Monday, January 28, 2008

The dinner problem

Yes, once again I have gone forever without blogging. I have no excuse and therefore I won't even try making one.


Things have been good since R and I started living together in October. We work well as a team (for the most part) so I can truly say it's been a fun experience to get settled in, work out where to put furniture, etc. The apartment is of course a work in progress (and probably will be for a while), but it's coming together.

The one thing we haven't worked out yet, though, is dinner. Both of us work, and unfortunately both of us work in offices where it is considered a slow day if you are able to leave at 6pm. I have really gotten fed up with this mentality (as has R), but I will save that rant for another day.

But since neither of us can really leave the office until 7:00 or so, it is usually about 8:00 when we get home. And the prospect of coming home and then starting dinner, meaning that we won't eat until around 9:00, is not appealing for either of us. (And that doesn't even figure in time to stop at the store and buy ingredients...)

So what is the solution? We have pretty much been eating out every night. This is of course not entirely economical, but our neighborhood has a lot of cheap restaurants. But more than that, I don't think it is very healthy. We need to eat more vegetables and fresh foods and reduce oil and fat, which is hard to do when you eat out every day.

What does everyone else do? Make meals ahead of time and freeze them? Use a crock pot? I'd like to hear your ideas!!


Helen said...

I do use a crockpot sometimes, but I find the price of meat here to be really expensive. It's hard to "fill" my crockpot. Also, my husband doesn't really do the leftovers thing, so not sure it works out that well.

I work late quite a lot and I don't feel like cooking either. We do a lot of eating out as well. I try to cook decent meals sometimes, but it doesn't always work. Hubby does cook too, which is helpful. He makes Japanese food, which I don't. Some nights when I work late, I'll come home and find dinner almost ready for me. :-)

Gina said...

That's a good question. A tough one though to answer with no real easy answer is there? : )

You both work full time, and it's no wonder after working a full day at the office, who'd wanna go home and roll up their sleeves and start cooking and preparing a meal. Even I wouldn't wanna do that. Never mind the shopping trip to buy said groceries and geeze, eating dinner by say, 10pm? And forget the dishes by that time, huh? I can see how this is a total toughie.

Honestly, I'd opt for eating out most nights, if I was in your situation too. Because of the sheer speed and quickness. And you mentioned affordable choices where you live. Honestly I'd eat out every night of the week. Especially if I was pre-kids.

Okay not helping with ideas am I? Ha ha ha, sorry. : )

How about trying the crock pot thing one time and see how that works? Or how about you and your DH, take turns cooking? Say, you do Monday and Wednesday and he cook Tuesday and Thursday and on Friday you guys go out to eat? Okay, I am just winging it here. Also, could you do crock pot on say, Sunday and have it ready to go on Monday, so when you guys get home, it's ready. Ohhh, I dunno. Sorry.

This is a tough question though. Glad you guys are living together though. And heck, never mind about the apartment being finished or not. Even our house, isn't finished in decoration mode yet. Probably never will be. He he he. : )

Mande's J-Life said...

Oh, this is a topic I NEVER tire of!!!!!! I am going to blog my response on my own blog tonight and you can read that. I had been wanting to write about it anyway. Please wait til later tonight to see my post.

deenster said...

Wow, thanks for your comments, everyone!

Helen: I completely agree with your opinion that meat here is expensive. Luckily my crockpot is very small so it's easy to fill, but that means that it's too small for a lot of the US crockpot recipes (and I am not a skilled enough cook yet to know how to adjust the liquid and ingredients and everything for a smaller crockpot) and I really don't find too many Japanese crockpot recipes. That's great that your DH cooks for you!! :-) That's something that R is getting better about, so maybe there is hope! :-)

Gina: You know, when I read your comment, it really made me wonder *why* I feel so guilty about eating out every night...and I don't know why! I guess I worry about not eating a balanced diet, but we could compensate to a certain degree by being careful when we order (i.e. getting a salad for a side instead of some super salty tsumami or something). Thanks for pointing that out! Makes me feel better! Also, I'm trying to tell myself that apts/houses are *meant* to be never-ending projects...ha ha ha!

Mande: Heading over to your blog right now to check out your post. Thanks!

illahee said...

i find that pre-made food helps a lot. certain japanese dishes last for several days, such as gobo kimpira. and that's something you can buy at the grocery store at a reasonable price. by that i mean, it usually doesn't cost any more than buying the ingredients yourself and making it up. i also buy the meats that are pre-seasoned, such as ginger or miso pork. and don't forget 'cook-do' for cooking. also, the rice cooker's timer is your friend! some preparation is required but these things save me time.

i agree, though, about eating out and not feeling guilty about it. if nothing else, you can make veggie sticks for yourself at home to eat/snack on if you feel you ate too much oily or calorie-laden food at dinner.

Anonymous said...

This is what I do: I cook big on Saturdays. Then the food produced becomes the lunches or dinners for the week to come. Need a big fridge so you'd have storing space. Groceries I buy on Wednesdays at lunch time or Saturday afternoon. Meat and poultry I buy in bulks that will last a week. And then we do it all over again.
:) It works, Deena, but you really need to have a good sized fridge to make this work. Most food keep for a week (or 5 days), but if there are the two of you consuming it, it won't keep that long in the fridge anyway!
Hey, at least you got R to eat out with you. One of the motivation is because I simply don't like eating out by myself. :) Go go Deena!

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