TALK TECH A “Recipe” To Solve Your Meal Planning Quandry by Marilyn R. Wilson 40
Creating meals is both a blessing and a curse. When you have a great idea, a new recipe to try, or people over for dinner with weeks to plan, shop and prep – it can be fun. Where cooking becomes a burden for me is coping with the daily grind of what to eat. This was especially true back when I had small children underfoot. Figuring out what to serve for breakfast, lunch (at home and bag lunches for school), dinner, and snacks every day, 365 days a year, was an exercise in patience. I assume a few people might embrace it with joy, but for most of us, it wears thin. What I learned about cooking at home was limited. My mum was raised in the Midwest on a farm, then spent her early married years in a very small town there. Global food distribution was minimal, so food was basic and seasonal, with lots of canned and frozen veggies and “salads” made from Jello. When we moved to the West Coast, her cooking expanded, but not as much as you would think. That was the era of women starting to work outside the house, so convenience food like casseroles using canned soup, Shake-N- Bake, and TV dinners was all the rage. We also didn’t have money for fancy restaurants where we might have been exposed to more diverse dishes. Hence, I am mostly selftaught and often find myself intimidated by the skills of those around me who seem so comfortable creating meals from what resides in their fridge. Recipes have been my saving grace. It took years of trial and error to finally figure out when reading a recipe what might work and what might not be so great; to figure out what mattered and what didn’t if you were missing 41
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