I am not a great cook, but I am great at math. Do you realize that preparing 3 meals a day JUST FOR YOURSELF for 30 years comes to 32,850 meals! If each meal takes an average of 30 minutes to prepare, then that is 16,425 hours (684.37 days) of meal preparation (not including shopping time)! That thought makes me want to immediately cut back to 2 meals a day because I AM TIRED OF COOKING! I almost joined Jenny Craig just for the month’s supply of prepared meals, not for the weight loss program. I often hear the claim “homemade is best,” but I think the disclaimer “depending on who is doing the cooking, how much time it takes and who is going to clean the kitchen afterwards,” should be added.
Cooking shows scare me! I watch and try to guess how many people it took to pull the whole show off. Who is responsible for the preparation of the food in all the various stages that appear on the screen? Who cleans all those tiny bowls with the pre-measured ingredients? Did the star pre-measure the ingredients or did a crew member do that? What I do know is that a three minute Egg Plant Parmesan cooking show segment will turn into a 3 hour cooking project in my kitchen.
Occasionally, I have had success with complicated recipes. I once drove across town to buy kumquats because they were only available at one store in the whole city. Ingredient substitutions can be interesting. I substituted a generic brand of almonds in a recipe that called for Marcona almonds. I guess I will need to find Marcona almonds and follow the recipe again to figure out if it was an acceptable substitution. I have a friend who makes her own pasta and her own ice cream. She is cool! Meal preparation with fresh ingredients is preferable, but it realistically isn't going to happen 7 days a week for most of us.
Cooking can be fun, but it can also be stressful. Feeling run down, having a sick child or family member, a demanding job or a hectic schedule can send us straight to the drive thru lane at a familiar fast food chain. Remember, just because it is fast, does not mean it is inexpensive. Ready-made foods can come in real handy on those busy days and keep you away from the fast food drive thru lane, saving you money and calories.
As a child, many Saturday evenings at our house were frozen "TV dinner" nights because my mother was TIRED OF COOKING 24/7 for a family of six. I am happy to tell you that ready-made foods have come a loooooooong way since then. Today, many ready-made foods are prepared without preservatives or artificial ingredients. Low sodium, gluten free, minimally processed and organic options are plentiful! Packaging has improved for storage and for heating. There are so many choices! How do you choose?
My hope is that my reviews will help make the selection process easier for you and will give you a chuckle. If you are juggling with a crazy schedule, want a little more time in the day to enjoy the life around you or you are just TIRED OF COOKING, give a ready-made meal a try. Use the time you save in the kitchen to do something for yourself, play a game with your child, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time or just catch your breath. It is all about balance, so don’t ever feel guilty for being Tired of Cooking!
I Am Tired of Cooking!