Thursday, March 12, 2009

What a Difference a Baby Makes

Cooking is my hobby. As far as hobbies go, cooking is a great one. You have to eat, so you might as well enjoy it. I love every part of the process: from reading cooking articles, dreaming up menus, and shopping for the best ingredients to chopping, stirring, and simmering to serving and eating. (Cleaning up is the one part of the project that I don't love. I now have a dishwasher and am thankful for it every single day.)

I didn't realize how much time I actually invested in preparing our meals everyday until I had a baby. When I was working a full-time office job, I still cooked something from scratch almost every night. I shunned any convenience or prepackaged items, thinking that it was a cop out. I even would make whipped cream with a whisk instead of using an electric mixer.

Within the last two months, however, my tune has changed. Now, I look at a meal and try to figure out how I can prepare it between nursings, diaper changes, and playtime. I have presliced mushrooms in the fridge. I have a stocked up freezer and cook extras so that there are leftovers for the next night.

I'm hoping that eventually things will settle down a bit and I can return to luxuriating over dinner prep. Yet, I still know that some of the things I have come to accept over the past few months are worthwhile time savers. A stocked freezer is nice, leftovers should be enjoyed, and a few short cuts wont affect the flavor.

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