Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 110 — Hours slaving in the kitchen?

Mon – Salmon, sweet potatoes, snow peas
Weds – Steak, squash, salad
Thurs – Chili and cornbread
Fri – Greek meatloaf (Opaah!), potatoes, green beans
Alts – pizza/go out
I had a friend who liked to ponder how much more we could do with our time and money if we didn't have to eat. He liked a good holiday feast or gathering of friends around a meal as much as I do, but he does have an interesting point.

I don't spend hours making lovely meals at this time of life, but I do spend hours in the kitchen each day taking care of the necessity of eating and preparing food for a family of 5. Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, after school snack, dinner. Late night snack for myself once the kids are in bed. What does that add up to? I have a sense for what it costs, but I'm not sure I've ever tracked the time.

Let's try it out. Poor methodology, but to ballpark this I'm going to estimate a "normal" day's time spent on meal prep through clean-up:
45 min—breakfast
15 min — snack
30 min — lunch
15 min — snack
90 min — dinner
15 min — late night snack/additional clean-up
3.5 hours

Wow. That seems like a lot...and seems fairly accurate. No wonder I love those pizza party nights—they're a gift of 1 hour of time back. In not too much longer the kids will be more self-sufficient with snacks. However, long breakfasts will always be enjoyed in our house. It's our favorite meal of the day. Admiration for those prairie women who were baking bread, hand-washing clothes, pumping water. I truly live a luxurious lifestyle compared with that reality!

Happy cooking.

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