Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What to Do When You Don't Feel Like Cooking Supper

Because I have been blogging about my yummy meals lately, some people have gotten the wrong impression.  They think that I am some kind of superwoman who always loves cooking for my family!  Wrong! 

While I do enjoy cooking and puttering about in my kitchen, I get tired of cooking just like anyone else, and sometimes I get downright burned out.  Just as a reminder -- I didn't cook for at least two weeks while my old kitchen was packed up and my new kitchen was not yet operational.  During that time, we ate lots of fast food.  Just try going on a fast food diet for a couple weeks, and you will be eager to prepare home-cooked meals for yourself and your family!!!! 

So, what do you do when you just don't feel like cooking supper for your family??

First, identify the reason.  Is it because you are tired?  stressed?  overwhelmed?  Or because you don't know what on earth to prepare?  Or because your kitchen is a mess?  Or just because you are feeling unmotivated?

Obviously, the solution depends on the problem.  Planning meals ahead of time and having a well-stocked pantry and a tidy kitchen will make the task easier.  However, sometimes you just need a little push to get going. 

Honestly, I did not feel like starting supper last night.  I came home later than expected from the grocery store and the children had not properly cleaned up the kitchen after lunch.  I felt tired, unmotivated and overwhelmed by the mess.  Plus, I had a whole bunch of groceries to put away!  So, while the children helped me put away the groceries,  I argued with myself about cooking dinner.   Fortunately, I won!!!   ;)  I knew that once I got started it wouldn't be so bad -- so I started formulating a plan of action to motivate myself.   Since I love it when a plan comes together, I thought I'd share my plan with you!

The next time you don't feel like making supper, why not try following these steps??

1.  Fix yourself a cup of hot tea or coffee (or iced tea or water -- depending on the weather!) and sit down for five or ten minutes and read a blog that inspires you as a homemaker or look up a new recipe on or some other site.  Set a timer, if need be, so that you stay on track.  The key is just to get inspired -- not derailed!

2.  Now that you've had a booster shot, get up and tie a pretty apron around your waist and get to work.

3.  Light a scented candle in your kitchen and put on some music you like, or make your own music by singing or humming while you work.

4.  Quickly unload the dishwasher, if you have one.  Challenge yourself to work as fast as you can.  Try to do it in 3 minutes.

5.  Quickly reload the dishwasher, as needed.  Once again, see how fast you can accomplish this task.  If it is full, go ahead and put soap in and run it.

6.  Fill up the sink with warm, soapy water and wash all the dirty dishes you see that don't go in the dishwasher.  Work quickly, singing as you go.

7.  Take your dishcloth and wipe all the countertops and the stovetop.

8.  Now, with your kitchen surfaces all clean, get out your recipe and start your meal prep.  (It is certainly permissible to wisely use your clean up time by putting some meat in the microwave to defrost during that time, if need be.)

9.  Drop any dirty dishes you make into your soapy water, and while you wait for your meat to brown or your water to boil, wash dishes.  Wipe up any messes on your counters as you make them.  You will be so glad later if you clean up as you go!

10. While your food is cooking, set the table.  Look for small ways to make it look special.

11. Once you've completed your meal prep, set your table, and washed your dishes, sit down and prop your feet up and reward yourself with a few more minutes of computer time while your meal cooks.  Or look through a magazine.

12.  Enjoy the fruit of your labors as you partake of a nutritious, home-cooked meal with your family!  :)

You'll be amazed how well this plan works and how quickly you can get something on the table once you get started!   So, what's for dinner at your house??


Rebecca's Refining said...

This happens to me quite often! Either I am not hungry, don't know what to make, or maybe simply don't "feel" like making anything! I will have to give your "steps to success" a try! :)

Also, these times of unmotivation can extend outside the kitchen to any area of housework or responsibilites!

As with everything in life, it often is a spiritual battle with the flesh.... and sometimes we just need that motivation or inspiration to take the next right step.

I will probably try to implement some of these steps today...I have some huge cleaning tasks to accomplish!

Mrs. Stam said...

what a encouraging pot! I love when I'm very tired or busy with the little one just to make P&J sandwich with a twist! I'll use a cookie cutter and cut fun shapes and have pieces of bananas on ht each plate with raisin and chocolate milk, our little one are exited for this feast and little that they know that Mama was not felling up to make it for them :-)

Taryn said...

Last evening I did not feel like cooking dinner. My daughter(20)-fifth child- asked me if I felt like tomato soup and grilled cheese(real cheese not cheese product) sandwiches. Angela started cooking. Then my second son who lives downstairs with his family brought up some homemade macaroni and cheese. I had not said a word about how tired I was. I watch our granddaughters(2, 18 months and 9m.) and homeschool our 6th child.

Noel said...

Wonderful points! The apron thing really does help - it's all mental :)

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing your steps.

Sometimes I am less than motivated to cook dinner, especially if the kitchen is dirty and I have to clean it first.

Next time I am stuck on dinner, I will implement these steps! Thanks for sharing!

Gayle said...

I have been there and done that a gazillion times!

One of the things that *always* takes the wind out of my sails is when the "pickens get slim". If I am a day or so before grocery time, I find that I really struggle with the gumption to cook. Because it usually involves using my imagination, and at the end of a long day, that's the last thing I'd like to do. ;)

But I do alot of the things that you've mentioned and they really, really do work!

We have cable at the moment, so oftentimes, I'll turn on the Food Network and just relax for a 30 minute show. I am usually sufficiently inspired afterward to cook for my Crew.

Great post!

Lisa Grace said...

I really liked this post; I'm going to link to it from my blog today ... it's exactly what I go through a few nights a week!

Rebecca said...

Oh, wow! This was a great (and convicting) post. If I've neglected to write out menus for the week, or keep my kitchen neat during the day, I'm tempted to just give my family cereal or sandwiches for supper instead of re-grouping and making a nourishing meal. Printing and posting this one on the side of my fridge :-)

Oh Sew Good said...

Love this article. I think I'll go shopping for a pretty apron today. I'm guessing you'd rather hear I was cooking but I don't pass up a good opportunity to shop. :) No seriously! I think an apron would inspire me. Your article certainly has. I have a feeling it won't be too difficult to come up with something from now on. Thanks!!!

busymomof10 said...

Oh Sew Good,

You would love my daughter Tiffany's apron -- it says, "Born to Shop, Forced to Cook!" :) I think she found it at Ross -- if you have one. It would be perfect for you, I think! :)

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