Cooking for those who hate cooking

You’ve probably picked this up by now, but I’m not a big fan of cooking.

I’d rate cooking as being about as enjoyable as ironing, cleaning the bathroom or mowing the lawn. Unlike ironing, cleaning the bathroom and mowing the lawn however, I have to cook every day. Ick.

I’m amazed by the number of cooking shows on tv. Is it not enough that we have to cook everyday? We have to watch other people on TV doing it too? I’m waiting for the launch of MasterLaunderer. A show where contestants compete in stain removal, brightest brights and making your clothes feel like you’re wearing a million baby duck feathers. I would watch that.

Oops, went off on a bit of a tangent there…

squirrel-up-dog-gifSo,

I’m very lucky to have a husband who enjoys cooking and does it well. In the past he has taken on the lions share of cooking, but now that I’m home most days, I’m cooking a lot more. When Matt’s away with work, all cooking responsibilities fall to me, so I’ve had to devise some ways of feeding myself and Miss E, without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

One of my strategies is to cook during Miss E’s nap times in the middle of the day, when I’m not worn out, and still have a little enthusiasm to bring to the process. If I cook just before dinner time I’m usually frazzled by the million other things going on at that time of the day (Miss E waking from her nap, then having her dinner, bath, bottle, bedtime story and bed, as well as Matt coming home some time in there, all in the space of an hour and a half). If I can avoid cooking at the same time, I’m sure I’m far more pleasant to be around.

I start off by cleaning any dirty dishes, clearing off benches and making sure the dishwasher is ready for a load of dirty dishes.

I then start preparing several meals at once. If I have to be in the kitchen, I make it worth my while and do as much as possible in one hit.

A few days ago I had an hour of power in the kitchen and whipped up some puree’s, some play dough, and a few freezer meals at the same time.

banana and strawberry puree 1As we get closer to the end of the week, I look through the fruits we seem to have an abundance of and make up some puree’s to freeze. This lot is a punnet of strawberries (they were cheap this week) and two bananas.

banana and strawberry puree 2and because I already have the stick mixer out, I make up some peach and apricot puree’s out of some preserved out of season fruit I had in the pantry.

IMG_5365

IMG_5366

IMG_5367I freeze ready-made baby meals in a Heinz freezer tray. After 24 hours in the freezer I pop them out, and put the cubes into ziplock bags in the freezer.

In between batches of puree, I made some stir fry and rice.

stirfryIf you don’t have a rice cooker, get one. They’re pretty cheap, super simple to use and wash, and they make life much easier!

riceI made up some freezer meals, and the next day’s lunches.

stirfry 2and while waiting for the stir fry to cool, before I put it in the fridge and freezer, I made a batch of play dough as well.

playdoughThen when it was all done, I put as much as I could possibly fit in the dishwasher and set it going, then cleaned up. Apart from our good knives, anything that fits goes in our dishwasher, if it can’t go in the dishwasher, it can’t live here. I have a similar policy for clothes and the washing machine.

So that’s that. An hour of pain in the kitchen, for a few days gain 🙂

Do you have any other fabulous techniques for making cooking quick and painless?

Abby xx

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