Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I like to cook. I like preparing food. I like feeding my family. I like eating the food I've cooked. The problem? Cooking takes time. I look for fast fix meals and casseroles and slow cooker recipes. I have enough base knowledge that I can throw together meals with whatever ingredients I have at home. But time... I can't get more time. On a good day, I can get home from work around 5:30. On an average day, I get home around- and usually after- 6:00. Bedtime routine starts no later than 7:00... usually 6:45. Bath, pj's, books, talking, etc. A good 30 minutes. Kids are in bed around 7:30. I prefer to get everyone home and we all get to spend our time being together. That's a challenge when I'm rushing in the door and then spending 20 minutes in the kitchen, rushing to get a meal together. That also delays when the kids get food- and that means giving out lots of snacks, ruining dinner appetites, or having cranky kids. So what to do? We recently went through a span of about 2 solid weeks where we brought food home every single weeknight. I don't like that. It's expensive, it's not healthy, and it sends a bad message to the kids. Last week, I did a lot more cooking but it also meant a lot less face time at Teagan's school. For me to make dinner means that Jeff takes on more of the transportation of children. Last night, I dug out a bunch of cookbooks and those little cooking magazines. I want to re-up my collection of go-to recipes. I want to whet my appetite with new ideas or forgotten ideas. But how to solve the problem of time? I am very fortunate to have a husband who is willing to help out in any capacity. So I suppose that I could have a casserole put together the night before and he would just pop it in the oven at a certain time (he gets home well before I do 95% of the time). The slow cooker isn't always the best option because it tends to cook for too long... we are out of the house for 10 hours of the day some days. So I turn to you, gentle readers, to help me! Give me your most detailed organizational tips. Help me plan weekly menus. Give me tried and true recipes. Tell me what the essential items are for my kitchen to make this work. Help me feed my family!