If you are a regular reader of our Motley Moms blog, you have certainly heard about our adventures in Once a Month Cooking. Since last summer several of us have gathered one day a month to, well, cook (hence the title Once a Month Cooking). On that day we prepared enough meals to feed our families for the month, and doing this saved us time and money.
For several reasons we have decided to skip cooking this month, and I was more than a little nervous when I realized that my normally full-of-dinner freezer would no longer be able to help me feed my family. Even more unnerving was the realization that I would need to begin actually planning our meals again. I have never been good at this. I always end up at the grocery store hastily grabbing things that look like dinner only to return home and discover that I bought sauce but no pasta or marinade but no meat.
Well, yesterday after a morning at the question-writing office, I grocery store-ed and produce stand-ed my way home to a kitchen just waiting for dinner prep. I took out our standard Saturday night spaghetti sauce and started browning some ground beef. I remembered the squash and zucchini I had purchased, and I reached into the drawer for my knife. My knife. I watched as she sliced effortlessly through green and yellow and left a confetti of little cubes to add to our sauce. I remembered how excited I was the first time I chopped garlic with her after bringing her home from the store on my birthday. The poor thing hasn't seen much action lately since my cooking has been so sporadic. We worked together to create a beautiful meal, and I felt like a Teppanyaki chef at his hibachi (though I probably looked more like the Swedish Chef on the Muppet Show). I was a creator of food, not just a cook, and it felt good to do that again.
So, I'm still not that comfortable with planning our meals, and I will probably still need to improvise when I forget a few ingredients on my shopping trips, but I am excited about using some creativity again in the kitchen. I think my knife is happy to be back in the game, too.
I must confess that we did chop so much that we were able to divide last night's sauce into two meals, one of which is happily waiting in the freezer for another night. Hey, you don't expect me to cook every day, do you?