Food

Working from home and making it work

Last year I quit my out-of-the-home job to work from home as a freelancer. I still work full time so it’s not like I’m coloring with crayons all day, but one major change I have been able to implement is that I get to eat dinner with my kids. This is especially good for us because my husband has recently gotten more work and he tends to get home well after the dinner hour. The three of us (my two kids and me) have a really nice thing going and I think it has helped them in many ways-they behave better at the table, they eat better. And maybe that’s all in my head, but I can sure tell you it is better for me to spend the time with them. No TV, no answering the ringing cell phone, just the three of us talking about the day, even if it’s only for 20 minutes.

You would think the removal of the commute would give me more time to become an organized mom. The answer is no. I am squeezing 10 times more into my day because I am around the house and I can. Somehow I am more frazzled than when I was at the office and had all that time to actually be alone and away from the house. No more hanging out at the water cooler and swapping Dancing with the Stars favorite moments-there isn’t a second out of my day that isn’t productive. How can I sit next to the laundry room and not throw a load in every time I walk by? However, one part of my routine that hasn’t gotten any more organized is the actual dinner meal planning. I still find myself every day looking up at the clock at the same time-first at around 4:30 where I think to myself, “I have time to make a pot roast!” Then about 45 minutes later I look up again from my computer and think, “I no longer have time for the pot roast, but I can still make brown rice and chicken breasts, carrots, what else?” Next thing I know, I am looking up again and it’s 6 and I am now saying out loud, “I have no time and by the way I have no groceries. “

You can only imagine my joy when I read Rachael’s new book. I say this with sincerity because she has truly shown her range by departing from the 30 Minute Meal parameters and gives us new choices to work with-the 15 Minute Meals and the 60 Minute Meals(including Rollover and Double Duty meals-where you make some main dish and then use the leftovers for other dishes-I love those). At first I wasn’t sure what that all meant, but with my routine, I totally get it and I needed it. I needed to be able to react even faster than with 30 Minute Meals. I needed the 15 Minute Meals! At least during the week that’s what I need. So to translate my day into Rachael’s language, you might say my day goes something like this: at 4:30 I am getting ready to make a 60 Minute Meal, at 5:15, the 30 MM collection looks good and by 6 I am thanking my stars that she figured that new category out for me!

Yesterday I actually emerged late from my basement office, at 6:15 to be exact, and my kids were hungry. My 5 year old said to me, “I wish it were Saturday.” So I asked why. She said, “so you won’t forget to feed me dinner.” You can bet I made a 15 minute meal that night!

If you’re like me, stick around because we’ll have more tools on the site for people like us. And if you think of things that we can provide to you to make getting dinner on the table easier, then let me know.

Meanwhile, here’s the link to Rachael’s new book. Maybe I can get her to give us a sneak peek at some of the recipes.

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray