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Lifestyle // Tannya’s Take
Tannya Joaquin

A Modern Mom’s Pressure Cooker

Do you remember that ’90s movie Twins? It was based on the farfetched concept that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were twin brothers. The premise was a funny one: Arnold basically got all the good genes and Danny got the leftovers.

Sometimes I feel like I’m Danny DeVito compared to my older sister. At least in the domestic department.

Seriously, her home is always impeccable. Even her cupboards and closets are labeled and organized. She whips up gourmet meals from scratch. She even hand-crafts amazing favors and gifts for her kids’ classmates.

Honestly, everything she makes could be its own pinterest page. Awesome and seemingly effortless.

It’s mind-boggling to me because she’s a mom to four kids. Yet she somehow finds the time to be a successful family dentist, compete in triathlons and make meals worthy of Top Chef.

She definitely got the Martha Stewart gene, while I’m good at making one thing: reservations.

In fact, it’s a running joke in my family. I’ve never been a good cook. Yes, I had an Easy Bake Oven when I was a child. But it wasn’t so easy for me.

Then, there were a couple of embarrassing episodes. Once I was entrusted to pick up the turkey at the grocery store for the family Thanksgiving and came home with a chicken instead.

Another instance that my family teases me about involves bacon. It’s sort of sad because I love bacon, and don’t want anything to ruin that for me. So, here’s the story. My mom once asked me to cook bacon for breakfast and my response was, “So I just put some oil in a pan and sizzle it, right?”


I did eventually graduate beyond incompetence to at least nail a couple of dishes. Shrimp Pasta and Tacos a la Tannya. That worked for a while, but now I’m supposed to be a responsible mother of two and help pull together nutritious, well-balanced meals that my children actually will eat.

It’s not that I can’t follow a recipe. I just get instant attention deficit disorder when there are more than, like, five ingredients required. Oh, the pressure! More like a pressure cooker.

Well, I recently heard about emeals online. It’s a program designed to simplify meal planning and cut your grocery expenses. It creates a menu for your week and gives you a shopping list and recipes.

Sounds perfect for busy parents. But there’s a catch. You actually have to make it to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t have a mental roadblock when a recipe calls for turkey or bacon.