October 11, 2010 by Marj Hatzell

With the husband away in Belgium (he’s going there to get me overpriced chocolates because he loves meeeee), there’s no finer time to herniate an already degenerated sacral disc, don’t you think? I’ve done a very good job this particular time, complete with severe muscle spasms and numbness.I get around by holding onto walls and furniture.The timing couldn’t be better, since Bugaboo is also off from school today.

Lucky for me I have family, friends and awesome neighbors, all willing to pitch in and do things like bathe Bugaboo for the umteenth time for the day and throw the frisbee for Crazy Daisy the Border Collie for four hours a day. They also switch over my laundry and cook me dinner. I think I need to hurt myself more often, except for the part where I can’t sit or recline and mostly hunch over in pain and shuffle around the house in my slippers.

Add to that the fact that our desktop computer (the main one, the one that has all keyboard keys, unlike the laptop I’m using now that is missing thirteen) has been stricken with some gosh-awful virus or malware and I’d say it’s been a banner weekend.One for the books, you might say. I might say, “IT FREAKING SUCKED, YO.” But that’s just me.  We’re all entitled to our opinion.

Which is why I’m about to give you my opinion.

So several sibs came over last night and hung out and made dinner and helped and whatnot and as we sat around on my glorious new(ew) patio, enjoying the unseasonably spring-like weather, we chatted about cooking. Somehow the topic turned to home-cooked meals. Specifically, we discussed the fact that some folks think that home-cooked or from-scratch dinners are “spoiling” your family.   Like, it should be convenience food or takeout or something.And my family is all, “NUH UH.” Because we are of the same mindset and feel that home-cooked is a given and takeout and boxed and frozen and pre-prepared foods are an EXCEPTION in our house. I mean, it’s the freaking least I could do for them. They deserved warm/hot (or room temperature, in my children’s case), tasty, healthy meals and it’s my job to provide them. That’s the role I’ve chosen.And occasionally I flake or get overwhelmed and my knight in shining armor (who is bringing me CHOCOLATES. HINT HINT) brings home something to toss on the grill and a fresh veggies. Because he’s THE MAN, yo.

So. I don’t get it. Most people I know make crap out of boxes each and every night. Convenience meals.Easy stuff that gets nuked and takes minutes to prepare.  They don’t even boil pasta. They don’t chop veggies. They nuke it and eat it.  And I’m of the mindset that while I’m not a gourmet cook, I am a decent one (except for that unfortunate lemon-pepper stir fry incident, but my poor husband has blocked that out).  And it really, really doesn’t take that much time to prepare a decent, home cooked meal.

Claiming you don’t have time is a copout.  Trust me, with Bugaboo around meals must be quickly and easily prepared. Come on over sometime and witness it for yourself.

Claiming you don’t know how? COP OUT. The Internets, yo. Use them.

Claiming you don’t have the money for fresher, less-boxed, less-instant meals? Cop out. Boxed convenience meals are much, much more expensive. And not so healthy, y’all.

Claiming your family is too large and you must feed them cheaply? Cop out. Check out Just sayin’.

So yeah, you’re gonna disagree with me but if you put a teensy bit of effort into it, you could be cooking better.  To me, cooking and providing basic sustenance is the best thing you can do for your family.  Sitting around the table sharing a meal is the second best thing.  It’s important.  It’s necessary.  It’s not that hard to do it.

And not doing it?  It’s (dare I say?) borderline lazy.  Or it is lazy, since some of my friends admit to that. They detest cooking.  They don’t want to take the time to prepare it. They have the money so they’d rather buy X meal or Y meal.  What’s the big deal?

Your kids. Your kids are a big deal. And so are mine.

So. I’m challenging you.  Try a little harder and stop making excuses. Use Teh Googles to find recipes and figure out ways to save money. Buy a crockpot.  Buy simple ingredients. YOU CAN DO THIS. Your family will thank you for it. Don’t believe me?  Remember, my kids are on that freaking expensive $5 diet and we can make it work.

Just sayin’.

10 thoughts on “Spoiled

  1. GeekChick says:

    Also, check out Angel Food Ministries – they have meat packages at ridiculously low prices. And the more people that opt in, the cheaper it gets….

  2. Krista says:

    Marj….I couldn’t agree with you more. If you can read, you can cook!

  3. Tex Azarus says:

    I am so lucky- pfc and I both love to cook- and eat.

  4. LOL, i think you just need to raise up your confidence ::D

  5. She Started It says:

    We’re not fully homecookers. We don’t ever eat fast food, or from restaurants that don’t cook food on site with fresh ingrediants. But when I make green pea, potato & chick pea curry, I use chick peas from the can, and the curry sauce is from Whole Paycheck. I cook the potatoes, add the frozen green peas, the sauce, and the chick pea curry. I don’t make curry sauce from scratch. It has never once turned out right. I do cook dry beans all the time into homemade soups and stews, but chick peas come from the can.

    I don’t make my bread. I buy it from a local bakery that makes it every day using only 5 ingredients. That’s good enough for us.

    Our pasta comes from boxes, though we add the fresh veggies to it. Every Friday night, our pizza is Amy’s frozen. We eat brown rice from a bag and cooked in a rice cooker. Every day my kids eat 8-10 servings of fresh, organic fruit and raw or lightly steamed veggies. I pack the kids lunches 4 days a week. My pie shells are whole wheat organic frozen for the quiche– the rest of which I make from scratch.

    So we do cook (except pizza night), but we try to wisely use boxed and canned things that make things easier, too. I really don’t like spending a significant part of my day in the kitchen.

  6. Amanda says:

    You’re right. They could be making the same thing that those boxed dinners produce in the end, in the same amount of time, but with fresh ingredients instead. That’s how I started. We were doing the Hamburger Helper thing as a young couple on our own. Then one day I had the epiphany that with some noodles and meat, I could make the sauce, and do the box on my own. My cooking grew from there to where it is now. I’m still learning, but almost all the meals I make are 30 minute meals, and I was doing it before Rachael Ray made it popular.

  7. Amanda says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention, if you make friends with someone in the military, we have those chocolates in our commissaries for Christmas. I saw the sea shell chocolates my SIL sent me from Germany one year just the other day on the shelves by our checkout lines.

  8. kristastes says:

    Marj I’m sorry about your back!! EEEP! Hope you’re feeling better!! And AMEN to good, quick, healthy home cookin! If I can do it, anyone can!

  9. choosy says:

    Sorry to hear about your back – I threw mine out on Sunday morning making my daughter’s bed – We’re twins!

    As to home cooked meals. We both work. I get home at 5:30 (if I’m lucky) every night. I do my best to make sure they have good food. But it has to be fast. And while I do make casseroles on the weekends to eat during the week most nights it’s quick and fast and quick.

    For me, it’s not a cop out -it’s just prioritizing my time. I need to help my daughter with homework for 45 minutes each night, I spend my time where I can.

    And I love to cook. Truly. But 30 minute meals are my speciality and they all involve a can or a box at some point in the process.

    Ah well.

  10. […] husband traveled to Europe. Several times. Twice while I had a herniated […]

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