Picture the scene…
It was a Monday. I had intended on stripping the leftover Sunday dinner chicken carcass to make a homemade curry. But when it came down to it…
I just could. Not. Be. Arsed.
I felt like a bit of a shit mum. I felt guilty. Lazy. Then I thought – hang on, I bet I’m not the only one out there feeling this way. So I turned to the oracle (Instagram) and asked you guys – When you can’t be arsed to cook, what do you give ‘em for tea?
Here were my top ten fave answers…
- Freezer Tapas – How the holy Birds Eye fish fingers have I not heard this phrase before? It’s genius. It makes serving your kid a plethora of beige baked goods sound so middle class, so continental, so…acceptable.
- Leftovers – Is it good parenting to serve the same meal two days in a row? Probably not, but tough tit bags.
- Slow cooker – Also genius. I could have chucked all the curry ingredients in and just let it cook for five hours. However, our slow cooker does not have a ‘strip the greasy carcass’ setting, which on this particular day would have been a problem.
- Takeaway – Chip shop, McDonalds, Dominoes. Yup, this is fine sometimes right? And anyway, who doesn’t love that warm glow inside when you tip the pizza delivery guy?
- Something on toast – Egg, tuna mayo, beans, cheese, beans & cheese… YUM! Add carrot sticks or cucumber as a starter, and maybe fruit for afters… result! When you’re so exhausted the thought of peeling an onion makes you want to cry in more ways that one, then this kinda tea is surely fine.
- Pasta – Pesto, jar sauce or an easy peasy carbonara (tablespoon of creme fresh/egg yolk/handful of parmesan stirred into cooked drained pasta – yes it is really that simple). Pasta is fast food at it’s best. Make a massive spag bol or some ‘from scratch’ pasta sauce and freeze a few portions for emergencies. Done.
- Picnic tea/spaceman’s tea/cold plate – Literally bits and bobs of whatever you’ve got. Cold meat, cheese, bread, veggie sticks, crackers – bosh! (sorry for saying ‘bosh’, I’m not even from London)
- Micro dinner – Kids micro dinners, steamed veg bags or left overs. Microwaves were so popular in the 90’s but should not be poo pooed. They can be a godsend for us modern mums. Channel your inner mum from Matilda and get yer ping on.
- Breakfast tea – Never tried this, but surely in an emergency this could work? Cereal and toast? Loads of fruit? The kids would bloody live this right? Ok, so I am not advocating just feeding your kids cereal for tea every night. But maybe if there was an emergency like – the Tesco food shop was stuck in traffic, or an end of the world zombie apocalypse where all that was left in the supermarket were Jolly Rancher Pop Tarts? (yes they exist and yes it actually may happen with a no deal Brexit)
- Doritos – Ok, I think the mum who posted this was joking… on the other hand surely if you added salsa dips this would cover at least four of their five a day?
Before any snooty Daily Mail readers jump in and accuse me of promoting sloppy parenting and say that I’m encouraging mums not to feed their kids properly (see fish finger gate #solidaritea article here) of course I’m not doing that.
I love cooking.
Most days I cook my family fresh nutritious meals from scratch. But guess what? I cannot keep that shit up everyday.
No fuckingway mate.
So, if I’m sleep deprived, unwell or frazzled by the pressures of raising a family, I will reach for the freezer tapas. (Have you seen how hot Captain Birds Eye is in that new advert?)
Or if I’m drowning in work and there’s an emergency where the cupboards are bare, then you betcha, I will get myself down the chippy. Because some days, when I’m snowed under with homework, clubs and classes, I can’t actually face cooking an elaborate meal when I walk in the door.
And that’s fine right mums? Because sometimes we’re allowed to be a bit shit, because mostly – we’re great!
We’re only human after all.