August 31, 2011

Keep Your Sanity

It is very, very, easy to feel overwhelmed in the kitchen. Especially when it's a Sunday evening, there is nothing prepared for tomorrow's dinner, and all you have ready to bring to work is a bag of carrots and cucumbers. Do not panic, you will not starve and your husband will not have to eat canned tuna with a side of pinto beans, as much as he wouldn't mind it and actually loves to eat that way. You can throw together plenty of meals in the short amount of time remaining. Breathe.

I only cook twice a week. I used to cook every single night, including the weekends, and I never had a break. I was new to cooking, though, so I didn't mind. I was in love with the kitchen and all the countless recipes waiting for me to attempt in my few cookbooks. Cooking nightly was a gift, a blessing, I enjoyed it more than I could explain.

A day came, though, where I realized all I did was cook. My husband would be Skyping his parents in Mexico over the phone and I would become accustomed to hearing him say, "yeah, she's in the kitchen working like an ant." To this day, they refer to me as "la hormiguita" which is "little ant" - since all I used to do was run around in the kitchen putting together crazy (delicious) creations that no one I knew had ever heard of. The only problem was that I had ignored the fact that I used to have other hobbies, too. Like art, like reading my bible (hobby? no, necessity!), like sitting on the couch with my husband after work, etc.

So I switched things up a bit. I started to cook every other day, but that didn't work out for some reason, and I found myself cooking daily, again. And then one day... a thought came to mind. That, or, a thousand recipes came to mind on a Sunday morning and I decided I wanted to cook all of them right then and there, resulting in enough meals to feed a family of two until Thursday. It was brilliant. It was a joy. It was an epiphany. I smiled. I could very easily get used to this, I thought, I could do this once or twice a week, I pondered. I could do this. I am free.

So I did it, and have done it, for the past month or so. Sunday afternoons, I set aside 2 hours and cook. I usually spend about 20 minutes finding fun recipes, then get down into the hands-on, burners-on, oven-preheated side of it. I'm there for around 90 minutes. Then everything sits on the counter and cools off. I make two servings of each meal so that I can eat one plate for lunch Monday, then the same plate for dinner Tuesday. It's wonderful. I feel so free! And I am, too. I don't lift a finger (except to re-heat meals) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. I repeat the cooking process on Wednesdays, but only need about an hour since I'm only cooking for two days. I don't count Saturdays, even though I always cook somethin' that day, because they're leisurely and there ain't no Tupperware involved.

Notice the bold print:
[Sunday: 90 mins
Wednesday: 60 mins
2 servings each meal]

It's a delight, give it a try. Take a day (or four) off. Rest.

He will once again fill your mouth with
laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 8:21


  1. Wow! What a great idea! I love that you recognized a problem and found such a great way to solve it. I have just recently (like in the last 2 weeks, haha!) discovered that we survive just fine on having sandwiches for dinner once a week. It feels weird not to cook that night, but it's kind of nice to have a break at the same time. :)

  2. Haha I think it's adorable that he calls you a little ant ;)

    I don't always cook dinner, sometimes dinner is just yogurt or something!