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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making Dinner

Making dinner;
it's wholesome and nurturing for the family,
it provides good nutrition,
it saves tons of money,
it allows you to connect with the seasons...
It is also a drag when you come home from work on a dark wintry night or even on the hottest summer days too.
It is soooo tempting to say,
"Lets get takeaway"
NO! Don't do it.
When I feel on the verge of this lazy apathy I get myself up and peel something.
I don't have a plan or a clue but if I just start washing potatoes or peeling sweet potatoes the rest falls into place. Suddenly the steamer is coming out and the is greens and corn. Meat is being cooked in the pan in the most basic way and before you know it,
in less time than it would have taken to drive, order and get home with takeaway,
We have a simple but beautiful home cooked meal.
Jamie Oliver built a whole show around how fast cooking for dinner is.
Even if you just put on a pot of water for pasta,
the rest will fall into place with simple ingredients.
Tomatoes are the only fancy sauce you need, nothing else, no gums or thickeners or any other additives you find in the instant meal jars or packets.
I know we all feel this way a lot of the time coming home from work.
I know when I am like this I get a dialogue happening in my head that goes;
"After all, you've been at work all day, you deserve..."
The old "YOU DESERVE" trick. Don't listen to it.
So what do you do when you are tired at the end of the day and a meal seems like another hours work?
What is your secret weapon in the kitchen?
What gets you motivated?


  1. What gets me motivated?? I dislike takeaway food, for all your reasons + food hygiene, isn't always up to scratch. My secret weapon is working a few days ahead in my fridge prep. I have pre soaked pulses, basic stocks, chic glaze, tomatoes, cheeses, (mozzarella & pecorino) chillies & pizza dough in the freezer, for emergencies. Other fridge basics include Aussie capers, anchovies, preserved lemons & organic miso paste. Dinner in 20 mins, it's fun to rise to the challenge!!!

  2. Frozen premade meals in the freezer - but now they are all eaten... drat!

  3. If there are eggs in the house, we can always have omelettes! Add in some cheese, herbs, chilli and it makes a nice meal.
    But usually with a little forward planning, cooking dinner (from scratch) isn't too much bother, and the slow cooker is a great appliance when we've a busy day ahead!
    We also live too far away from a takeaway bar!

  4. I must say with a sister as a chef who needs takeaway ! But I understand the cost adding - but its not from the food funnily enough.

    We are so often disappointed in bought meals, not just from the taste but the price. I mean $42 for a couple of coffees and a bit of cake for a family of five - thats 1/4 of my fortnightly grocery bills for goodness sake.

    I have loads of frozen dinners - I cook doubles of any thing like casseroles to soups. Plus pizzas made at home are so easy and quick if you go true Italian Style (with the sauce you made from summers tomatoe glut).
    Best fall back is pasta with a herb butter dressing and parmesan - takes as long as boiling pasta to make.

    How I could go on !

  5. Well, I personally love it when I've got leftovers waiting for me. My current favourite is lentil curry or dhal with mashed spuds from the garden. But omelettes and cooked pasta with whatever I can scrape up are very quick to make. And I agree that hygiene is an issue for me with eating out sometimes.

  6. I can so identify with that! And I don't even go out to work! I often tell myself that I deserve to eat wholesome well prepared food that i know exactly what is in it. And that is what my family deserve too. About every couple of months, when that just doesn't work, they talk me into chips!

  7. I so enjoyed reading this post. We don't do takeaway either, for all the reasons you've mentioned and then some. I stopped using anything from a can...and yes, you are so right, tomatoes are all you need for a simple sauce. My secret weapon in the kitchen is freezer cooking which I've just returned to doing on a regular. It saves me money, dinner just needs to warm up in the oven and the best part is no anxiety or stress over what to cook for dinner.

  8. Menu planning and cooking double quantities of wet dishes. I have been trying to use my crock-pot but find the flavour is usually disappointing when exactly the same ingredients in a saucepan would work well.

  9. Since this post there has been a few times I have thought - oh just go out for dinner or get take aways and then this post pops in my head! I end up maker dinner and feeling better for it!


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