One of the big time sinks I do is cooking for the family. Okay it’s not a time sink, but it’s a tough job. I have to provide delicious and nutritious meals that satisfy my husband’s need for variety. When you consider that the kids are 3 and 5 it’s a tall order to make something that everyone loves.
Thankfully my mother-in-law gave me a subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray. Normally I take out that weekly menu and use it one week of the month. That usually works for about a week and a half because her recipes feed four plus and my kids barely eat ½ a recipe together! (I know that’s going to change when the teen years hit, especially for my son.) But, in her September of 2011 issue, she had an article, twenty dinners, One Day.
The premise sounds good. You make five base, long time cook, dishes in one day and portion them up to freeze. Then you pull out what you need, the night before or morning of, the day that you make the dish. The dishes have other, quicker cooking, ingredients to add variety to the meals; salad one day, then tacos, then a quiche.
Well I’ve finally gotten to testing that premise. Yesterday I spent all Day (okay technically half a day) working on those five main dishes. I started sometime around 1 pm and didn’t finish until 10 pm. Mind you I had a brief rest for dinner (plain old mac-n-cheese, a quick go to for tired nights). But, I got it all done!
Eighteen cups of pulled pork, twelve cups of tomato sauce, eight cups of roasted peppers and onions, eight cups of roasted squash, seven and a half cups of pulled chicken and fourteen cups of rice pilaf.
That was yesterday, and let me tell you all that cooking tired me out. I was exhausted. But you know what? So far, in my one night’s experience it’s paid off. Got home around 6:30 pm and dinner was ready before 7 pm! (Normally on nights like that it’s a lot closer to 8 pm, good old bedtime, before we eat.)
Holy cow I hope that’s the trend for the rest of the month. I like having time to play with the kids after dinner. We even managed include sight words as part of their game. Fiona knows them, mostly (we didn’t do the greatest job at continuing education at home, me especially) but Brendan is just starting.
So if the rest of those twenty meals goes as well as tonight. I’ll sacrifice another day. In fact, I’ll make it two days; Pork, Sauce and veggies on day one and chicken and pilaf on day two.
I know my followers don’t have to cook for themselves yet, but hey, now you know you’ll get feed well when you come to visit. *grin*