Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Real Work of Feeding a Family

We just spent a month away from restaurants. Every meal we ate - breakfast, lunch, and dinner - was prepared at home. There were a two dessert exceptions made; we took our nephew (visiting from Europe) to the local organic ice cream shop (they use liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream on the spot) and one evening we purchased root beer floats from a charitable club as part of their fundraising efforts at an outdoor musical event.

This isn't the first time we have taken a month of from eating at restaurants, although I think it may be the first time we have ever done it without someone else buying us a restaurant meal. One reason I chose July this time around was that I was fairly certain we wouldn't have any extended family gatherings to attend (which almost always happen at restaurants unless I am hosting).

When we have done this before it was all about saving money; this time it was about the foods we eat and also resetting that desire for restaurant meals. Plus I sometimes need the push to make meal plans and carry them out even if I am busy, under the weather, or simply not in the mood for what I have planned. That did happen to us a few times this month; I cooked several days when I wasn't feeling well, and one night when I planned something for dinner which no one wanted I came up with a plan B.

I recognize that for many people, not eating out isn't a choice, but a reality. However, I have also seen documentaries that show that even the very poor in the USA choose to eat fast food, sometimes because they find fast food to be cheaper than cooking at home based on the time available to the them as well as the skill set they have. I've read about people making all sorts of food challenges and decided that this time I wanted ours to be about making permanent changes.