Food and Eating
While there once was a time that women were expected to be able to take care of a house perfectly, this is no longer the case. However, a modern woman should not be completely devoid of home skills. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, was completely incapable when it came to being able to clean, drive, cook, look after her own stuff (her computer), and deal with the realities of modern life. She is often named as “the ultimate modern woman”, but I really do not think she is. You should be able to do everything your Mum can do – cook, clean, iron, drive, take care of yourself – as well as network, know how to indulge, be able to hold an intelligent conversation, navigate a gym, be tech savvy, and cope with her own finances.
First off, the modern woman can cook. I cannot stress this enough. By cooking I do not mean 2-minute noodles or a microwave meal. I mean actually cook. If a recipe says “sauté onions, then add diced meat” this does not bring her to tears because she knows how to do this. She can prepare a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with appropriate portion sizes. They do not have to be complicated, but she always makes time for it. “I didn’t have time” is not an excuse. My mother worked full-time shift work, raised two kids, a dog and looked after the house and still cooked healthy meals every night. You are capable of doing it too.
Every woman should be able to:
- Make eggs – hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, scrambled and fried – these will become an ultimate fallback food – plus they are very, very good for you
- Make spaghetti Bolognese – you don’t have to make your own sauce or your own pasta – things from the supermarket are sufficient – but this is a basic meal that even a 12-year-old should be able to make
- Prepare a simple stir fry – honey soy is easy because the sauce is made of two ingredients. It is also very healthy!
- Prepare an entire roast chicken with all the trimmings – this is actually easier than you think – the main motivator is timing – it is literally all prep and timing – then you bung it in the oven and hey presto! A dinner to impress.
- Make a chicken soup from scratch – healthy, comfort food! A chicken soup for cold days, for getting rid of left overs, for making your children or partner well after they are sick.
- Bake a simple cake – it can be any cake you like – my favourite is carrot cake – but you should be able to whip it up at a moment’s notice!
- Have a signature dish – for that time when the in-laws pop by unexpected, for that time that the restaurant you wanted to go to cancelled your booking, for that time when you want to impress! Have a signature dish. Yours could be fettuccine carbonara, steak, and chips etc. anything! But it must be something you’d know how to make with your eyes closed.
It seems in the modern world; it is so hard to eat healthily. Not to mention so expensive! Supposedly. However, I believe that with forethought, meal planning, and a strict budget, you can eat healthily and smartly.
- Stick to your budget – make a budget and stick to it. Add up as you go how much everything will be as you put it in the trolley. Look for the deals, and opt for the budget brands of basics like rice. If at the end you’ve still got $20 left over – great! Treat yourself. But make sure you’ve got all the basics before you splurge on wine.
- Meal Plan – Before you head to the supermarket, plan exactly what it is you intend to eat this week. If possible, get a meal planner and stick it on the fridge so you know what you’ll be eating each night.
- Write a shopping list – once you’ve planned your meals, it will be easier to shop, because you know exactly what you are shopping for. Make sure you plan for breakfast and lunch too – I find lunch is one of the easiest places to spend money if you’re unprepared.
- Buy fresh and in season – One of the best ways to save money is to buy fresh and in season. Don’t buy strawberries in winter (they will be from overseas and won’t taste very nice) and avoid packet foods wherever possible. Easier said than done. But the best thing to do is to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, fresh fish, unprocessed foods etc. this will help your waistline.