Labor Intensive vs. Time Saving

Quick and easy, 30 minutes or less, make it tonight, minute rice, shortcuts, and even text messaging; all of these are designed to save you time. So where is it? Where is all this time you’re saving? Do yo have some bit account some where with all this “free-time” “banked-time” and the rest of the sort? I know I don’t.

Some may say, “Well it gives me more time to do other things.” That may be a fair argument but think about it. No, really, think about it. What do you use all that “extra time” for? Is the trade off worth it? Is an “LOL” as good as hearing the sound of a loved one laugh?

Why do we, as a culture, villainize “labor”? However we turn around and say “It was a labor of love”. Somewhere along the way we accepted that certain forms of labor were acceptable and others weren’t. Feeding yourself, not to mention if you’re the one responsible for feeding your family should not be a laborious act we put down. Instead it should be one to try to make time for.

The job of proper nutrition is one that will not only keep us healthy but is the ultimate act of loving both yourself and those you feed. Nothing can express your love for someone as much as what you put before them to eat. You are making a statement about what you want their health and person understanding to be about food and nutrition.

I am not saying giving your teenage son a pizza pocket is saying you don’t love him. We all have things that aren’t healthy that we love to eat. Anytime my mom made me waffles I didn’t think that this was a bad example of nutrition and that she didn’t love me. Quite the contrary. Her making me waffles was one of the most touching ways she showed me how much she loved me. Anyone who’s willing to make me fresh waffles every morning must definitely love me. I don’t even do that for my husband!

On that same thought though my mom always put dinner on the table and did her best to make it a balanced meal. Another tradition we grew up with was that for our birthdays we got to ask for anything we wanted for dinner and/or dessert and she would make it for us.

I also understand some of us just simply don’t have the time. I remember when I was in Jr. High and my sisters we in High school there were far fewer nights when we would all sit together to family dinner. Schedules became too chaotic.

This post is about those times when we can take the time. When we SHOULD take the time. Cooking food should be a skill everyone has. Taking the time to prepare food should be an act of pleasure. Sure it’s a lot of work and often there’s a big mess but both the pride you can take in preparing food for your family and seeing them enjoy it should be the reward.

What I object to is when people cut corners because they don’t know how, or they don’t WANT to, or they didn’t plan in advance, or when they are being lazy. Yes, I said lazy. Hey even I get lazy about cooking from time to time but then I notice it and I get back in the game. Some days it can be harder than others. That’s why cooking should be a family activity. Often you will find my husband and I together preparing our meals. I also don’t cook every night. I usually cook one big meal at the beginning of the week that will be dinner Monday – Thursday. Then Friday nights is ALWAYS pizza night! Saturdays my husband takes charge and cooks the dinner and Sundays is something simple like fresh artisan bratwurst from our local butcher or grocery meat counter. Doing this allows me to not get run down cooking all the time but at the same time know that we’re eating high quality fresh ingredients.

So the next time you think about what to have for dinner ask yourself can you take a few extra minutes and make something yourself? If you aren’t cooking where is that time going? and lastly, How healthy is what we’re having and do I know what’s in it?

One last closing thought I wanted to share is that I didn’t always know “how to cook” I didn’t always have “the right tool” and I didn’t know “how to make cooking enjoyable” but after trying, reading, and applying myself I am at a point where I can now share my journey with those who read these posts. Where did I start? With one recipe at a time and one ingredient at a time. Once that worked well I moved on to a new recipe and my skills grew and developed yours can too.

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