Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Done Like Dinner

What stresses you out in your day to day life? Is it multiple little things or single big huge things that give you stress? For me, I find having to make dinner for my family each day is a stress in my day to day life. Recently I was able to subtract cooking dinner from my daily life and I noticed how much of a weight was lifted. Since I'm currently visiting my family in Victoria it means no day to day cooking for me. I'm lucky as my parents generally take care of fixing dinner for our brood. Whether it is outside BBQ's or ordering in pizza or preparing a traditional ham dinner. What a relief it is to me not to have to squeeze in cooking dinner! I seem to be able to handle the very early wake ups with my baby (5:30 AM today) and the constant chaos of hanging around the under 10 crowd when dinner duty is removed.

Yes, I admit it. I hate cooking dinner each night.

While I do enjoy doing some cooking, I don't actually enjoy having Josie crying at my feet for attention while I'm trying to sauté onions. I also happen to have quite the foodie husband and a mediocre dinner doesn't really fly with him (no pre-bought Costco pasta dishes here). So, churning out dinner has become quite the chore for me and somehow thinking about cooking dinner seeps into parts of my whole day. You've got the meal planning, grocery shopping with the kids, cooking with the kids around, yada yada. What do you mean you want dinner again? I just made it yesterday!

My other issue with making dinner is that it falls right during our witching hour. When your youngest wakes at 5:30 AM, 12 hours later she is tired and done. Even if I crank things up and start dinner before 4 PM there is still a lot of chasing wee ones out of the kitchen and crying. Oh the crying. I definitely have increased my kitchen repertoire during my maternity leave and can now come up with at least something healthy and delicious to cook. It is just the actual act of cooking from scratch that gives me stress. Maybe I need to drink more wine while I cook?

The dinner that I can guarantee to be a family hit with everyone chowing down with gusto and satisfaction is spaghetti and meatballs. Sounds easy peasy but not when cooking for my food loving man. The meatballs are a mix of pork/beef/veal and the sauce is absolutely homemade. The good thing about making this dinner is that it is easy for me to double up and throw an extra dinner in the freezer.

My tomato sauce is pretty tasty and I will admit my husband was right about homemade sauce being that much more delicious than any store bought jarred sauce. Plus the whole apartment smells so fragrant and rich when I've got the sauce reducing on my stove top. I just wish it making dinner was as easy as ordering in sushi.


My Hubbs isn't picky, so that makes my life a bit easier. Add to that our penchant for dining out, and I am able to avoid this stress a few times a week.

One really awesome thing to make is Paula Deen's Foolproof Standing Rib Roast. I seriously cannot screw this up, even though I am a novice cook. It's Keg-level delicious and so so easy. So next time, just throw that rib roast in the oven and go and enjoy your babies :)

June 7, 2013 at 9:42 AM  
Paula in Rmd said...

Hi Andrea - I've read your blog for awhile now, but have never commented. Your post today hits right home for me. I absolutely hate cooking dinner. What, we have to do this every night!? I love to bake so my motto would be how about dessert first. Granted I am luckier now as my son is 14 and my husband pitches in with a lot of cooking as I work a modified week. Maybe a discussion with your hubby about him pitching in with cooking or if he is at home keep the kids entertained while you can cook/prep depending on the time of day he is home or works.

June 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM  
Tarable said...

Uh... making me hungry with talk of those meatballs and homemade sauce!

I don't mind making the dinner so much anymore (although when my kids were babes and hanging off my pant legs it wasn't so great). My hated daily "thing" now is making lunches. We get dinner made and sit down and eat and enjoy it and then there's all this mess to clean up and LUNCHES TO MAKE! UGH!

And while drinking a glass of wine does go along nicely with the dinner making, not so much with the after-dinner lunch making. Bleh! I'm over it!

June 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM  
Melissa said...

I had to make dinner at lunch today! The thought of chopping the ingredients and getting everything done all in that evening window stresses me out for sure. I get in a state when I see the laundry pile up too. I feel like I do a load almost every day and don't get me started on the bathroom. Oh the stresses of keeping a household in running condition is indeed a job in itself.

ps. I love homemade pasta sauce! How do you make yours??

June 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM  
Sarah M. said...

It's been a while since I've made any comments but like Paula says, this one hits home. I am right there with you when it comes to cooking dinner. I hate cooking, and yes it has to happen everyday and everyday I wince at the 5pm hour. Perhaps meal planning would be good to alleviate the stress but I for one am not one to think about dinner days before or even in the morning when I wake up.

Cooking with babes around is hard and they know exactly when you are preoccupied so they can turn up their own whine which makes us want to reach for ours a little bit more.

My repertoire is limited and I am not a recipe follower and because I am such a last minute cook, often ingredients are not so readily stocked in the kitchen. So I have chicken (or beef or turkey) Great! Now what?

Isn't it funny how common this seems to be between the mamas. In my own situation it's my kids that drive me to not want to cook b/c they are extremely picky and hardly eat 2 bites.

June 7, 2013 at 7:45 PM  
mazoola said...

im also in the my husband isnt so picky department, in fact, he does the cooking since he knows all to well that it's impossible to prep and cook with Max screaming for attention as soon as he hears the chop chop a knife on the block makes. that being said, our food isnt slave over the kitchen quality, there are a lot of fast fry's, stir fry's, bbq's, rice and mashed potatoes.

June 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM  
Swank Mama said...

This is stressing me out like crazy when I think of going back to work next month and having to put dinner on the table. Luckily, my brother just saved us and gave us a basically brand new crock pot which I'll be using on the daily!

June 8, 2013 at 9:02 PM  
Solomama said...

UGH yes!!!! Good post..
It stresses me to high heaven thinking about my future and having to satisfy my husband in this department (and others). You're such a good mama keep up the good work!

June 9, 2013 at 7:25 PM  

I (theoretically...or once upon a time did) enjoy cooking, but when there is massive chaos and demands around me it loses its fun so fast.

Consequently I feel like I've been in a dinner cooking rut for months now. Oh, I still cook several times a week but it feels rather thankless and then there is all the clean up. BLAH.

Add in my weird dietary intolerances that complicate what I can eat and it's all just a big pain in the butt.

So you are not alone :)

June 17, 2013 at 8:53 AM  

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