I have a friend of a friend whose kids really wanted a dog. The family decided to not watch t.v. for a year in order to earn the dog. Now, that's some dedication. Kind of makes me wonder if I make my kids work hard enough to earn things. But this family did it. No t.v. for a year. Then after they got the dog, they didn't really go back to t.v. much since they learned to live without it and didn't really miss it much.
So, that's the inspiration for our family make over. What could we give up for a year? Eating out. Now, let me explain the significance of this. Our family eats out far more than we eat in. Far more. We average less than one meal a week cooked at home. That's over 300 days per year eating out (many of those days include 2 meals out). Most of that is fast food. It's just a terrible habit. We say it's because we are busy, we both work full-time, we have kids, etc, etc, etc. All the same things everyone else has. Busy lives.
The crazy thing is I like to cook. I love to try new recipes, even make up my own recipes and my family likes my cooking. But, I never do it. Before I had kids, I thought I'd cook more once I had kids. Cause that's what families with children do. When we decided to be foster parents, I thought I'd be forced to cook more. I mean it's one thing to eat out with a family of 4, but a family of 6, that's expensive. When we decided to foster 2 teen boys, I thought for sure we would eat at home more. Really, what could be more costly than feeding teenage boys at restaurants all the time? But, we ate out just as much with them too.
So, 2011 is the year we kick the fast food habit. It's the year we place more value on the joy of cooking and eating real food than on convenience. It's the year our kids learn that eating out is a rare treat, that the family dinner invloves sharing and compromise and isn't about picking from a menu and special ordering.
It's going to be a huge change for us. I hope to share some great recipes and stories, but I expect some days we will survive on pb&j. It's not about becoming Martha, just the Martins, only better.