Shortly after my now-four-year-old girls came home from the hospital, I feared my husband and I would never eat a “real” meal again. When the delectable gravy train of home cooked meals from friends and neighbors slowed to a halt, Hubby and I found ourselves standing in front of the refrigerator, deciding between (yet another) ham sandwich or a frozen stir-fry meal-in-a-bag. While I anticipated some degree of “camping out” with two newborns in the house, I was afraid I would never again have the time or energy to prepare anything more.
Once upon a time, I loved to cook….to spend a couple of hours chopping and dicing, sautéing and simmering….to put a three course meal, perfectly presented, on the table for Sunday evening dinner. I came to the realization that it’s going to be a while before I can enjoy the luxury of engrossing myself in kitchen heaven for hours on end. But I am proud to say that we eat more than ham sandwiches, and I found my passion for cooking again, although in a much different light.
The crock pot is one of my best friends. I have become the master of make-ahead casseroles. I love being able to assemble a dish the previous night, and then pop it in the oven an hour before dinner. And when I do cook something “fresh”, I often cut down on my time in the kitchen by doing the prep work….my beloved chopping, dicing, and sautéing….ahead of time.
Yes, we eat a lot of one-dish meals these days, but at least they’re not all out of a bag from the freezer. There’s something I find really satisfying about being able to pull it all together. But rest assured, I do reserve the right to serve up a delicious ham sandwich now and again….which I think is more than fair for a mom of multiples!
What are your tricks for getting dinner on the table?
MandyE is mom to 4 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls. She blogs about their adventures and her journey through motherhood at Twin Trials and Triumphs.