There’s no ‘just’ about nine dishes

The average British mother relies on “just” nine meals to feed her family.

Just? There’s no “just” about nine different recipes.

I cooked lunches for our staff for 20 years and thought I was doing well to have five variations on soup and something in winter and salad and something in summer.

The somethings were pizza, quiche, roulade, cheese toasties and pasta. I tried very hard to serve something different each day in a week but didn’t even pretend to try to vary the diet from week to week.

My dinner staples were even less imaginative – grilled meat (usually chops, lamb rack or rump) served with salad or steamed vegetables and potato. The potatoes were boiled with mint in summer and baked in their jackets in winter (because if God had wanted me to peel potatoes he’d have called them oranges).

Occasionally the lamb was replaced with steak or blue cod and every now and then we had a roast. When the fussiest eater in the house grew up  and time and energy allowed I got a bit more imaginative. But then as now most meals I cook regularly are those I can make on auto pilot as quickly as possible.

I enjoy cooking when I can choose to do it or not. But every day meals are a duty which I aim to do in the shortest time with the least effort possible.

Families with a mother who serves nine different meals should count their blessings.

P.S. Did anyone ask how many meals the fathers have in their recipe repertoires? Or is Ex-expat right that cooking is still women’s work?

3 Responses to There’s no ‘just’ about nine dishes

  1. stef says:

    As an after-thought even with in that ‘just 9’ dishes you can have a shitload of variety. Pasta is a very broad church as is curry.


  2. scrubone says:

    Think I have 4… if you count bunging 2 min noodles and mixed vegies into the same pot as a “cooking a meal” :). The other 3 are “mashed spuds and vegies”, “stir fry” and roasts.

    I woudn’t even count toasties, that’s more of a lunch thing. (Cheese, mushroom and bacon are our current fav items to put in the sandwich press.)

    I often help my wife and vice versa so frequently the meal is a joint effort.

    But what counts? I’ve roasted both mutton and chicken, does that count as two or one?


  3. scrubone says:

    Hm, that reminds me – we’re out of mushrooms.


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