What's for dinner tomorrow night?
How to answer the age old question - what's for dinner?
I love cooking. I find it enjoyable and love seeing the results of my labour as I dish up food to my family. I cook a fresh meal every night trying to use fresh ingredients as much as possible. So what's the issue? Easy, I get frustrated cooking and making the same food every week.
When I first got married my husband worked away so I was only catering for myself most of the time. I worked full time and was able to go to the store every night to buy what I wanted to cook that night. Easy, one person to please.
After the birth of our first child my husband didn't travel, I didn't work so had all day to look after the baby and make a home. Wonderful. I was determined to feed our child healthy food. No jars or tins for him. Yes, the first few months were time consuming but I would get the stroller out in the afternoon and take a walk to the local grocery store and stock up on lots of fruit and veg. Sound quite idyllic doesn't it? It was we had fun, the baby was getting fresh air and I was getting exercise.
By the age of 6 months it was easy to feed baby. We had cut all salt out of our diet, which was good for us in the long run, and that meant baby could have any of the meals we ate, albeit, his were first liquidised, then after a few months when he could cope with lumps, mushed up.
Thankfully our baby ate everything and was happy with cucumber, breadsticks or rice cakes for snacks. Even when we ate out it wasn't a problem. Knowing that salt would be added when the chef cooked we just took along an avocado and a banana for the little one.
When baby number two came along things were a little bit more hectic, but we tried to keep to the same feeding routine. Both of our children were happy eating everything put down to them and were happy to eat what we ate. Even now about the only thing they are not keen on is cheese, and they will even eat that when it's cooked in a meal.
So what's the problem? Me? I'm now working so unable to go grocery shopping daily for the evening meal. I still love cooking but I find it difficult to decide what to make for dinner for tomorrow, when I've just eaten tonights meal. I ask the family what they would like, and the standard reply is "anything". A great lot of help that is. Why do I need to know the night before, well I have to take something out of the freezer to defrost and I like to give things plenty of time to defrost in the fridge.
I need meals that take under an hour to make, as my children have after school activities or homework and I like us to all eat together in the evening. I also don't like us eating too late as my youngest is an early bedder.
I've made schedules. I've made shopping lists to have ingredients for specific meals. I've cooked in advance and put meals in the freezer. My problem is not that side of the preparation, my problem is not knowing tonight what I want to have for my evening meal tomorrow.