Mealtimes – finding the perfect formula
Filed under: MummyBloggers
The writer Calvin Trillin once said: “The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”
Now I would consider myself an above-average cook. When it comes to dinners, I can feed many, and feed them well. I have a few go-to dishes that I could perhaps be criticised for replaying once too often, but I don’t know many mammies who make their own naan bread as an accompaniment to their own Indian curry that she made from scratch using her own homemade curry paste; nor have I ever met one who made the Indian paneer cheese to go into said Indian curry. In short, I feel I have nothing to admonish myself about. My kids eat pretty darn well.
So when chatting to a friend recently, I was surprised at the look of disdain I got when I admitted to only making two dinners a week for my family. When I explained that my modus operandi was to make enough of both meals to allow for at least one day of reheats, I have to admit I expected her to look relieved. But no. She looked, horrified. Perhaps she was just in shock at the realisation of the amount of time she herself had wasted over the years, trying to conjure a new eating-experience each day of the week, but I suspect not.
Nevertheless, it’s a system that works for me. Monday: dinner that requires some effort and preparation (e.g. lasagne, stuffed roast chicken, the aforementioned curry). Tuesday: reheated leftovers. Wednesday: dinner that requires some effort and preparation (see above). Thursday: reheated leftovers.
One day of the weekend, my husband cooks (it helps him unwind apparently) and another day of the weekend we might eat at Grandma’s, or we’ll get Burdock’s fish and chips after an educational jaunt around our capital city. Now I fail to see anything in that that might suggest neglect.
But what’s that you say? I missed out Friday? Ah, Friday. Friday is the day that my children get to experience what it used to be like for their parents growing up in the eighties. So Friday night’s dinner is something processed from the freezer.
Fish fingers never killed anybody. And it makes them appreciate the homemade curries all the more.
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her second novel The Lake is now available from HarperCollins Killer Reads.
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