Family Dinners:

When we retired twenty years ago, I made it clear that I did not want the full-time responsibility of meal planning and preparation.  My husband and I have worked out a wonderful way of sharing meal preparation.   We each are responsible for getting our own breakfast and lunch, but we take turns cooking the evening meal for a whole week at a time.

The week that we cook we are responsible for everything – shopping, cooking and clean-up.  This approach has so many benefits – the week you don’t cook you are a guest in your own home.  We both agreed at the onset that the “cook” was not obligated to prepare “gourmet fare”.  On a busy day one could rely on “take-out”, “eat-out” or pantry foods such as scrambled eggs, tuna sandwiches or even a TV dinner or cereal!!

I find that the week I cook, it becomes a lot more fun because it feels like I am starting a fresh page for the week’s meals.  The week that I am in charge, I “own” the kitchen including the pantry and refrigerator, left-overs etc.

With this approach I really enjoy cooking because I know I don’t have to do it all the time. I’ve become much more adventuresome in trying out new recipes because I am more willing to invest extra time in meal planning and shopping.