Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cooking Dinner During the Week

As you know, I have a strong commitment to cooking dinner for myself and hubby during the week. It's one of those things that is just very important to me. It's also one of those things that is very fulfilling -- even when I've had a tiresome, frustrating, or yucky day, I can still cook a healthy, delicious meal for our dinner (and usually lunch leftovers), and with that simple action, all was not lost; the day was not for naught.

Plus, when I cook, I am in charge of what I am eating: I get to decide what goes in and what stays out. It's healthier. And, quite often, cheaper!

Cooking dinner during the week also works for me by putting a bookend to the work part of my day and giving me a sweet, almost meditative start to my evening at home with my husband and our pets.

There's more to it than that, though. Cooking dinner is, for me, deeper than that. I found the best articulation of that on a post about weeknight dinners that I read recently on a new food blog I am loving.

The kitchen is full of myths, and one of them is that we don’t have the time to cook. Honestly, though, most of us do have the time, although scheduling it isn’t easy, I know. Sometimes — between getting home from work at 6 and attending a meeting of the fill-in-the-blank club at 7:30 and the kids are horrid with hunger and the dog chewed your new leather sandals and oh! there’s nothing in the refrigerator — cooking feels impossible.

Still, if we make cooking — even simple cooking — a priority, we can begin to steer our own ships. And if, by effort and determination, we learn to approach cooking with a sense of wonder and as an agreeable task, we can begin to restore food and preparing food to its rightful place in our lives: as an essential pleasure rather than an oppressive chore.

And what's more, they've assembled their quick and easy Weeknight Meals into categories on one page -- a great resource for those nights when we're stuck or lost when it comes to getting dinner on the table.

What motivates you to cook? What stops you from doing so?

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