "Oh, you'll let Buddy eat it, then, even if it was bad?" No. I know Buddy. He is about the pickiest eater in the world and even though he loves tomatoes, he would never eat one that tasted gross.

I was pleased that he liked it and even said it was very good, but I still had my doubts.

I'm that way with all food things I'm involved in. I'm sure it won't be edible. I almost always turn out really tasty things. My family likes what I cook (most of the time), so why do I still have these doubts, these feelings of inadequacies?

It's like nothing I do (in my mind) will ever be good enough or even just passable. I think I'm a perfectionist and way too hard on myself.

I hope by just getting it out there, I can let go of these stupid low self esteem issues.

I think a lot of it comes from my mom (the one who raised me). She was Southern through and through and always acted very apologetic about each meal she served. Even though she was an amazing cook.

It's just the Southern way: "Aw, shucks. I'm not convinced it's edible." And I think I've ramped that whole thought up a notch to be "I'm not capable of creating an edible dish."

We all know how the lingering thoughts of inadequacies can cripple us. We probably all have our "thing".

Mine is low self esteem regarding cooking. If you would like to share yours, the comments section is right down there.


  1. When you have these moments, you should remember your apple crisp, the smell of fresh Chex Mix filling the house, that Mexican chicken stuff y'all all go nuts over, and the fact that you've got two healthy growing kids and one husband who recently needed some bigger pants. Not eating is not a problem in the Casa du Evil Twin! You're as fine a cook as anyone else, probably better because you put some thought and love into it.

    But, gals who had moms who were excellent cooks always feel like they don't quite measure up because you simply can't get that same gifty joy from something you cooked yourself as you personally got from Mama's table. Just remember your kids are because you learned how to be mama from a master.

    Mine: I fear success.

  2. Mine is general low self esteem, I know you don't believe it, but it's true :)

    And I will concur with BB opinion 100%. I think those with parents that are really good at their jobs never feel like they can be as good as their parents. As if by saying that dish I cooked was as good as mom made is some sort of knock on their mother rather than an accomplishment.

  3. I used to have things, then I gave them all away. :)

    Maybe I'm way too full of myself. That would explain a LOT.

    My former MIL is Southern through and through, and apologized for her cooking all the time,even though it was always good and plentiful. It's a twisted way to be, isn't it? How much nicer it would be to simply be proud of what you accomplish, satisfied in the notion that you've done a wonderful thing by putting food on the table. Here's hoping that the mirror of reality reflects back to you the happiness you bring to your family table...

  4. BB - it's just such a silly notion, it drives me mad that I think that way. You're right. I need to find more security in there somewhere of my abilities. (and stop trying to measure up to a legend).

    Ron - The thing about any form of low self esteem is that I think we're all acutely aware of how the negative thinking affects us, but can't do anything about it! Being a control freak, that doesn't sit well with me.

    Tiff - It is twisted. I think most Southern ladies feel that way because deep inside, we would be mortified to serve something really gross. It's sort of like the Catholic shame and guilt, only ours is food related. LOL.

  5. wish i could grow things...this damn black thumb of mine makes that impossible. congrats on the "maters.

  6. Whatever you are cooking has the magic ingredient for your family - love... that makes it great!!

  7. No Celery nailed it - it's the love that goes into the food that makes it so good! (Of course butter, sugar, wine and/or bacon grease always help!!!)

  8. I don't grow food either but I don't think it's for quite the same reason, ETW. I just don't trust food that I can see growing in dirt. Sure, I know when I buy tomatoes, bell peppers and spuds that they were once growing--but as long as I didn't pick them I can kinda ignore the dirt thing.

    Or maybe it is just low self esteem for me too.

  9. I have the opposite problem. I don't cook all that well (definitely not gourmet), but I like what I cook! Yum. :-)

  10. I generally have very high self-esteem. Why, I don't know.

    Then, sometimes, I wonder if it's not just me convincing myself and in turn convincing others...
    Make sense?

    But, cooking... yah, it's my strong forte. I'm pretty good at it most of the time. Hence, my larger than life backside.

    Don't beat yourself up!!!

  11. My mom (also the one who raised me) was just like that, and she was really the best cook in the world. I was never interested in cooking at all, but I have learned to be passable at it (most of the time ). Tiff can tell you that I sometimes cook hamburgers until they are dry! LOL

    I have had general self-esteem problems all my life, but I am getting to an age where I'm not about to care anymore. Either you like me for me or you don't - and whichever way you go is fine with me.

  12. themom - that is usually me. I called this latest tomato plant "My Victim" for the longest time.

    NCP - awwww. thanks. I think my family generally likes whatever, but I definitely have issues about cooking for other people.

    Momma - and I keep all those things on hand at all times, too! :-)

    Dave - my deal is I figure if someone else grew it, they probably know what they're doing and their tomato (or whatever) will be much tastier than any I would grow. ??? I have quirks. LOL.

    k - I like what I cook too, it's just that I worry what others might think about it... silly, huh?

    Catscratch - I wish I had your kitchen confidence!

    Kenju - I don't care if people like ME or not... it's whether you might like my dry hamburgers! LOL.

  13. ETW; tell ya what...Some day when you don't have anything to do (hehe..I know you're choking on that ;)invite over this 'select' group so we can savor all those great things you cook, then we'll write so many complimentary things on our sites, you'll soon have your own show on right after Paula Deen...see, its all about exposure :)

  14. mine is general....I was the frizzy haired, crooked tooth, skinny kid in school with a blue collar dad....never fit in, was laughed at...I am a lousy cook and can't grow weeds. ~sigh~

  15. Efen - If I had you all over, I'd just order pizza. LOL.

    rosemary - I can send you weeds... we have more than our fair share.

  16. I have that with my knitting. I can find every error, every flaw, in each thing I've made so far. There are very few things I've made that I am completely satisfied with. I enjoy the process, and others don't notice the same things I do - but this is why I give away the majority of what I make.

  17. I am okay with my cooking, though I generally stress that CHACHI is the cook; I am the BAKER.

    My biggest fear is my writing. The fact that I have a blog (and HAVE had one for almost three years!) is solely due to the encouragement from Wordnerd and Chachi.