What’s Cooking


We all have those challenges in life where you wonder how on earth can it all get done?  One of the biggest struggles in modern life is what’s for dinner?  How do you cook a balanced meal most nights, have it tasty, fresh and not take forever to prep and cook?  After working all day?  We are currently trying to figure this out.  So is a large part of the rest of the country as well.  All the planning it takes, prepping, and actual time cooking.  How to make sure everything is done and hot at the same time when each thing cooking takes a different amount of time to prep and cook?  How to cook and plan a meal for this this night, leftovers that night, the other dish the next night…so that nothing is repetitive and boring – oh and still nutritious and yummy?

Having an aging parent living with you, who is going through chemo and who has special dietary needs adds to the challenge. Growing up my Mom cooked for us almost every night. And when we had 6 foster kids, she cooked almost every night still.  We always had three balanced meals a day.  I have no idea how she did it.  Actually I do –  First, she loved taking care of others, so it gave her a tremendous amount of joy.  Second she didn’t work.  That is not knocking those who stay home – quite the opposite.  One of the most important things you can do for your family is cook, clean and take care of them.  And it is a lot of hard work.  Thus the challenge.  How to take care of the family as well as you could if you didn’t work, when you do work?

My boyfriend and I, who both work, are trying to figure out how to take care of things in and around the house as well as those who don’t work.  And the truth is – we can’t.  Those who stay home and take care of everything are nothing short of miracle workers.  There are two of us and we, combined, cannot do what my mother did, and there was only one of her.  (But then my mother was magic)

Maybe the trick is in addition to doing it together, you have to decide on a level of un-doneness. Yes, I did just make up that word. What that means is that since we do both work, and we are not miracle workers, we cannot possibly to everything.  So, if we cook great meals 4 nights a week, then eat left overs, sandwiches, soups or pizza the other nights, maybe that is enough.  Add some healthy snacks in there and maybe that is the extent of what we can get done.  Because there is still laundry, still dishes, still vacuuming, still trying to exercise, still quality family times and still trying to have a little smidgen of a social life.

Maybe finding an acceptable level of un-doneness is the secret to keeping the love as well.  There might be dust on the mantle, but if love burns bright in the fireplace, then a warm home cannot be far behind. And that’s what’s cooking at the Burch Manor.

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