March 14, 2024

Dinner prep, meals, the value of time and the value of food.

I started a line a day journal in 2021 (actually my first post was December 31st 2020, because I am sometimes a rebel).  It's interesting for noticing trends.  For instance - it appears that I don't like March 13th.  in 2021 I complained about Lilah's bad sleep (it was terrible!!) and then 2022 Lilah didn't have a second nap for the first time and in 2023 I wasn't sure about work and in 2024... well it was fine.  It was cold, it was rainy, I spent basically all day making dinner and watching two babies and doing 2 loads of laundry.

I'm still keeping my time log but sometimes I feel I am writing "baby, feed baby, laundry, tidy, dinner prep, sleep" on repeat.  I know I should probably aspire to more than tidying and dinner prep... but here we are.  

What I realised about dinner prep is that I value cooking and eating good food.  I haven't been cooking recently because we have been in twin survival mode.  At the same time, I haven't been feeling great about what we do eat.  On Tuesday I made a try of fish fingers, fishcakes, broccoli and carrot then stuck it in the oven and served it with steamed rice.  We've had this a lot recently, mostly without the broccoli and carrots.  That type of food is fine and serves a need, but I am tired of eating it.  I want food made from real food.  Not machine food.

It takes time to make real food. I'm not cooking fancy, but vegetables take time to prepare.  Yesterday I made burrito bowls for dinner (because kids hate eating anything mixed together, so this was an assemble at the table dinner).  Over the course of the day I made pinto beans, roast sweet potato, quinoa, corn, cheese, avocado.

Chopping sweet potatoes took 15 minutes.  Chopping veg for slow cooker pinto beans took another 15 minutes.  Making Quinoa was super easy but I still had to look up a recipe and measure the quinoa and water.  Grating cheese takes time. Chopping avocado takes a minute. Defrosting corn and putting it in a bowl was another minute.  Setting the table, putting out enough serving spoons, making sure the kids have water cups.  Nothing takes no time at all... and then I have to set the table too.  I probably spent upwards of 1 hour on food prep throughout the day.  Split across 4 naps.  

The dinner was good, although I ate it cold because the babies woke up for their dinner at exactly dinner time.

[6:18am Interlude - I can hear my kiddos coughing in bed upstairs.  How come little kids don't realise they will cough way less if the just BLOW THEIR NOSES!]

I do love the philosophy of "don't spend all day cooking and meal prepping and tidying" but I am also aware that our recent meals have not been in accordance with my values. I value good home made food for me and my family.  Unfortunately food/cooking time comes from other time... and I don't have a lot of leisure time.  So if I'm going to value nutritious home-made food, I'm going to value it enough to use my valuable time cooking it.


  1. I hear you! It's all too predictable how a "30 minute meal" becomes "30 minutes after an hour long grocery trip and 40 minutes of chopping". I don't have the solution but I'm all too familiar with the problem;-)

  2. I hear you on all of this, especially on the nose blowing! Stop sucking the snot back into your head!! And then maybe you won't cough whenever you are laying down. 🤦🏼‍♀️ -Kat

    1. One of my kids does a blow suck. A pathetic blow into a tissue and then a massive suck in. Whyyyyy it’s al going to come out eventually whyyyyyy!

  3. Little kids seem allergic or morally opposed to blowing their noses. It is infuriating. -rachel