Time. Something none of us have anymore. How are you supposed to work & make money & hopefully have a decent career & do the right thing by your kids, preferably, before 8 pm on a weekday? And also, hopefully, organically *. Or at least, with less preservatives.
I never grew up with TV dinners, or Hamburger Helper. Maybe it's a Swedish thing. But then again, we had blood pudding (mmmmm), and Swedish pancakes (yes, it's for dinner). What I am trying to say is that when it comes to food, I want my kid to know and love REAL food. And to be able to tell when something is full of preservatives & other junk, and know that it is not really REAL food.
There needs to be a way to make that happen, without killing yourself as a parent. That the time it takes to come home & sit down to eat, shouldn't be more than 30 minutes. And I don't mean Rachel-Ray-crazy-running-around-in-the-kitchen-30-minutes; but pop something in the oven, and 30 minutes later when you've run around doing all that stuff you do when you get everyone home after work, the dinner is done.
Sounds easy right? Also, with ingredients you know, & can pronounce.
"Oh, I made that from scratch" is one of those things that people automatically go "oooooooh, you are a whiz in the kitchen" to, when in fact, making brownies from "scratch" take marginally longer than whipping together a mix from a box. But people just don't do it. All it requires is a little bit of planning.
Around here we do waffles every weekend. These are CIA waffles, no, they're not secret in any way, they're from this cookbook. We half the recipe, then when we make them, (FROM SCRATCH. GASP.) I mix the dry ingredients for two more batches, and put them in little ziplock bags, write what it is on them, and what's left to add (some butter & lots of eggs). So next time, it's as if you take out the Bisquick and whip them up. Except they taste SO much better.
We also happen to maybe make too many each time (there's really only three of us), so we butter them a little, let it melt, then throw them in a ziplock bag and in the freezer, and when you feel like waffles you pop one in the toaster oven and Eggo! There it is. But better.
So we started to plan things a little more. Just a little. By making a batch of something on the weekend. One day we spent making calzones, lasagna & meatloaves, doubling all the recipes we had.
Maybe it helps that we like Italian, it's one of those things that's easy to make a shitload of, and then freeze. Like lasagna.
We used TJs pizza dough & pizza sauce, loaded up the calzones with our favorite toppings, popped them in the oven, let them cool. Then in the freezer. Four calzones from 1 lb of dough. They're like hotpockets. But much better. It took us a day, but we had food for almost two weeks.
I'm pretty sure we're not on to something new or revolutionary, but I'd like to think that we know what we eat, and it's home made.
And you can really take that as far as you want. Like canning your own tomatoes. Maybe a crazy endevour when you don't have tomatoes in your garden (they are pretty expensive.) Or you can buy the fancy San Marzano tomatoes in a can, and see what a difference they make in your pasta sauce. Or make pizza sauce with them. Or really use any canned tomatoes.
And when this cute girl rejects the Mott's apple sauce with a frown on her face, it's ok to feel a little smug. Because she knows what apples are supposed to taste like.
* With such a loaded word, I am not trying to be political in any sense, I just mean without-preservatives, maybe even from your own garden, if you are lucky enough to have one.
Football season is almost upon us. Finally. And it's really ok to order Pizza sometimes. I don't beat myself up over it.