14 December 2010

Life's Too Short To Stuff a Mushroom

Well, my cooking stint is over as J returns today so she can pick up the responsibility of making sure the kids are well fed – morning, noon and night!

The problem I found and which I found quite dispiriting is that sometimes it took me one and a half hours to make a meal and it was all over in 15 minutes as Guy and Kitty gobbled down their food, desperate to get back to their PCs! 

All that peeling of potatoes, carrots and other veggies, the preparation of the chicken, the cleaning of all the pots and pans afterwards, and it was all over in the blink of an eye and that was with me trying to slow things down by having a conversation during dinner with the kids.

No wonder ready meals are so popular. They’re probably just as cost effective as well, as by the time you take the cost of labour and the ingredients, the gas and electric (we cook on both) and all the cleaning up time, a ready made lasagne or chili is probably a good deal. Stick it in the oven or the microwave and then you simply throw away the cooking container – no washing up! 

And of course with the traditional made meal, you still have all the garbage to get rid of. Mountains of peelings as well as bones to hide from the dog and the cats and if J conveniently ‘forgets’ to put these bits of left over animal in the bin, the dogs and foxes rip open the bag and next morning, the drive is covered in rubbish – and that’s another half hour of my time spent cleaning it up.

People decry ready made meals. They say they’re not nutritious but I can’t believe that’s true as so much marketing goes into the positioning of these meals in the ‘healthy eating’ stakes and even in the Weightwatchers guides.

OK - this one doesn't look quite so good!
Despite being retired and having plenty of time on my hands, I just get so frustrated that cooking isn’t quicker and easier – ok it’s nice to prepare food for a nice dinner party but for the normal family evening meal, I think I’ll be heading to the ‘ready meal’ section next time I’m left in charge!

As Shirley Conran once famously said, ‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.’

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