Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So I have a question

This is what I packed in my husband's lunch today:

4 sandwiches of feta cheese in pita halves
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
cherry tomatoes
1 roasted eggplant sandwich on a francese roll
1/2 peanut butter sandwich
tomato soup (from Trader Joe's) in a thermos
1 apple, peeled and sliced
a container with some leftover pasta
some Pepperidge Farm cookies

This sounds like a lot of food, but he doesn't usually eat breakfast at home, and is often at work well into the wee hours of the morning. Usually I leave a plate in the microwave for him to heat up when he gets home, but not always.

Generally I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Ziad and Maya. Sometimes I eat with them, sometimes not. Basically it depends on whether they're having Annie's macaroni and cheese or Ramen noodles, or actual food. Their tastes are still pretty limited, so my efforts to provide them with variety tend to be sporadic. They've been pretty effective at discouraging my creative energy in the kitchen. Nowadays I mostly save it for company.

So, for example, on Monday they had oatmeal for breakfast (cooked on the stove, not in the microwave). They had tomato soup and pasta with grated parmesan and parsley for lunch. Then we took my mom out for her birthday, but let's pretend they had Ramen noodles for dinner. That would be a pretty typical day.

On weekends, I usually cook dinner on one or both nights. Sometimes we're out and about, and just eat out because it's easy, sometimes we go out because we like it.

So my question is: is this a lot of cooking, or not very much? Sometimes I feel so outrageously lazy not to have to make a big family dinner every night (i.e., sometimes the macaroni and cheese is just because I'm not trying very hard) and then sometimes, when I'm making a particularly complicated lunch, I feel like "Jeez! This is a ridiculous amount of making lots of different little things! Nobody does this! Why am I doing this?" Can anybody provide some perspective?


Blogger Zelda said...

I battle with this issue a lot too. I definitely have cycles of making real efforts to provide wholesome, homecooked meals followed by cycles of frequent boxed meals and/or take-out. Of all of my tasks, meal-planning is the one I relish least. Well, maybe bathroom cleaning first and then meal-planning.

Because Rick and I have both struggled with weight problems at some point in our lives we usually end our down-cycle when the scale starts telling us its time.

And the kids do present a roadblock when they won't eat anything. Mine are better for that now and the baby actually will eat anything which is a new experience for me after two picky eaters. It makes it easier to find things to cook.

I'm interested to read anyone else's comments about this.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Vivian said...

No good advice from me. Bill and I eat different meals, and I've been trying to get Henry to eat "real food" for years and not getting very far. I pretty much plan three dinners every night. We don't even touch each other's leftovers.

I tried to cook for the dogs too, but for the small amount they are allowed to eat it was too much work.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I cook a meal every night. Everybody eats the same thing and unless there is a meeting or something (maybe 4 times a month) we eat together at the dining room table. I guess I am odd -- (no one who knows me is surprised by this) -- but I am going to post a week's worth of menus on my blog and invite additional comments. Click on over sometime!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Lesley said...

Okay -- I don't cook a meal every night. I hate cooking. No that's wrong... I hate all the clean-up afterwards! I assemble, I purchase, or I heat food. It's a pretty boring meal time routine.

Breakfast is usually coffee and toast. For the kids it's cereal, waffles, or oatmeal (not cooked on the stove)or ...if the mood strikes me, I'll make an egg.

Lunch is simple.. PB&J or Mac N Cheese...fruit, water... My lunch then becomes what the kids didn't eat. However, when school is in session- Andrew gets hot lunch and Audrey and I will sometimes go to Fresh Choice (as in 1 trip to the salad/food bar not several.)

Dinner is typically salad (cut open the bag and serve), a fruit salad (mostly for the kids), a steemed or baked veggie....and some kind of meat (usually grilled). It's not gourmet - but we are all sitting at the dinner table.

Or-- I just take a cue from my mood. If I'm not hungry -- I'm not making dinner. A couple nights ago we all had cereal for dinner. Or my other favorite-- breakfast for dinner! Or takeout--- there are healthy takeout options.

I have struggled with my weight too. After doing Weight Watchers, my attitude toward food changed. I eat more simply. That's not to say I don't eat out 'cause I do! I love a wonderfully prepared meal-- I eat pizza, I eat cheesy Mexican food, I just don't eat it all the time. (And when I do, in smaller quantities.)

I guess my point it -- that as long as you're eating healthy, it doesn't matter if you cooked it -- or if someone else did.

4:06 PM  

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