Work Life Balance – Dinnertime

Bear in mind, I’m heading in to work once I’ve finished my coffee and scone, so I’m not the best person to talk about this. But The Husband was telling me about a conversation he had with another teacher at school, about cooking and cook books, and it made me realize something about making dinner.

The other teacher’s theory is that yes, you can make those food network 30 minute meals in 30 minutes… if you have someone to chop up your veggies, or cook the pasta, or do all the other miniscule prep work involved. And even the Food Network people don’t pretend that the 30 minutes includes doing the dishes afterwards! So what’s the point in even trying?

Last night I took up this challenge. I got home from work at 6:30, and started to make Chicken in Lemon Cream with Penne, from Giada de Laurentiis’s Everyday Pasta. I’ve made it once before, but it’s not a recipe I could making without constantly consulting the cookbook. It’s not a hard recipe, but you do zest a lemon. The recipe is in the ‘quick and easy weeknight pasta’ chapter, although it doesn’t advertise a specific length of time. My kitchen was not in my prefered state of order either – The Husband had recently been in there unsupervised.

28 minutes and some odd seconds between the time I took the pasta pot out of the cabinet till I told The Husband dinner was ready.

The barrier to cooking isn’t that it’s necessarily hard, or time consuming. It’s all the things that get between us and doing it. Like coming home to a kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes, even though when you left that morning it was empty and clean. The extra long exhausting days at work with stress levels high enough to give you nightmares. Even having tools inadequate to the job – I refused to cook anything that involved grating cheese until I found some really good graters.

Since last Saturday, we’ve been out to eat once, and that was a prearranged occassion. Every other night we cooked something, even if I worked late. We’re really proud of that.

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2 Responses to Work Life Balance – Dinnertime

  1. babychaos says:

    Go-ed! The more you cook, the more of a habit it becomes, the easier it gets and the more recipes you get off pat that you can just throw together.

    I say this because I am not god’s gift to cooking but for most of the first part of our marriage we had to cook in, mainly because we were that skint – eating out is well expensive here in Blighty.

    So… gradually, over the time I’ve been married (I sound like my granny, I know, but it IS 10 years, which is a sod of a long time in anyone’s book) I’ve gradually pulled a together a core of recipes which Mr BC actually likes (important that one) and he, ditto for me. So definitely keep up to it because 1) it gets much easier and then it really works 2) it’s better for you and you can drink with it, of course, because you won’t have to drive home and 3) oh! There is no thing three.

    Go chef Geek.



  2. GeekLady says:

    Don’t mistake me, we’re both fantastic cooks. It’s not the cooking that’s the problem, it’s everything else that gets in the way of cooking. It’s The Husband having (in my view) trashed the kitchen when he got home, the sink being full of dishes, just being really profoundly tired from work, staying late at work, always being short that one crucial ingredient that you were sure you had, having a nervous breakdown, you know the drill.

    Mostly I was smacking down those that say you can’t cook a food network 30 minute meal in 30 minutes because of veggie chopping and dish washing.

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