I am amazed how there is a certain balance to your life and how easily it can be ‘disturbed’.

Like all families, we have our little routine at night.  Hubby normally cooks supper while I potter around and sort out bags, children and lunch boxes for the next day.  One of us then bathes the kids, we eat supper and dispatch them off to bed.  And switch on laptops.

With my later nights at work lately, things have been a little awry.  Not crazy, DH has coped extremely well (better than I would have!)  But I just don’t have a hold on things like I used to and there has been a little more running around than usual in the mornings.

He mentioned last week that he’s a bit tired of cooking supper. Which kind of went in the one ear and out the other.  And of course he thought I heard ‘please cook supper’.  So there was a difference of opinion and a little bit of growling tonight.

Cooking more than one thing at a time completely freaks me out.  Ask me to do a Mac and Cheese or a lasagna or a shepherd’s pie and I’m cool.  Because once it’s in the dish my work is done.  I can even manage a nice spagbol.  But this falling about trying to sort out 3/4 dishes?  Haikona.  And then I still had to make something vegetarian tonight as I don’t eat red meat.

I also can’t stand those cook-in sauces as I know how much crap is in them, so I insist on making everything from scratch..

So, the last few days I have been doing a lot of the cooking, but most nights we either eat late or I burn the food.  And we run a tight ship.

And now I have to figure out what’s for supper tomorrow night.  Any ideas?

26 thoughts on “Balance”

  1. Just look around Food24 for yummy ideas…
    I hate cooking and only about once a year I get inspired to think out of the box…
    my baking pans are my pride :)))

  2. Have you tried making big quantities of food on the weekend and then freezing it? Then you just have to defrost and heat meals during the week. And on the spag bol – I make it with soya mince and then everyone eats it.

  3. I like LL and Mrs C’s ideas. Not that I haven’t heard it before but the execution, she takes doing!

  4. I do the meal planning thing. It takes a lot of the stress out of it. I plan 7 meals then each night just pick one off the list.

  5. I battle to balance everything in my life, to the point that I feel like if one thing doesn’t go according to plan, I’m going to fall off the see-saw!

    Your nightly routine sounds pretty much like ours – except we feed the kids at about 6/6:30pm, get them bathed ready for bed, and only later we eat. This sucks because sometimes we end up eating after 9!

    Half of our battle is deciding what to make for supper! I love, but all their meals revolve around using one of those (Knorr) packets! Still nice ideas though! Maybe you could improvise with your own sauce? They have a section with kids meals, purse pleasers, and vegetable dishes. They also have a meal planner – even if it’s just to get ideas for something to make! If you get a chance, have look. 🙂

  6. I have a lekka chicken curry recipe…
    Chicken breast fillets,corgettes,butternut,onion,….stir fry….add curry powder,tumeric,salt pepper….cook through…add tin of coconut milk and simmer….serve with rice…delicious and weighless recipe Cams.

    I also make soup and freeze in yogurt containers,always a great quick supper with a french bread

  7. Baked beans on toast. Vegetarian, a balanced protein/carbohydrate combo. Man, you would hate my cooking!

  8. I cook my own pasta sauce and bottle it. Then when it’s time to make dinner all I have to do is fry the meat (throwing in veggies also) and cook the pasta, once that is ready add a bottle of pasta sauce and voila.

    Tomatoes (5 kg)
    Celery (stalk & leaves) (2 packets)
    Basil, Origanum, Sugar, Salt, Pepper & Garlic to taste.
    Cook till soft liquidize and bottle while hot.

  9. maybe you should take turns cooking so its not always someones job. Get a slowcooker – one pot cooking should be perfect for you and you just put it all in in the morning, put on auto and its ready at night. Make rice in bulk and freeze bags ready to be heated. Make a double meal and have left overs in a different format the next night – ie I made lamb casserole in the slow cooker on sunday and last night the left overs went in a pie dish with pastry over the top and everyone was happy and it took me 5 mins.

  10. We have been meaning to do just that, but we don’t seem to find the time!
    BUT we will just pull ourselves toward ourselves 🙂

  11. We couldn’t be asked to cook 2 meals, so we all eat together. OK, we shovel and the kids run around the table..

  12. Please email me the recipe??
    Have only just introduced soup to the kids. They thought I was nuts!

  13. Easy chicken all in one dish –
    Place chicken pieces in an oven dish, sprinkle brown onion soup over chicken (it’s not a cook-in sauce okay) and pour apricot juice over to cover. Bake (180) till chicken is cooked. Serve with cous cous, rice or mash.
    Works just as well with Kassler (if you’re ever entertaining and want something yum)
    Option: Throw petit pois into the dish 5 min before serving.


  14. I live alone and after three sons and a very active husband all my life I have found the perfect way to eat and it is all done in 20 minutes from coming in the door. Meat from freezer – George Foreman Mean lean and timer on. Vegetables: 6 baby potatoes skin on, fresh chopped butternut/carrots or pumpkin and peas or greens of some kind all into one microwave pressure cook pot and into microwave oven (which is quite old and so not all that hot) for 20 minutes. I do not salt the water and one should not salt meat before cooking unless you wish it to be crispy like pork and voila I have a meal which is nutritious, not burnt and edible in 20 mins. One can purchase or make veg burgers yourself should you be vegetarian. I flavour and add oil, butter or whatever and seasoning before serving. My Foreman has been used so much that the Teflon coating is gone which led to the discovery that foil sprayed with Spray and Cook shiny side in works even better as the juices stay in the foil and when cooked you do not have a yucky frying pan or burnt smells wafting through your house. Remove foil and use juice from meat or/and veg to make gravy.
    The best part is that there is no burnt pot at the end and NO WATCHING while it cooks. You can go and have a shower or unpack books while it looks after itself. Bear in mind that the more you are cooking for, the longer this might take and just experiment. Also it will help if the meat is defrosted before putting it in the lean mean. I do two pieces of meat at a time. The lean mean also has a facility for warming buns while you do burgers. I don’t get commission by the way, this is just the best method I have found but you must have a timer or alarm you set as soon as the meat goes in. I find 20 minutes from switch on max for frozen solid steak for eg.

  15. Oh and if you have a dog, they will appreciate the drained off water or juices from the meat over their Kibble.

  16. If you do not have a slow cooker you could get a haybox or just cushions made with a filling. Charities make these and they are great for keeping meat warm at a braai as well as for things which take an age to cook like a stew. Once you’ve done the prep and brought everything to the boil you put it into the cushions and leave in a sunny spot if you like in the morning and by the time you arrive home all you have to do is bring to boil and add thickening or seasoning and your meal is ready. My Mom used to do this when she caravanned. By the time we had the tent up the meal was ready and waiting for us. It saves on electricity too so you save pennies. It makes wonderful rice as well. Mom had a couple of sets of these cushions she was used to doing without electricity on the farm and they couldn’t afford slowcookers.

  17. It’s a joint effort. I don’t eat meat, so I don’t do big meats (will wok a chicken breast if needs must), but I do most of the veggies, rice etc. Mr Parent makes awesome veggie soup (yummy, I have some in my lunchbox).

  18. I plan very simple meals for the week, then I make a list of the ingredients I’ll need. I try and get most of the stuff on the Sunday or Monday then do a top-up shop on Wednesday.

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