Like every other working woman out there, I inevitably come home each night to the same question: "What's for dinner?" Frankly, after working all day, this is the last thing I want to deal with...however, I have a husband who has skipped breakfast and probably lunch, been working all day, and is starving. I am lucky though...I only have to deal with one hungry bear, and while I like cooking and baking, having to deal with it the evening meal every day is exhausting! I can only imagine how women with huge families feel!
So what do we do as busy working women when it comes to meal time?
Although my mom worked for our family business (the office was in our home) she made dinner and had it on the table at 5:00pm each weeknight. Best of all she was able to come up with something unique for every single meal. I had my favorites (noodles with sauteed cracker crumbs) and also my dislikes (salmon patties). The one thing she didn't do was teach me how to cook. I had to learn that on my own and with the help of my hungry bear!
I have a co-worker who cooks one day a week and freezes everything. She takes out one dish every night, adds a vegetable and she is all done. Although, she does spend about 7-8 hours one day every weekend cooking. I'm not sure that would work for me, but I admire her tenacity.
For my family, it doesn't make seem to make sense to put a lot of effort into a full blown meal during the week because it would take us hours to do something we would both like to eat. Since I usually don't get home until 5:30pm/6:00pm, we'd be eating dinner at 8:00pm. Not a good thing for us since my hungry bear likes to go to bed at 9:00pm and I can't go to bed on a full stomach. Can you say acid reflux everyone?
For now, we've come up with a solution and that is to just eat simple meals we can make in 30 minutes or less, eat leftovers or (gulp!) grab something fast to bring home during the week. For those 30 minute or less meals, we'll make soup and sandwiches, salads and even fish sticks and tater tots. I also like to pick up frozen lasagna and pizzas to keep on hand. While they are not necessarily a good choice, they work.
On the weekends is where we shine in the kitchen and love to make the fancy meals where we are able to have leftovers for several days. Roasts, turkey, chicken, chili and other great prepared with leftovers in mind. When we are really on top of it, we're able to can or freeze a few things to pull out on those weekday nights when we really are "fed up" with the choices we have. Best of all, we have enough of whatever we made left over to last several nights so those "What do you want for dinner?" questions are easily answered just by opening the refrigerator door.
Since there are only two of us, our solutions are fairly easy. I'd love to hear what your solutions are. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment to this post.
Wishing you moments of not having to figure out "What's for Dinner!"
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