Jayne Gautreau

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Jayne Gautreau: "What's for dinner?"

“What’s for dinner?”

Does anybody else ask yourself that question daily?

I even find myself waking up in the morning thinking about it! I have tried to meal plan, but for some reason I have a very hard time making a plan or keeping up on it. Around 4 pm on most afternoons, I find myself with my head stuck in the freezer trying to figure out what we should eat or frantically defrosting meat.

For our family, late afternoon is one of the hardest times of the day. The baby is usually waking up from a nap; the older boys are trying to work on homework during the school year, and everyone seems to need me at once. All the while, I am scurrying around trying to decide what we should eat, cooking dinner in a hurry and trying to take care of my family; it doesn’t make for a very calm or happy dinner time.

A dear friend of mine recently shared how she has been having similar struggles and suggested a solution for our problem. She told me how one of her friends along with two other moms all cook one meal on a Sunday, but make enough to feed their family and two other families. They all swap their meals so they each have three ready-made meals for the week that can be put in their refrigerator. The idea sounded very appealing to me and was definitely worth a try.

My two friends and I had our first trial run this past week; the meals consisted of sausage pie with green beans, chicken pasta bake, and BBQ chicken sandwiches with coleslaw. We didn’t ask each other what we were making, we just went home and cooked and we were all thrilled with our dinner offerings.

It was so wonderful this past week to open up the refrigerator and to have meals at our fingertips! Also, there was enough food each evening for lunch leftovers the next day. I noticed that as well as blessing our bellies, it also blessed our hearts. It was something we could each do to love and serve each others' families, and we all benefited from it.

It meant less time in the kitchen for mom, and more time with my family. A less crazy dinnertime rush and chaos, and we also were able to try out new recipes.

I know I have been having fun this past week looking at new recipes and saving them on Pinterest for future dinner sharing ideas.

If you feel like you are having similar issues, you may want to get together with two other friends to give this a try, I don’t think any of you will be disappointed!

Jayne Gautreau is married with three sons. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.

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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:35PM Published Jul 26, 2013 05:05PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.