Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Home Cooking Is A Habit

If a working mother leaves the office at 5:30pm, traveling 35mph through 30 minutes of traffic, fetches her kid from daycare and gets home 15 minutes later, how much time will she have to prepare a meal, cook or bake it, feed it, eat it and get the kid into the bath by 7:45pm for an 8pm bedtime?

Most of the time my husband and I eat after my daughter has eaten and gone to bed. But home cooking is about family meal time, right? So, recently I've been forcing myself to cook dinner for the three of us every night. It's exhausting. It's like starting a workout program. When you first start going to the gym all you want to do is not be at the gym, then your body, mind and schedule go on workout autopilot and you only notice when you don't go.

Cooking at home on a regular basis seems like a hefty task to undertake, but it's not mission impossible. You just have to be ridiculously dedicated to cooking something other than omelets and spaghetti, which means planning the meals in advance, having the ingredients in the icebox and getting home on time.

It's a habit. Just a habit.

A cookbook that has been helping me through the pain of planning and cooking after work is aptly entitled The Busy Mom's Make It Quick Cookbook: 300 Tasty Recipes Using Convenience Foods, by Jyl Steinback.

It's not perfect. She uses a lot of ingredients I think are a little too convenient, like canned soups, and everything is non-fat or low-fat. But overall I think it's a great tool. The cookbook is well-organized. There's a shopping list divided by food and product categories, and nutrition information.

At the very least the cookbook gets you to eat more vegetables because almost every dinner entree contains pepper stir-fry or broccoli, and most recipes use the same ingredients with a few variations, so you can shop for the week without having to buy a bunch of one-time use marinades and condiments. Another plus is that you can tailor these recipes to suit your tastes by adding spices and other ingredients to make them more interesting.

Have you made any recipes from this book? What do you think? Any other favorite cookbooks that help you get dinner on the table in a pinch? Share in the comments section.

No comments:

Post a Comment