Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I would not call myself the 'queen' of homemade, but could easily be the 'princess'. But you know what? It's hard to wear that title, every single day. Even only some days.
When it comes to meals, especially dinner, most of the time I wish we could just live on air.
The planning, prep work, cooking, serving, cleaning...........by the time I get finished with the planning I'm ready to go to bed!
Because this is my dilemma: I want my meals healthy. And to me that means your biscuits don't come out of a can, your burgers don't come from McDonalds, and your spaghetti sauce you cooked yourself. Without sugar. Without added oils and salt.
That means you cook from scratch. You grow a garden and you put up as much as you can. Heaven forbid we owned actual property I'd probably be tempted to grow and process chickens! And cows!
And because I want my meals healthy - or my version of healthy - I tie my hands behind my back too much of the time. I want chicken pot pie for dinner. But by the time I cook the white sauce, saute chicken, dice vegetables and let's not forget the pie crust.......my kitchen is a wreck and I no longer care what or even if we eat. There are shortcuts to this. But they involve soup out of a can as a base, and store-bought crust of some sort. Plus really, it doesn't taste as good.
There are things I don't worry about making homemade - I've found store versions of some key products (like bread) that are whole grain, minimal ingredients, and tasty. And I don't own a burr mill so I can't grind my own flours........
I need to find ways to make truly healthy meals that are easy to prepare, don't take half a day to prep, don't require odd-ball ingredients I'll never use again, and go beyond a casserole or crockpot! That are interesting to eat also.
When is it ok to use pre-prepared items, and when should you pass it up at all costs?
The older my kids get, with more after-school activities & homework, the harder it gets to spend much more than an hour, tops, preparing dinner. Besides which I've already spent the morning making sure everyone has an actual breakfast - they get cold cereal about once a week - and their lunches - nobody eats that cafeteria junk, they don't want to, so everyone gets a sack lunch.
And then I don't want to prepare yet another meal. Compared to breakfast and lunch, it's the hardest one to make healthful and nutritious. I think in part because it is expected to be the biggest meal of the day, with meat and starch and veggies. Everyone has a higher expectations of what dinner should be.
I need to find a way to smooth this out.