Are you time poor in the cookery department? Here's the solution.
When it came to me returning to work after having my son I knew it would be a big adjustment for us all. I had been on maternity leave for the guts of a year enjoying quality time my son. Needs must though and it was time to return to the workforce.
I spent several weeks preparing for what would be a massive change for our family dynamic. Our mornings would be a military operation just to get out the door on time to drop our son to the child minders and make it to work on time ourselves. Our evenings would be much the same in terms of preparing for the next day. It would be a furvor of activity and it would only work if we were very organised.
One thing that was very important to us was to make the most of our evenings as a family. There was a brief period of time where we could all catch up and spend quality time together before our son went to bed. I did not want to spend this time sweating over the cooker. This is where batch cooking came in to my life.
It started when we weaned our son on to solids. I would make big pots of various dishes and freeze them in to individual portions so that they could easily be thawed out for the next day’s meals. It worked out really well and it meant we always had a stock of healthy meals for when we were on the go or eating something that might not be suitable for our baby.
I then had a revelation one day and realised that the same principle really could be applied to the way we ate as a family. I work three days per week and if I could batch-cook a couple of meals to cover those days it would free up a lot of time during the week to focus on more important things.
I decided to give it a go and we have never looked back since. It has profoundly affected the way our week pans out. It makes for a calmer and less stressful work-week, and most importantly we enjoy a healthy dinner together at the end of a long day.
Friends of mine tell me that it is a great idea and ask “how do you find the time?” and I always answer the same way. Not doing it makes for much more work at a time where I am exhausted after a long day in work. I don’t necessarily enjoy it. Every Sunday afternoon I put the game face on and spend about two hours putting it all together. But when it’s done it’s done and on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night I am never more grateful to have something done.
I make one pot wonders like chilli, curry, stew, casserole and pasta bakes. Dishes that can easily be frozen and defrosted. Dishes you can easily add pasta, rice or salad to.
I cannot recommend doing this enough. It has made life much easier and it actually makes me more mindful of what we are eating as a family. It means less work, hearty dinners and more time to relax together as a family – and sure isn’t that what life is all about?
Give it a go; it might just work for you too.
Written by Tracey, mummy blogger and staff writer with www.familyfriendlyhq.ie
Check out her own blog at love-of-living.blogspot.ie