Making time by making dinner (in a crockpot)
Posted February 25, 2010on:
Amber’s subject on Crafting her Life this week is time management; specifically, how we do it with kids. I’d already decided years ago that, when I had a kid, he/she would be the priority and if dinner didn’t get made so be it. That’s what the delivery menus on top of the fridge are for. The only thing I’m persnickety about is toilets. The toilets get cleaned without fail every week.
I have this recurring idea about tying swiffer cloths to the baby’s knees so that she’ll swiffer the floor when she crawls around, but she’d probably eat them. And while it’s good to get more fibre in your diet, I’m not sure that’s the kind of fibre they mean. Instead, I have a roomba which I love to no end. I just clear the floor, set up the virtual walls if necessary, turn it on and leave the house for an hour or more. It’s awesome and gets about 90% of the stuff, which meets my “Good Enough” standard.
My theory is, make as much time as you can. Cut corners. Like, leave the spilled cheerios on the floor if they’re not too much in the way – the baby will eat them later anyways. We call these floorios. (Hey, the floor’s clean; I ran the roomba!)
You may know this by now, but I hate cooking. I can do it, and I’m pretty decent at it, I just hate it. The chopping, the prepping, the CONSTANT WASHING OF THE HANDS AND OMG, MY CUTICLES. There’s a reason those cooking shows make it look so easy: they have entire teams of people to do the prep work for them.
At least once a week, usually twice, I’ll make a chunk of meat for us to eat. Usually a chicken, often a roast if I have one in the freezer, and I usually have at least one. Because I’m hate cooking (and really, the constant basting with a chicken is just a pain in the butt), I’ll often use my crockpot. In the past, I always managed to overcook the meat, resulting in tough chicken and tougher roasts.
Awhile back I ordered a crockpot with my airmiles that has a meat thermometer. And it has automatic settings for beef, poultry and other things (venison, maybe? not that we eat Bambi). And it’s brainless. Season the meat however you like (if you’re making a chicken, put in a rack or make 7 or 8 balls of tinfoil and put them in the bottom with the chicken on top), tie the legs of the chicken if necessary, shove the thermometer in, and cycle through the “Auto” settings until you get to the one you want.
I’m still not sold on beef roast in the crockpot, but the chicken comes out falling-apart tender (no really, I was removing one from the crockpot and it literally fell apart down the middle and onto the floor, which was really annoying and the Poptart learned some new words that day which I’m hoping she won’t remember).
Today, I mixed up some garlic, brown sugar, olive oil and some spices, slapped it on and in the chicken, tied the bird up and threw it in the pot. It’s almost done now, and it took me all of 5 minutes preparation.
That bird will be sandwiches for Darren’s lunch tomorrow, salad on Saturday at lunch, and salad or sandwiches for lunch on Sunday.
So I cut a few corners, and consider it Good Enough, and I get a few minutes extra to myself. Or to play with the baby. Or drag my neighbour out for a walk while I schlep the baby on my back.
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