Confession time.


It's time for a confession. I am not a good cook. When it comes to my job as a homemaker, feeding my family is not one of my strengths. I am a great organizer and my house is almost always neat and tidy and I actually enjoy a good cleaning session! But every day when 4 o'clock rolls around I start sweating a little bit because most of the time I have no idea what I am going to make for dinner. Such a first world problem right? When most people around the world don't have enough food to survive, we in America have TOO many options. Ugh.

I believe there are many factors that play a part in my lack of skills in the kitchen. Firstly, I didn't learn how to cook much when I was growing up. This is certainly not a diss on my mom, we just didn't do a lot of family dinners in my house. We were usually eating at the ballpark or eating on the cheap (mac n' cheese with hot dogs) because money was tight. Secondly, I don't care much about food. I am not a "foodie" or a "food connoisseur" by any means. I don't get excited about a good steak or going to a fancy restaurant. I would much rather buy a new pair of shoes than spend money on food. But unfortunately we need food to live, not shoes. Unfortunately. I could live off of bare essentials when it comes to eating. PB & J, fruit, rice & beans, raisins, hard boiled eggs, and cookies, of course. Who can live without cookies? My 6'2" 210 lb husband, however, would prefer not to live off of such ingredients and would like a balanced and wholesome meal every once in a while. Imagine that. I have a friend, whose name I will not mention, because I would like to continue to be her friend. She also struggles with 'meal time syndrome' (I just made that up) and told me once that sometimes when the grocery budget gets low she just gives her family oatmeal for dinner.

The conversation went something like this...

Her: "Sometimes I just make oatmeal for dinner."
Me: "Oatmeal!"
Her: "Yeah, I know! Isn't it crazy!?"
Me: "Yes! I can't believe you feed your family oatmeal for dinner!"

We had a good laugh about it of course but I could totally relate. Sometimes you're just at a loss for ideas, especially when there's no money left in the grocery envelope and the pantry is bare. By the way, this friend of mine may not have the meal time routine down yet but she is one of the most creative people I know and her home is amazingly beautiful. Who needs food anyway?

So back to dinner time. I'd say I cook an actual meal about once or twice a week. By "cooking" I mean I actually mix ingredients and put something in the oven or on the grill. Otherwise it's left-overs, rice and beans, sandwiches, frozen veggies burgers, spinach salad, or oatmeal. :)

I've tried making a recipe book and keeping track of things I've made so I can make them again with ease. I've also tried using cookbooks but usually the recipes have too many ingredients and are intimidating.
I've tried collecting ideas for meals on Pinterest.

Does anyone else struggle and dread meal time? What do you do to make it less painful for you and your family?

If you see my boys starting to waste away you may need to come and intervene. Just saying.

9 comments:

  1. it's tough for me too! what works for me is to sit down and write out a meal plan on sunday for the rest of the week. when i do that, when 5:00 comes everyday, I'm not so stressed. also, at least one of those meals is a crock pot meal. and our go-to meal when i'm tired - egg sandwiches!

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    1. Thanks Caroline. I know what I need to do is just make a meal plan and it would make my week so much easier. And I need to bust out the crock-pot more too. Thanks for your tips:)

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  2. I'm a good cook BUT if I don't plan ahead (like Caroline said) I will also start to panic. I use recipes, mostly. Sorta obsessed with them. But it helps to cook your meals in stages. Like in the morning or afternoon I get everything "prepped". Meaning if you need anything chopped or sliced or marinated - you do that before you actually cook. This is the part I hate the most about cooking, maybe it's because I did a lot of prep cooking in a restaurant once. So to help. I put everything I need on my table, put on music, SIT, and start prepping. Sometimes I even measure out everything too, like oils and flours and herbs. That way when it comes to actually cooking - it goes super fast like the chefs on TV. hope this helps.

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    1. See girl, anything I have to "prep" is too much already. But I'm sure it makes for very yummy meals. I do like the idea of sitting at the table with some music on and cutting away. Thanks for your inspiration:)

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  3. Also look for 5 ingredient cookbooks;)

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  4. Oh Courtney, I feel your pain. I LOVE to eat and I grew up with a mom WHO ROCKS at cooking country yummy food. You gain 10 lbs just by walking in her house. My sister got the same trait.. I missed it somehow. I think planning is the key. Finding things everyone likes and that is EASY. If something takes more than 30 mins for me, you can forget it- unless it's the crockpot or Jeremy using the grill. Also shopping once a week for meats helps me.. then I plan around it. Not much help but wanted you to know... I can sympathize. :)

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    1. Thanks Greta. I'm have not been a very good planner in the area which would explain why meal time is so stressful. I need to get to planning! Thanks for your tips:)

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  5. :) Haha! Preparation kills me. Seriously, if I don't think ahead, I really struggle around 5:00. I'm learning some super easy crockpot meals that I love. And, it feels great to have supper already thought of and cooking by lunchtime. I love being able to just dump some meat into the crockpot, add a few veggies or sauces and have an amazing meal in hours. :) I'm all about simple, too. I'm trying to learn new ways to cook or different ingredients to use, but I get super intimidated by long, confusing recipes.

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    1. I agree, dumping something into a crackpot and then walking away is awesome. Maybe I need to find some more crockpot recipes. It's probably time to dust off the crock pot. I remember you talking about how you plan out your meals for the week too, which is really something I need to do. Thanks for the tips! :)

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