Day Twenty-Eight – Teaching an Old Dog

July 10, 2008 at 11:55 pm (daily life)

I’ve  never exactly been known for my culinary skills.  Now, I”m not like my SIL who can’t even make things turn out recognizable.  I can follow a recipe, open a box, stir and simmer with the best of them.  But I’ve always felt like putting a meal on the table was WORK, not fun.  I often feel clumsy in the kitchen and I don’t always pay close enough attention to details.  I have the heat set to high, or I make a meal for 6 when there are only 2 of  us eating.  During  the school year, my husband gets home an hour before I  do, so he starts dinner.  He’s not fantastic at it either, (we have about 6 meals that he rotates…) but he at least enjoys it more than I do.

So, I made it my goal to have a meal on the table every night this summer.  I have been going through cookbooks, magazines, recipes that I clipped from various spots long ago and choosing things that appeal to all of us (Well, three of us.  Emily will eat or not eat depending  on her mood.  Appeal has nothing to do with it.)  I have planned my meals for the week on  Sunday, shopped for what I need on either Sunday o r Monday, and piggy-backed meals and ingredients whenever possible.  I’ve also let Isabelle choose one or two favorite meals each week, especially for lunches.  And, I’ve stuck with it!  Here it is, almost half way through the summer and I’m still planning meals in advance instead of doing the “What should we have?” thing at 5:00!!!

And, it’s gotten easier.  I am much better with portion control and  cutting recipes to size now.  I can time a whole meal to be finished at the same time, even when I’m making a “different” meal for the girls.  (And I learned how to not do that at every meal by using the same ingredients to make a slightly more kid-friendly version  for them.) 

And, I  have to  say I am loving  it!  I am enjoying being in the kitchen!!!  It feels good to be actually making things instead of browning ground beef and opening boxes.  We are all finding that we like new and different things!  I am keeping a list of favorites, and I’ll make it a goal to prep something from that list o n Sundays to eat during the week once we go back to school.  And, we will definitely set out meal plan for the week. This had made life SO much easier!

Here’s a picture of last night’s dinner.  Doesn’t it look yummy?  It was, and  it will be for lunch tomorrow when I eat the leftovers that I  purposely made!  It’s a prosciutto and basil stuffed chicken breast with a garlic pasta and  broccoli.  I’ve made it before, but never as easily as last night, and it never came out quite so well.  The girls had the  pasta, the broccoli and a breaded chicken breast.  Easy to make, and I didn’t have to  do anything extra. 

Yep, this old dog is still learning new tricks!

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