Monday, September 26, 2022

Rethinking the Family Dinner

Our dinner routine is in need of an overhaul, and it's something I have been thinking about since I listened to this episode of Kelsey's audio-blog.  It wasn't until I saw The Lazy Genius Kitchen on the walk-in shelf at the library last week, though, that I was motivated to tackle my meal problem.

What matters most when I am thinking about meals?

The Lazy Genius Kitchen suggests this question as THE organizing principle when you’re thinking about how to be happier in your kitchen/feeding your family, and I think it’s pretty awesome. It's just such a quick way to get to the heart of the matter, identify priorities, and dismiss all the things that don't matter. She says to think about what could matter, what does matter, and then, finally, what matters most. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

For me, right now, in this incredibly busy season, lots of things could matter in all 6 areas of my kitchen (space, meals, plan, food, prep, and table)

Timing, convenience, ingredients, nutrition, harmony, cleanliness, ease, etc. And surely, there is plenty that drives me nuts about this season (even though I am trying to take the Lazy Genius advice to welcome it kindly and just LIVE in it): mainly not having enough time to clean up, kids who don’t eat the food we make, and not having the ingredients on hand that I need because I don’t have tome to get more!

Luckily for me, my kitchen issues are not about space and rhythm. We have the space. We are used to cooking and prepping and eating together. I think I am just feeling out of sorts in the kitchen, which means, according to TLG, I need a new perspective— which OF COURSE, is why I snagged the book in the first place. 

I sped through the whole book at Dorothy's swim team practice yesterday and came away feeling much better about our meal planning/ feeding the family life. We have a lot of things that really do work well. Our kitchen is big and functional. We have all of the tools we need, and even though our drawers need to be cleaned out (ooooooh do they), this doesn't really impact functionality (at least not in a way that prompts me to do anything about it right now because there are other, more pressing issues). In a perfect world, there would be placemats and cloth napkins and prettier table settings, but I just. It's too much to deal with at this moment. We like eating together. Meals are happy times, etc etc etc.

Still, THINGS COULD BE SMOOTHER.

The thing I want to work on the very most (across all 6 areas of my kitchen life) is making sure the food we are eating and the way we are eating it is nourishing us, literally and figuratively. This means no junk food and also no junk attitude (from me too-- like, the busier and more out upon we act about the family dinner, the crappier it is, you know?).

I came right home from swim and made a chicken soup to last a few busy days and some taco meat because Cooper loves beef tacos, and Ben and the boys and I were having nachos for the last night of Big Brother. I realized, too, that doing heavy food prep on Sunday is something that really does make me happier and ups the nourishing aspect of our meals.

Chocolate chip cookies only with peanut butter M&Ms and chocolate chunks

Park

The site of my food epiphany 



1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I feel this so much! Like you, I feel like I've landed on "nourishing" being the priority, too. Above eating together, which is kind of a bummer. But maybe "ease" is going to overtake nourishment? We'll see, they are both pretty important!