Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time For Supper

I'm a firm believer that cooking and eating at home is one of the best ways to save money. It's also a great way to serve your family nutritious meals.

By the time late afternoon rolls around, though, I'm sometimes too tired or too involved in other things to want to stop and cook supper. Sometimes, if I eat to much for lunch or eat lunch too late, I'm still full as evening approaches and the last thing I want to do is cook.

I've found, for me, the best time to cook supper is before lunch. If it's a meal that won't hold well for the day, I like to make most of it early in the morning, cool it a little, then stick it in the fridge to reheat just before serving. If it's something that will hold well, I try to make it late in the morning, then put it in the Crock Pot on low, or in a barely-warm oven, to hold until it's time to eat. This works especially well in the winter when we tend to eat a lot earlier in the evening.

I had fallen out of this habit over the summer, and there were just too many days when dinner didn't get made well (or at all, sometimes) because I got busy with chores and activities outdoors. I've recently reestablished this habit and I'm glad that I have. My days flow more smoothly now, and there's a lot less temptation for us to go out to eat, call for delivery or skip meals in lieu of snacks and junk food for dinner.

When do you prepare dinner for your family? Does anyone else like to cook early in the day like I do?


Leanne said...

Oh I love having dinner made (or least on its way) early in the day. I get a strange sense of satisfaction from knowing that its already done and all I have to do is serve it. I don't get that when I cook right before I serve strangely enough. Same outcome but a different result:)

Annie Jones said...

Leanne: I get that feeling, too. It's more than just having something marked off my to-do list; it's a feeling of having intentionally taken care of something good and wholesome for my family. If I wait until later in the day, it just seems I'm in a mad rush to get things on the table.

Anonymous said...

It's always my goal to get dinner started as early as possible. I just finished putting together a casserole to bake later! I try to get things going in the morning, but sometimes other tasks take precedence. Being able to take the time to do this in the middle of the day is one of the perks of working from home.

Annie Jones said...

Janet: I agree that being at home has it's advantages when it comes to preparing meals. When I worked outside the home, I used my crockpot a lot and also cooked ahead on Sunday for the week. I always envied my co-workers who lived close enough to go home for lunch; I would have have used that time to get dinner started.

Lisa said...

I prefer cooking earlier but I don't always have my act together and get it done. This is my first year with all the kids in school full-time so I'm still working out a schedule for myself.

I've also had days when I ate lunch late and then didn't feel like cooking, or I've spent all day cleaning, especially the kitchen, and didn't feel like messing it up again right away!

Lisa @ joyincooking.blogspot.com