Why I Do the Things I Do

I can’t answer this question about everything, but I can about making dinner for my family most nights.

1. I’m a control freak and this is something I can control. I can’t do much about 80 degree weather on March 1st or the war in Afghanistan, but I can make sure my family eats nutritious food most of the time. Eating at home and making most of our meals from scratch allows me to control what goes into our bodies – allows me to make sure our bodies have “good energy” (this is how I explained it to Luca when he was a toddler). It seems like there is a news story every day or so which convinces me this is a good thing for me to do. Have you seen the headlines about pink slime? Or Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me?

Do we always eat nutritious, whole foods? No and no. I aim for 80% of the time. And, I am always trying to cut out processed food. Right now, I am down to snacks and Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese. I still buy crackers (healthier versions, but processed nonetheless), granola bars, and sometimes COOKIES (you know, the NATURAL Oreos). A bag of potato chips occasionally finds its way into the cupboard over the sink too. The only thing that is completely off-limits in our house is soda. So, perfect we are not.

2. I’m cheap. Making our own food is less expensive than going out or buying the frozen variety. And, it tastes better . . . usually.

3. I enjoy trapping my family at the dinner table and subjecting them to my cooking. And more importantly “Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.” Whew! It’s like the family meal is religion or something. We do not eat together every night – about 4-5 nights a week. Like everyone else, we have Scouts or school activities or yoga (ahem), but I am trying hard to maintain this as sacred time for our family.

Is our evening meal always the site of jovial chatting about the days events? No, but we keep trying.

4. We don’t eat anything that ever had a face or a butt. If we ate frozen meals or at restaurants, our choices would be pizza or pasta or pasta or pizza or fried rice. End of story.

5. It’s kind of a hobby. Or an obsession? I don’t know which – there is such a fine line between the two. I like to curl up with a good cookbook whenever possible. Trolling the internet for recipes can be a stress reliever for me. I probably spend more time on Pinterest than I should, but I can’t help it. So many recipes so little time. And, I window shop in food stores – yes, I do.

Why do you prepare meals at home?