I’ve been AWOL lately from this blog, consumed in September and October by work deadlines, swim lessons, a wedding anniversary, illness, visits from the tooth fairy, flu shots, field trips, kids’ birthdays – in other words, daily life. Cooking, writing and photographing all take time, a commodity in short supply around our house these days.
But we still have to eat. Like switching out clothes, when the seasons change I switch out meals in our dinner rotation. When the weather turns cooler, my mind turns to slow cooking, roasting, braising and baking; and warming comfort foods with lots of spices.
These pep talks I’ve been giving about home cooking are just as much directed at myself as anyone else. The cooking force in me ebbs and flows, and right now, it’s at low tide. I have to make up little challenges to keep myself engaged.
With the goal of streamlining cooking and planning out meals for this week, I decided to roast two chickens at once on Sunday and use the meat for several dinners and lunches throughout the week.
Market researcher that I am, a study about home cooking snagged my attention the other day. Findings from a survey of American households conducted by Bosch, a kitchen appliance manufacturer, highlighted many reasons why people don’t cook: 28% of respondents don’t know how, 25% didn’t want to clean up the mess, 21% said they didn’t have the time. Two-thirds indicated that grocery shopping takes the most time out of all household tasks. (I could have told you that!)
After I posted this study link on Twitter, I tweeted: As a working parent, I can understand these reasons for not cooking. Still, I try. It’s cheaper, healthier + better quality at home
One of my friends replied: If I have a clean kitchen, all the ingredients & the time; I love to cook. If any of the 3 are missing, not so much.
My response: Yeah, I agree, but how often do you get all 3? Sometimes 2 of 3 will have to do. Most of time during wk it’s 2/3 or 1/3 for us.
Back to school, back to work, back to the basics. For me, Labor Day is a natural time to pause and reflect on what’s working and not working, re-calibrate and re-focus. The beginning of fall feels like a fresh start.
I’m one of those people who wants to do everything and cram it all in when the weather is warm and the daylight is long. But all of the rushing around this summer had a ripple effect.