Now that we're eating every single scrap of food in the house, my need to cook has gone way down. We always ate leftovers, but I noticed a huge difference when we started eating ALL the leftovers.
And when I say "all" the leftovers, I promise that I'm not exaggerating. Today for lunch, the kiddos and I finished off four different leftovers; Eve had vegetable stir fry, Bella had pasta with sweet potato squash sauce, and I had potato onion soup with sweet potato French fries. Not a single scrap of those meals was wasted.
And oftentimes when I cook, I'm just re-purposing something that has already been made, like my French Fry Hot Dog Breakfast Scramble. I also repurposed already-made purple hulled peas by cooking cornbread on top, I used the extra topping from a crumble pie to make crusted peanut butter cookies (recipes will be posted soon).
Doing this saves me a TON of time in the kitchen.
It might seem like an exaggeration to say I literally cook half as often as I used to, but I don't think that's too far from the truth. Sometimes, it feels like I never cook anymore.
This is going to sound crazy, but I kinda miss it. I actually like cooking.
Really, I like any chore as long as it matters the next day whether or not I did it. Feeding my family, shopping, paying bills; that matters. Washing dishes, sweeping the floors, picking up toys; the next day, it'll look like I never did those things. I hate those chores.
But cooking requires creativity and it has different challenges with each meal, so I do enjoy it, though I'm not going to complain about spending less time cooking. There are a LOT of meal preparation-related stuff I do NOT enjoy.
Like dishes. Ugh. I hate them. Since I cook less, I dirty less dishes. That's worth just about any sacrifice.
And while meal planning and grocery shopping are my second and third favorite chores, I'm happy to be doing less of those things!
It's also great having that time with my kids. Between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm is the hardest part of the day for all of us. We're hungry, my husband is tired from work, and for some reason, that's when the girls crave the most attention.
As much as I enjoy cooking, I hate doing it with screaming kids hanging on my ankles. I should make a voice recording of myself saying "I'm busy" over and over again so the kids can hear it while I'm cooking; that way, I won't have to say it.
Now that I cook and do dishes much less, I often have between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm free to tend to my children. It's nice to be available during the time of day they need me the most.
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