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Old 10-25-2010, 11:42 AM   #41
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I love this discussion! I think (I hope) I can still consider myself to be a young mother at 29 years old with 3 kids ages 4, 2 and 1. I didn't grow up with much exposure to the kitchen aside from the occassional batch of chocolate chip cookies. My grandmother on my mom's side cooked a lot from scratch... but she wasn't what I would call a great cook and I can't say I learned much from her. So... I am self taught I guess you could say. I have loved cooking for most of my life, just never had many opportunities until I got out on my own, and even then, did my time with ramen noodles, mac n cheese, eggs and PB&J sandwiches.

It wasn't until I brought children into the world that I really woke up to the quality of food that is available. I will say, it has been a challenging endeavor getting to where we're at now with the food at our house. I quickly learned that being able to create healthier food for one's family while keeping it affordable requires a good amount of culinary know-how, which I was lacking (still am in some areas!).

My grocery cart used to look a lot like the cart described by the OP. I see those carts at the store every time I go shopping and, yes, I do look at what other people buy. Having 'been there, done that' I'm not too quick to pass judgement on them. Plus, I have my own guilty purchases I'm not proud of on a regular basis (frozen chicken nuggets/fish sticks, chips, sugary granola bars/cereals, Chef Boyardee *gag*, frozen pizzas, etc.) But I hope that whoever is looking at my cart also sees all the other good stuff that would imply I know my way around a kitchen. And to think I actually ENJOY cooking... it must be very difficult for someone who has no interest or dislikes cooking altogether to make that shift over to slower food.

I think GW summed it up pretty well in his post. As a side note, most Yoopers I know seem to have this all figured out! We visited dh's family in the UP for the first time over the summer and I was in 7th heaven in our host's kitchen (his aunt). I learned a lot in that week, including how to make homemade chicken noodle soup.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:30 PM   #42
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Snickerdoodle, I hope you got her pastie recipe! Most self respecting Yoopers make pasties.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:58 PM   #43
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LOL, you know, I'm sure she has one... and I really pushed for a day of female comradarie in the kitchen making pasties but it didn't happen. Love me some pasties!! I have since collected recipes here and there but have yet to try any. The big downer is that dh doesn't really like pasties (what?!?)... He's a 1/4 Finnish and doesn't like pasties???
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:06 AM   #44
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I don't think that lack of time or money should stop you from eating healthy. I just went to the fruit shop and thought how reasonably the veg was compared to frozen ready meals; Also it's not hard to prep a bit of veg,, I often just chuck it in the oven pan with olive oil and seasoning and cook - not hard or time consuming.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:41 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Poppi G. Koullias View Post
I suppose that my working up to 70 hours a week might be seen to be excessive, but work has to be done as I own a motorbike garage and I can not afford taking on more staff. So I go home with my Sainsbury's Cumberland Pie/Fish Pie ready meal, feed my boy and feed myself. But I am a high earner, so can afford to buy high quality ready meals, and suppliment it with fresh fruit for desserts. You earns your money and you spends it likewise.

If, however, I was a stay-at-home-wife, my culinary life would be far different.

At weekends, eating is far different. Everything is cooked. One is relaxed and happy; less stressed. Boy's face is filled, dishes are consigned to the dishwasher and then I'll join my family and watch TV.

Society will always be a high paced mess. It's the sign of the times I'm afraid, and eating has often to be on the hoof.
My apologies if my post was misunderstood. There's nothing wrong with a hard days work, especially if you are doing something you love. Just people near me seem to use a long work day as an excuse to not spend 30 minutes cooking. No matter how long your work day is, no matter how tired you are when you get home, it is ALWAYS worth the extra time. And sure, there are some of those "quick" meals that are better, but they come with a prettier price tag. Anything is used as an excuse to save a buck here, even if people are knowingly damaging their body.

Food, Inc. is a great eye-opener, but I'm sure most, if not all of you here have at least heard of it.

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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
I don't like where our civilization is going. But each of my children follow a path that will fulfill their lives, and give their children the best chance of growing up healthy, happy, and with self respect and dignity. And that's how I work to make the world a little better place, by starting a legacy of loving families who care about each other, and so take the time to try to do things to the best of their abilities for each other, and for their communities. That's my answer to our runaway civilization.

And yep, I know that my way isn't the only way. But in my opinion, it's the best way I know. Let's here it for the Slow Food Movement.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
I don't have many "fond" memories of my childhood, but a few of the more special ones were the family cooking meals together. I can only see myself doing the same for my children, when I finally have them. Spending the time with them teaching them the importance of fresh grown, home cooked meals. For the time being, I can only concentrate on making that future for my fiancee and myself so we can walk the right path... and of course, copying some of the great recipe ideas from forums like this one.

Here's to trying many new dishes!
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:50 PM   #46
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"No matter how long your work day is, no matter how tired you are when you get home, it is ALWAYS worth the extra time."

I happen to be one who really does prefer a healthful, fresh home-cooked meal. But I don't agree that such a preference necessarily means that it's ALWAYS worth the extra time, regardless of work hours or level of exhaustion.

After all, pushing yourself that way could negate the benefits of the meal itself. I'd suggest it's better to be discerning about this whole issue. If such meals are important, prepare them on the days when you feel up to it; otherwise, buy something relatively fresh and healthful.

I don't see this urgency that some others seem to feel about doing something no matter what.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:00 PM   #47
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I happen to be one who really does prefer a healthful, fresh home-cooked meal. But I don't agree that such a preference necessarily means that it's ALWAYS worth the extra time, regardless of work hours or level of exhaustion.

After all, pushing yourself that way could negate the benefits of the meal itself. I'd suggest it's better to be discerning about this whole issue. If such meals are important, prepare them on the days when you feel up to it; otherwise, buy something relatively fresh and healthful.

I don't see this urgency that some others seem to feel about doing something no matter what.
When I was working 12-hour shifts, I didn't have time to cook on those days. Just getting the sleep needed to work those hours was hard to come by. Consequently, I did my cooking on my days off, cooking enough to get through my work days. Now, with 10-hour shifts (recent)...I still find the same time constraints. I do have some extra time each day, but I'm still trying to figure out how to juggle them to get the most of the time I do have.

There are other added considerations, I'm cooking two meals for each meal to accomodate DH's needs.

So, yes...time is needed to cook the way I want to
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:23 PM   #48
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During the week for breakfast we eat healthy oatmeal and cereals quite a bit along with N.F.C. O.J. and homemade Mochas. For lunch, we make salads (sometimes with bag-o varieties if pressed for time) along with a hunk of bread we purchase from a local baker Saturday mornings and keep in a ziplock. For dinner, twice a week we make a big pot/pan of something from scratch - usually Sunday and Wednesday night. Roasted veggies and sausage, meatballs, stew, baked beans, etc. We each do a pot - so we each only cook once a week for dinner.

Friday night is eat-out night at a local restaurant. Saturday we do our shopping, and tend to eat little things here and there as we shop (along with leftovers from eating out Friday night). Sunday we have brunch (usually at home, but sometimes out), and potluck/BBQ dinner with friends/family - except when I'm buried in work.

So really we each only cook once or twice a week (I don't consider pouring a bowl of cereal or chopping a head of lettuce "cooking").

That said, we do have our faults. Twice a week I go directly from work (nights) to my University, and don't have time to stop home for my breakfast or lunch. I tend to skip breakfast, and then eat a lunch much to large at school in the form of a 12,000 calorie salad (taco/buffalo), or 15,000 calorie bowl of noodles with vegetables, tofu, and Sriracha. On these days my wife tends to buy lunch at work, which is sometimes less than healthy.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:32 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Secundinius View Post
My apologies if my post was misunderstood. There's nothing wrong with a hard days work, especially if you are doing something you love. Just people near me seem to use a long work day as an excuse to not spend 30 minutes cooking. No matter how long your work day is, no matter how tired you are when you get home, it is ALWAYS worth the extra time. And sure, there are some of those "quick" meals that are better, but they come with a prettier price tag. Anything is used as an excuse to save a buck here, even if people are knowingly damaging their body.

Food, Inc. is a great eye-opener, but I'm sure most, if not all of you here have at least heard of it.
Hey, thatís very kind of you to write back to me. No, I didnít misunderstand your post. More really my looking quite seriously at the path I was heading on. Because after a long dayís work during which time my boy was being nannyed, I was losing touch with what true family commitment really meant.

Since my last post on this thread, Iíve stopped working the hours, and this was thanks to my partner getting onto me, quite rightly, that Iíd become grumpy and quick to fly off the handle at any little thing. And being borderline alcoholic, there was always that terrible temptation to hit the bottle again. Believe me, having now cut back my hours to just 30 a week has made a huge difference!

Also, I was intending leaving England to return home to Kalymnos, but the financial climate of my country has brutally ruined businesses, so I have no hope of going back except to Mummyís house on holiday.

I havenít heard of Food, Inc. But Iíll have a look sometime.

Just want to thank you very much for writing back. Although a newbie, Iím find it tough here.

Poppi Georgina
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:14 PM   #50
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I don't think that lack of time or money should stop you from eating healthy. I just went to the fruit shop and thought how reasonably the veg was compared to frozen ready meals; Also it's not hard to prep a bit of veg,, I often just chuck it in the oven pan with olive oil and seasoning and cook - not hard or time consuming.
Maybe true. But........these things are expensive.
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