It’s been a long time between blogs.
Last week marked two years since I returned to full time work.
Which means two years of not being the main Meal Planner and Food Organizer, as well as being home A LOT less during the week. All of which logically add up to Less Time for Cooking. But then there are the other hidden issues that sneak up on you. Like being so tired on a Friday night that you don’t have the mental energy to look through a cook book and see "what takes your fancy” as something to cook, even though its kind of “your turn” to cook at weekends. Like leaning more towards recipes spruiking “quick and easy” rather than new ingredients/techniques/cuisines. Because much and all as it would be lovely to hide in the kitchen on a weekend and spend 5 hours lovingly making lasagne from scratch (fresh pasta lasagne sheets included), there is also the important task of making sure the Stay At Home parent gets a break from parenting/pet caring/housework at the weekend too.
So my cooking exploits lately have narrowed considerably to include Muffins for the Kids school lunches and cooked Weekend breakfasts. I have thrown in a few Thanks for the (insert good deed) Cookies and a batch of soup for a sick friend but nothing anywhere near 8 hour pulled pork tacos or the like. I even tried to do a Cook Each of my Soups on a Sunday for the winter, but I think I stopped after three. Life gets in the way.
So what does a domestic goddess do when faced with this situation?
One could try and Rage against the Machine and do what the “organized people” do and schedule “meal planning” sessions and “make time” for my cooking; make good on my promise of cooking all the recipes that I have stuffed in my cookbook. Try and shoehorn a (meant to be) fun and creative activity into my already busy life, which would probably squeeze out other things like Chilling Out with Husband or Playing Games with Kids. I’m not sure I’ve gained anything there…
Or I could (more sensibly) go with the flow. Recognize that Culinary goals change; that perhaps teaching Sons 1 & 2 how to make Caramel Slice is a good use of my skills. Or getting creative with leftovers rather than starting from scratch (much less brain power required as part of the ingredients are already there). Point in case: we had left over roast pumpkin that I turned into pumpkin and haloumi burgers for dinner (and my lunch the next day), and I also used up an about-to-expire tub of sour cream by making beef stroganoff.
So I guess I’m going through a fallow period at present – I have the recipes and the skills (and many cool ingredients), I just need the time, and brain space to get the creative juices flowing again.
So maybe, now that the chaos of renovations at work has calmed down, I just need a good session with my recipe book; re-cook some old favorites, earmark some “quick and easy” recipe for dinner, and maybe even pick some recipes that need no excuse apart from I Want To (like my hot chocolate cookies....mmmmm)
It won't happen overnight but it will happen