We have been cooking up a storm lately. Having a daily meal together is one of our family values, one that we have neglected far too much in recent months, with my pregnancy being rough on me, and us still not being quite fully settled into our new home. Jeramy and I want to eat more healthfully and seasonally, to role model a good relationship with food for our children, and to stick to a budget while sharing the experience of family time spent at the dinner table.
In need of some inspiration, I checked out a new cookbook from the library, and drafted a meal plan from there that was realistic for our tastes. When I create weekly meal plans it is better for our budget, saves us time, and means fewer trips to the store. I spend a little bit of time once a week, looking at recipes, writing the grocery list, and looking at the calendar to see what our evening schedule looks like every day. Once that bit of work is done though, and the grocery trip has been made, I am free from the stress and panic of “What’s for dinner?” each day.
The best part is that not only have I been rediscovering joy in cooking for myself, but Jeramy and Simon have too. Most nights, all three of us are in the kitchen together to prepare dinner. Simon has shown increasing interest in helping, and learning about recipes and ingredients. He has assisted with chopping, stirring, measuring, and scooping. He even helps set the table now. And though he tends to be a picky eater most of the time, being involved in the process has invited him to try new things. It certainly takes longer to prep a meal with a small child, but it is so worth it. He is learning so much, and having a very valuable experience. Cooking together as a family creates memories.