Monday, November 15, 2010

But he LIKES those boxed potatoes or cooking up some peace and harmony

Tonight we are having boxed potatoes as part of our dinner, yes you know the type. They contain a dried cheese-like ingredient, that cooks up to a bright orange sauce. This (magic?) powder when mixed with water, milk, butter and heat, makes what is considered to be cheese sauce. The box actually states you may use butter or margarine, but I ask you, how bad do you want your dinner to be?

I have, or had a kitchen that was built to cook from boxes. That is until we brought in the hutch that holds all the jars of healthy pantry goods. Like beans, pasta, whole grains and dried fruit. The kitchen is still not large enough, yet I have grown tired of being reminded that you cannot get more into the same amount of space. I keep trying however, and every now and again, I score a little bit of more.

We, and I use that word very loosely, because it really means Honey, have done a lot of work in the house and to the house. Again let me clarify, that "we" when used in connection to physical work on the structure, or having to do with wiring, plumbing or on the end of a paint brush, really refers to Honey. But we sure have done a good job, don't you think (wink, wink)? I happen to be a super duper cleaner-upper, and work hard in that role and others.

We don't like boxed food. And let me clarify, that "we" when used in connection to prepared foods, convenience foods, and artificial foods in any form, really would be me. But Honey loves everything to do with convenience foods and boxed mixes. Artificial flavor, is one of his favorites!

To rehydrate a box of potatoes is, showing that I care. And I must say, it is not easy for me to do. It does not give any feeling of accomplishment, except in that he likes them. I do not eat them, and unlike fresh potatoes, nothing from a box reheats well. But I digress, because......

Part of making a happy home, is keeping peace and harmony, as long as the price is not too steep.

Like occasionally making boxed potatoes. That is not too steep. 

Eating them is.

Personally I choose to not use prepared foods, that decision was made for me and by me. Each and everyone can and should make their own decision regarding the use of packaged foods. Please don't misunderstand, I eat prepared foods, everyone does. If you eat out, you eat prepared foods. It is very difficult to find a cafe or restaurant that makes everything from scratch, and I must say, I am not certain I could afford it. Not if I also want to save for retirement!

I believe that to cover the most important items is best, even if you must let a few small items slip in through the back door. For instance:

1.  we use organic dehydrated cane juice sugar. But I know that the jar of Lingonberry preserves from IKEA contains white sugar. Do I stop eating (and enjoying!) those preserves? No, I accept that they are different from what I make.

2.  we do not eat Crisco, but that jar of JIF (my favorite peanut butter, it must be the added molasses) contains a tiny amount. Have I switched to another brand? Not as yet, although the Lovely Jess has indicated I need to! More than once, I might add.

3.  we have candy in the house, it is not homemade and it is not free of artificial colors. Will I stop buying M&M's for Honey, no I won't. And truth be told, I eat peanut M&M's when I need a delicious sweet burst of energy.

4.  we also keep frozen pizzas in the house, the crust is not whole grain, and there is a long list of "ingredients" for the sauce. Some of them don't sound like the foods we should be eating, but will I stop purchasing those pizzas? No, as bad as they might be, some nights they are dinner.

I am sure there is more, but for Pete's sake, confession is really hard work!

The things I have succeeded in are, healthy fats, no bleached foods (flour and sugar), using more whole grains, make as much from scratch as is possible. Also beans, beans and more beans, and using bone broth.

The things I am still working on, would be more organic food. I  plan on getting on board with the "dirty dozen" for organic produce, this year.  I would like to return to grass fed beef, and free range chickens for eggs.

So tonight we had boxed potatoes. Honey loved them and he is happy watching a documentary on John Adams, as I sit here working. There is more tomorrows and speaking for me, I look forward to peace and harmony, even if I can't eat the potatoes!

As always, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your time.

this post is shared with:

Hearth and Soul Hop @ a moderate life


Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

I suffer from small kitchen-itis as well. And I love how you've fit more in, and made it look beautiful in the process. Lovely job.

Also, I have a giveaway going this week and I'd love it if you stopped by.
CSN Giveaway @ EKat's Kitchen

Hoosier at Heart said...

Loved this post! We also are trying to do better a little bit at a time but there are some things we will NOT give up. My husband could not survive with his Kraft macaroni and cheese at least once a week.

Kristia@Family Balance Sheet said...

I try to serve healthy, from scratch meals, but there are occasions when my family wants dinner from a box too. I just tell myself that everything is fine with moderation.

And Jif is my favorite too. I have tried to switch to healthier brands, but they aren't as good as Jif.

21st Century Housewife© said...

Moderation is absolutely the key - and if there is something you really love, you shouldn't have to give it up. A bit of what you fancy does you good!

Sage Trifle said...

My husband's favorite boxed item is stovetop stuffing. I make it for him when I'm short on time and he's always very happy. I'll have to try him on the potatoes. ;)

girlichef said...

Love it! And so true...there are some things that each of us just don't want to give up! Frozen pizza is one. "un"natural peanut butter is another. I think as long as we're conscious of our decisions and not overdoing, all is well with the world. Great post, Melynda...thanks so much for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week :D

oliepants said...

I deal with the same thing. I prefer fresh and prepared things and my husband prefers certain boxed things (canned cranberry stuff, boxed mac and cheese - although I do have to say I'm a sucker for those too!).

Pam said...

"Artificial flavor is one of his favorites" Love it!!

LeAnn said...

Yeah, at my house it's the boxed rice mix. The one with wild rice and the seasoning packet. Doesn't do much for me but Husband just loves it every once in a while. What's it going to hurt?

Miz Helen said...

It is amazing what we will do for our family. I really enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.
Miz Helen

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Melynda - great post - I think we all have those few things which are either a convenience that we have to resort to now and again, or something that we just love no matter how bad it is, or something we feed o a loved one even though we woujldn't allow it to pass our own lips.
Sue :-)

a moderate life said...

Melly welly! I am giggling here! My post is all about cooking a casserole using campbells cream of chicken soup all for my Honey! harmony is a good thing, but also remember that his LOVE of the food and the infrequency of the "treat" balance out the crappiness. It is all about baby steps and feeling GOOD about what you eat. Seriously, I know folks who eat a completely clean diet and freak over eating a cage free organic commericial egg and feel guilty about it because it is not pastured and heritage breed. That GUILT hurts far worse and completely counteracts all the other good stuff they are doing because it is an overwhelming emotion. I keep quite a few "convenience" items around for the times I simply cant cook. Trader joes macaroni and cheese anyone? I dont think my kids even LIKE mine as much! LOL--wonderful post as always, LOVE that hutch! Thanks so much for sharing on the hearth and soul hop this week. Big hugs! Alex

Laraine said...

What a refreshing dash of reality! Everything tastes so much more delicious without being smothered in guilt.

Michele@FitFoodista said...

Great Post! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had an enormous "Food Network" kitchen, an unlimited budget for making the best choices, oh...and unlimited time to prepare everything from scratch? I'm the same way. I rarely use prepared anything when cooking - but I do nearly always have some Ben and Jerry's on hand and love me some Jiff too :)

Christy said...

Melynda, what is it about those potatoes anyhow?? My family loves them. There are quite a few things that my family balks on me making homemade - and to keep the peace and show a little love I make them on occasion. Great post - thanks for sharing it with us at the hearth and soul hop!