One of my pet peeves is hearing people say, “I don’t have time to make dinner.” I took a survey once and to my astonishment found out that a lot of people fend for themselves for dinner on days they’re not going through the drive-thru. There is no set time to sit down and eat and there is no plan.
I think this is sad. To have “no time to make dinner” is the same as not having the time to invest in your family’s health and well-being. Taking the time to make dinner is an opportunity to just stop for a moment and connect. I’m not trying to guilt-trip anyone here. Nor am I so out of touch that I think we need to go back to the days of June Cleaver and have pot roast every night and fresh-baked pie.
The concept of being able to turn the stressors of your life into blessers really gave me a chance to think about this in my own life: when there is “no time” to connect and I’m rushing the kids from one activity to another and I’m overbooked too, those are the days when the kids are snapping at each other, I’m cranky and that’s when those horrid words leave my mouth, “I don’t have time for (fill in the blank).” It’s usually a statement smacking of martyrdom, too.
The truth is what we truly don’t have time for is allowing our relationships within our family to go by the wayside. I am dead serious when I say dinner is ministry. Those faces across the dinner table from you are God ordained to be there—why not invest your time wisely in them, give them something good and nutritious to eat, and spend a half-hour at the table silently blessing them and thanking God for them? (As you remind them to close their mouths when they chew because you can see their tonsils).
The way to the dinner table is not an unmarked road. It’s not hard and it’s not rocket science either. We get there by using the tools we have available. One of the most wonderful tools is the crock cooker. I use mine at least once a week with my new paleo menu…my subscribers clamor for it and I have to tell you, I wouldn’t be without one.
Think of it this way: 5 to 15 minutes of prep time in the morning, and a gorgeous aroma entices you when you walk in the door in the evening because dinner is READY. Toss together a salad (buy the ready-to-go stuff at the market if you “don’t have time”; just make sure it’s not Iceberg—no nutrition there), heat some whole-grain rolls and you have a marvelous dinner to go. Soups, casseroles, braised meats, and stews…you can’t beat a crock cooker!
You HAVE the time; the question is will you INVEST the time in the most important people of your life? You can do it when you use your TOOLS. A crock cooker is a dinner-saving tool that no home should be without.
Here’s a great recipe to put that appliance to work—
Spicy Chinese Chicken
- 2 1/4 cups low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup sherry
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons fresh ginger finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 4-oz. boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- Combine all ingredients, except the chicken in the slow cooker. Stir to blend well.
- Add chicken breasts to liquid in cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or so.