Monday, February 20, 2012

Writing and Cooking

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My kids get home from school at 3:30, and my house goes from quiet to pandemonium. They're hungry, they're thirsty, the neighborhood kids follow them home. I used to try to work through this chaos and then, after they settled down with homework or friends, I'd have to get up and make dinner. Finally, I learned. Now I make dinner at 3:30. I'm in the kitchen when they need me and back to work after they've settled down.

To make dinner at 3:30, I cook a lot of soups and casseroles like baked ziti. Chili works great like this, and pasta sauces. I just make the pasta itself closer to dinner time. If I heat up the oven at 3:30, I can make baked potatoes. My husband loves baked potatoes enough to forgive me for eating soup all the time.

This also works great on the weekends. When my kids ask for lunch, I can serve them mac and cheese and start making dinner at the same time.

I know a lot of busy people don't cook much. My mother cooked every night and worked full time (well, I helped once I was old enough), and although I don't really like to cook, I don't like to eat out a lot either. My husband definitely pulls his weight, often cooking a few meals for the week on Sundays. But he doesn't get home from work until 6 or 7 in the evening. So to preserve my writing, editing, and critiquing time, I cook meals that I can make at any time of the day.

Do you have any tricks for balancing your time?(Trust me, Better than Boullion brand stock. With that, I can make soup out of anything.)

 --Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


Andrea Mack said...

I wish I was home after school, but since I don't get home until around 5 most nights, my trick is that when I do cook, I always cook enough for 2 meals, so one day all we have to do is heat things up. On the weekend, we try to make something big like a roast or lasagna that we can have for more than one meal. More time saving tricks are always good!!

Carmella Van Vleet said...

I love my slow cooker. I'll throw something in the pot in the morning and it'll be there just when things are going crazy and everyone is hungry. You'd be amazed at what you can cook in one of these.

Kate Fall said...

I want a slow cooker! Mine is from the 70's and is now officially a fire hazard.

DeenaML said...

Andrea -- I did that too! Also will make a big pot of soup and big pan of veggies that can be combined into other meals throughout the week.

Christina Farley said...

Oh these are all great ideas! I unusually leave at 7 am and don't get home until 5 pm so the slow cooker kept burning my food. I need to find one with a time delay. But when my husband doesn't have soccer, he'll grill something up and I'll make a salad. Otherwise we'll have pasta or I'll make homemade pizza or tacos.