Find the Joy of the Mealtimes
What is for tea?
How do you feel when you hear this? There are days in my house when all I can offer in response is a doleful sight. Surely they do not need feeding again? But they do and they will.
There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. â Mahatma Gandhi
When you think about it, the frequency and variety of meals required by most households is considerable. Now wonder it can leave even the keenest cooks feeling a little jaded. Although cooking can be a joy, being responsible for the provision of a constant and endless stream of meals can become a strain. Especially if you have to pander to the whims of fussy eaters, preparing numerous bespoke platters at every mealtime.
As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices to it or leave it – Buddy Hackett
Of course there are easy options and cheats – which I believe have a helpful place – but these cannot be a daily solution. If you are the primary cook, your family’s health and well-being are in your hands. So, this is one aspect of your schedule that worth doing well.
With this in mind, it pays to face up to this culinary challenge, to come to terms with exactly with is required. And in my quest to do precisely that, I have uncovered a few helpful tactics that will enlighten and motivate your kitchen-wards. And armed with this new mindset, you may come to find a certain competence and satisfaction, maybe even joy, in your provision of meals for others.
So, pull up a chair and dig in. It is a show time!
Plan, Shop, Chop
I was once reading a cookbook by that original domestic goddess Nigella Lawson. In it, she casually mentioned that planning and shopping are as much part of cooking as the kitchen-based business. This was a light bulb moment for me. Of course! It seemed so obvious when pointed out! Yet all this time I’d been wondering why I felt so defeated by the prospect of feeding my family. I had neglected to incorporate two of the three vital ingredients – planning and shopping.
I recalled that, often it was not the prospect of making the tea that made me want to hide in a darkened room, it was the effort of thinking what on earth I could cook. And how I expected to feed a family without a little prior grocery shopping, I don’t know.
Success in any venture is much easier when you know what is required before you start. So, if you are struggling on the culinary front – it will help you to consider to prep work of the process. If you can acquire the habit of planning ahead – it will make your kitchen-life much less of a battle zone.
And if you still need a little prompting in this department - focus on the potential for pleasure. This is shopping we are talking about! If you have a tendency towards retail therapy - here is a chance for a guilt-free spree. And shoo where you actually enjoy the experience. If you are going to spend a good proportion of your time restocking supplies, you may as well eke out any gratification to be had. Go to your favourite supermarket, or market to deli. The advantage of it being down to you is that you can do it your way.
You are going to have to face 'What is for dinner?' at some point, and you are going to need the wherewithal to make it. Giving some thought to these aspects earlier, rather than later, not only makes for better meals, it also makes for an easier life for you.
Now isn't that more to your taste?