2010 21/09

Mommy Confessions: I’m no Rachael Ray

It’s 5pm. Our normal routine begins. I grab the phone to text my husband…

me: Any ideas on dinner tonight?

him: Not sure. What are you thinkin?

me: I don’t know. Anything you’re craving?

(this is where we throw out ideas to each other until something sounds good — that I also have all the ingredients for — or and more likely to happen…)

him: I had a big and/or late lunch. I’m not that hungry. Want me to pick you up something?

Nearly every night we go through that song and dance.  My husband counts on me to text or call about the same time each night because that’s when he knows it’s time to start packing up his computer and head home from work.  Kind of like the big dinosaur roar in the Flintstones.  He even came home late one night because he, admittedly, was waiting for my text and didn’t realize how late it was.

So, here is my problem.  Ok, it’s more like a list of problems.

  1. I do not meal plan – It’s just something I’ve never really gotten into the habit of doing.  I did try it once but then got frustrated when stuff continued to come up during those two weeks and completely threw off my meals.
  2. We are very simple eaters – Probably best read as “picky eaters”.  My girls are not adventurous eaters, which is completely our fault as parents.  Tim and I are not adventurous eaters.
    Tim and I are also nearly complete opposites when it comes to food.  He likes red sauces while I like white sauces and really don’t like tomato-based sauces.  I do not like pork or most red meats.  Tim is a steak man.  I’m happy with eating salad and/or pasta every night and Tim hates salad and can only handle so much pasta.  So, we have our “list” of meals that we both like.
  3. I’m limited on space – Our house is pretty small.  My kitchen is very small. I don’t have a lot of extra space to keep a plethora of ingredients on hand.  I also have a reasonably small refrigerator and freezer (no extra freezer).  So, I tend to buy ingredients as I need them for meals.  Which means, if I didn’t plan ahead, I’m often left an ingredient or six too short of making a meal.
  4. I’m exhausted – Watch out, this is where I play the pregnancy card.  Which is totally not fair since I’ve obviously had this dinner time dilemma during my pre-pregnancy years, too.  But, now that I am pregnant, after taking care of a preschooler and toddler all day, the last thing I want to do is stand in front of a stove making a dinner my kids most likely won’t even eat.  The obvious answer would be to make a bunch of meals one day and freeze them but, again, very small freezer.

Are you getting the feeling that I’ve come up with excuses for everything? I thought so.

Apparently I just need to make a change.  I’m just not sure what exactly that change is going to look like.  But I do think that all four of us are going to have to make some sacrifices and accommodations.  Yeah, we’ll see how well that goes over!

What are your meal time struggles? Do you have any advice on how to get my dinner time dilemma under control?

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  • Oh man, I so could’ve written this post… Except that we were usually waiting until Ron got home from work to have the dinner conversation (he doesn’t text) so we were eating really, really late every night. And eating out way too much – for the exact same reasons you’ve got (minus the pregnancy part though!). This summer was horrible – it got to the point where the girls were asking where we were going to eat every night instead of what…

    For us, it came down to money. Once my unemployment ran out and we hit a crisis – I absolutely had no choice about starting to make dinner every night. It’s been 3 weeks now since we’ve eaten out. We’re eating a lot of the same stuff over and over (my family is very, very picky too, especially my husband), but at least for now it’s working. I don’t meal plan – but I try to buy enough essentials to be able to make enough dinners for the week and then we just pick and choose. It doesn’t completely get rid of the “what’s for dinner” conversation, but at least it takes eating out, out of the equation and forces us to actually decide. So far anyway – we’ll see how long this keeps up…

    I can’t even imagine trying to deal with all of it while pregnant too – good luck !!

  • Oh Stacey does this one ring true. We have this battle all the time. We have been trying to eat at home more often to save money and eat healthier. I have to say having an extra freezer in the garage has been a lifesaver. For the first four months after I returned to work I would have a cooking frenzy on a Sunday and cook in bulk and freeze enough to provide weekday meals for nearly a month. It was wonderful to come home and know that dinner was a microwave away from being done. Now those meals have become way to repetitious and we are back to the typical daily chore of deciding what to eat for dinner. Fortunately for us, we aren’t picky eaters at all and I do enjoy cooking – when it doesn’t rob me of time with my son. I rely quite a bit on the Food Network’s website. The recipes from 5 Ingredient Fix have been wonderful and are usually everyday ingredients. Also, with fall/winter approaching … big fan of the crock pot. A boneless pork roast thrown in with some beef broth for 6-7 hours … it falls apart and makes a nice BBQ pork and the next night it makes delicious pork tacos.

  • I’m definitely checking out those 5 Ingredient Fix recipes! Maybe that is exactly what I need!!!

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