by Matuschka Lindo
My favorite part of Mother's Day is I never have to cook! We take my mom to brunch after mass and for dinner my family takes me out! Now for the other 364 days… it goes something like this. What to cook for dinner tonight? Who will even show up to eat it? Who is on a new diet that I have not cooked to its specifications? Welcome to the life of this midlife cook. Cooking daily dinners is no fun anymore. I'd rather cook for holidays or large parties, than dinner 7 days a week. Not sure when what to prepare for dinner turned into anxiety, but cooking dinner for a family with teenagers has made me a short order chef with an even shorter fuse! Recently I took matters into my own hands and started with MOM Does Not Cook on Weekends Anymore. I just won't and don't! Everyone goes out with their friends anyway, it's just too complicated. I can't even begin to express to you what would go down in my house, when I had plans for a great family weekend dinner. Let me set the scene for you. Roasted vegetables in the oven with Barefoot Contessa's awesome Back to Basics cook book recipe. Grilling the meat with a glass of wine in hand, and setting a beautiful table with a small surprise dessert. Sounds great right… fast forward 45 minutes? Husband walks in and says, "Oh babe I had a late lunch with guys after a meeting. I'm full let's just go to a movie." Daughter, "Mom I have a show in 2 weeks. I'm just having a protein shake." Son, "Mom I need pasta, so I'll just pick something up. I have to carb up. I have a 9:30pm hockey game." There I stood with BBQ utensil in hand alone on my deck, ready to skewer my entire family!
This is what transpired afterwards. We had a family meeting that night. Can I just say, when I call for a family meeting it's not good! Hispanic screaming genes are flaring and getting ready to spew in full force! I announced that I was no longer cooking weekends. That shipped had sailed 1.5 hours ago when I was on the deck! I demanded a family dinner with everyone at the table 4 nights a week minimum and that's when I would cook or get carry out, My Choice! And on those chosen afternoons, EVERYONE was sitting and eating at MY dinner table. I have found easy dinner recipes and great deals like Monday Family Carry-Out Dinners every week at The Art of Entertaining for $25.00. *Special for Matuschka's Midlife Mayhem Below*
I no longer want the thought of dinner to turn me into a crabby wife/mom. That's not who I want to be or how I want to be remembered by my family. I am finding that less is more. Four nights of quality family dinners is less stressful, more enjoyable, and easier to commit too at this stage in our lives. Doesn't mean that they don't still complain about what I serve. But they tread very carefully in fear of another family meeting. In two years it will just be me and the hubby. I don't think I will ever go back to cooking weekends and chances are I will shave off a few more nights of cooking. It's okay ladies. Its better than boiling over and resenting dinner. I have already started changing up my menus for the future after reading a great article on how to Downsize your Dinners for two again. The good news is cooking for less means you can splurge on better quality and healthier variety. I also look forward to cooking a little more gourmet for two and knowing the time and effort that goes into it… will be more appreciated. "What's for dinner?" I don't dread those words anymore and I no longer feel guilty when I say, "Pizza, I didn't feel like cooking!"
Matuschka's Midlife Mayhem SPECIAL for Monday, May 12, 2014
Say you read My Blog and get a FREE Quart of Soup
*MONDAY FAMILY DINNER / ART OF ENTERTAINING*
$25.00 plus tax / Feeds 4
2 Small Casseroles
(15 to choose from, also have gluten free, sodium free and light)
Large Garden Salad
Half Loaf of Italian Bread
Four Cookies of Your Choice
Additional Free Soup Monday, May 12, if you Mention My Blog
(Six types of soups to choose from)
Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...