I finally realized that just thinking about dinner in the morning is half the battle. For my whole adult life, I’ve feared and dreaded dinner preparation. My brother used to say when I lived alone that all I needed were a few bowls and a few spoons because I’d eat cereal every night. I forced myself to make more of an effort once I had kids, but it’s been a bumpy journey. As my friend, Gigi, put it, it’s always a time of day I hoped would just go away.
I finally figured out what was tripping me up — defrosting. Just taking something out of the freezer in the morning got me past the great blank slate that is dinnertime. Once I defrosted, I was committed — tonight’s chicken! The second thing that gets me over the hump is picking a recipe. I’ve picked what I’m defrosting, then I search on allrecipes.com for 4-5 star rated recipes. If 50 or 150 or 600 people love this recipe, how much could I really screw it up?! My friend, Amber, likes the site notbeansagain.com. You type in the ingredients you have (or want to use up) and it shoots back recipes using those ingredients.
Line up Ingredients
Then, if I still have a few more minutes before I have to get out the door, I start lining up the ingredients on the counter — salt, rosemary, bread crumbs, whatever. It’s only 8am and it’s already coming together. I’m relaxing already. I can see the dinner and I can see my family enjoying it! Asking for seconds! Telling their friends their mom is the best cook ever!
OK, I don’t see any of that. But with this 10-minute preparation in the morning, I’m not fearing the evening. I know that even if we get home at 6:30, I’ve got a plan. And, the more I do it, the less pressure there is for each meal to be a success — I’ve had some hits; I’ve had some misses, but I’m finally in the game.
What are your tips for meal prep?
About the Author
While Laura’s official job title is “Stay-at-Home Mom”, her motto is “Give Me 10!” — as in, “Please, just give me 10 minutes a day for myself!” Since 10 minutes is about all the unscheduled time we get in our days, Laura suggests taking those moments to “advance the ball” on your own goals – and little by little you’ll reach them. Through her on-the-job training as a mom of 3, as well as her background in management consulting after graduating from Northwestern University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Laura’s come up with a plan that works because it fits into your life — you don’t need a full-time nanny or a chauffeur. Take a look at her tricks and tips and share your own at www.GiveMe10.info.