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."
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.