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Meal times can cause panic in many a good mom. Those days when guess what “you have no idea what you are making” And yes I like you have bought all the books and have had many a good intention but…
So what is recommended is that you plan ahead. On Sunday night you make a list of 5 meals you want (HAVE) to make, then you make a grocery list. Apparently a well-organized mother can do this while watching television or perhaps while folding clothes and having SEX. So once you have your weekly menu and grocery list, you actually buy the ingredients and are set for the week. Another tip, before you go to sleep each night, you place the recipe and the specific pot you will need on the counter, so the first adult home can start cooking. Make sure you do that after you have thrown in a load of laundry, found the crazy hat for crazy hat day, taking the recycling out and started the dishwasher. And of course this plan may mean that your husband is never home early!!
The slow cooker, now I hear parents talk about it like it is food porn! Makes me a little uncomfortable, actually. Yes, you just throw some meat in there at 5 am(?) and it is ready when you get home. I am trying it now, but does everything taste like meat in bbq sauce? Also, the problem is if the browning starts at 5 am, when do you get to sleep???
So I have a few solutions for those days, when you chose sleep over recipes, and sleep over cutting onions and fresh chives in the middle of the night.
It is okay to serve spaghetti with sauce from a jar(someones Mom made it, somewhere), and serve with butter and garlic on a toasted dried out hotdog bun. If you cut that bun in diagonal slices, no one notices.
I have also found that you can throw frozen steaks on the bbq, with sauce and Montreal steak spice, served with frozen french fries(cooked in microwave and crisped in oven) and it still tastes great.
My friend LeAnne says when in doubt “Make breakfast for dinner”, and no not cereal, but the old eggs and bacon. Throw a little cream cheese in and now that is food porn. Crisp bacon and naked cream cheese, come to Mama, Baby.
My friend Liz, one of the best moms in the world, has taught each of her daughters, grades 5, 7, and 9 each to make one dish and once a week they showcase that talent. I do not even think this should even be mentioned. It totally sounds like it was in a published book, of course she will probably do that next. With the bar that high, it is amazing that I still talk to her.
Chicken drumsticks, can be taken from the freezer, microwaved for 9 minutes or so, shake’n baked, then stuck in oven for 30 minutes. Ta Da!
I have also taking to microwaving chicken wings, frozen french fries, well actually anything frozen and then finishing them in the oven for a way shorter time.
I have recently hooked one of my friends up with a food prep business called Dashing Dishes www.dashingdishes.com You look at the brochure on line, check what you want, and then sign up for a date. Then you attend one night and assembly your meals, take them home and freeze them. That way the day you are stuck for a meal, you have a back up in the freezer. The person behind this idea is a genius.
As much as I love the cooking channel and cooking magazines, I feel they have brought many a day of angst to women. A badge of success should go to Kraft’s website with its easy cooking ideas and to the Dinner with 5 ingredients site, they have been the saviour of many! Honestly when Martha had to do a bit of time, I did not think insider trading, I thought moms with voodoo dolls.
Now I have days that I love cooking, I honestly do crazy things like make nann bread on the bbq and make the overnight cinnamon buns for breakfast. And I have been guilty of making meals and dropping them at friend’s homes, but we are talking survival in the trenches. I looked up a survey that said we as moms spend 367,582,952 hours cooking every year of our life. Oh wait, although that number feels accurate, it may be a little off. Probably too low.
Cooking is great, and for many mothers it is a gift of love made by you for your children. But we are talking about the days, when parents come home from work, and there is piano lessons, hockey practise and swimming all in the same night. It is time to give yourself a free get out of jail card or a hall pass. Doing the best is great, but doing medium rare works also. It is sometimes okay to just do okay.
- Comfort Cooking (adventuresincollegiatecooking.wordpress.com)
- Mixing, Pouring, Adding, and Stirring Ain’t Cooking! (weightymatters.ca)