Ben and I are about to celebrate our 25th anniversary and if I think back over our eating habits from the last 25 years, I can say that things have certainly changed. I guess that you can say that our eating habits have evolved and adapted to each situation of life that we were in at the time.
We moved to 3 times in our first year of marriage. First to an apartment in Ohio, then to Wichita Falls, Texas and then to Layton, Utah. Even though we were both working full time jobs, we were struggling financially so we cooked most of our meals at home. We ate a lot of casseroles and crock pot meals. They weren't anything extraordinary but they were cheap and easy.
We celebrated our 2 1/2 year anniversary with the birth of our first child and dinner time changed dramatically. I spent months struggling to figure out how to feed a baby who instinctually wanted to eat EVERY single time that I wanted to prepare a meal or sit down to eat something. I honestly don't know how first time mothers survive - and don't even get me started on mothers of multiples.
Our 3d year of marriage brought with it another cross country move, this time, to San Antonio, Texas. This is where our first born learned to love food. His love of fruits and vegetables was infectious. I was making most of his baby food at home and as a result, Ben and I incorporated a lot more fruits and vegetables into our diets as well.
We added another beautiful baby to our family while we were in Texas and then moved to Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, then Level Green, Pennsylvania and then Jackson, Tennessee. By the time we settled in Jackson, we had a preschooler and a first grader. Dinner time was a series of negotiations to get both of my finicky eaters to try something new or consume at least a minimal amount of vegetables.
Fast forward about 3 more years and we moved to the house that we currently live in, in Monroe, Georgia. We had 2 elementary school aged, uber-active kids who were about as interested in sitting down to the dinner table as they were about going to get a shot at the doctors office. I put a great deal of effort into trying to figure out how to disguise their vegetables and trick them into eating something healthy.
The year that my oldest child entered middle school is when our dinner time schedule really started to change again. I found myself spending a lot of my day driving the kids to and from practices, piano lessons, orthodontist appointments and playdates. I struggled to find time to fix healthy dinners, let alone squeeze in a family meal between homework and social activities.
I was not at all prepared for the change that would come when my kids entered high school either. My kids were super involved in sports, clubs and activities which is exactly what we wanted for them but what I didn't anticipate was the level of commitment from the family that each activity involved. We ate the majority of our meals on the way to a game, sitting in the bleachers cheering on our favorite player or on the way home from a far away play off game. It was totally worth it but we didn't get the opportunity to sit down around our dinner table together very often.
Now our kids are off at their respective colleges. Both are in their own apartments and doing a lot of their own cooking. Ben and I are back to eating our meals at home together like we did 25 years ago. We miss the kids terribly but there are some up sides to having dinner for the two of us. Our dinner conversations don't revolve around farts or involve burping contests anymore. We eat more grilled salmon and roasted vegetables than chicken nuggets and fish sticks now too. And we don't have to eat at exactly 5:00 so that someone can get to wresting practice or a piano lesson either.
Cooking for babies and children and teenagers has its challenges. Heck, cooking for myself can be a challenge. I'm always trying to find yummy foods that are also healthy and easy to prepare and don't cost a fortune. This grilled salmon recipe is perfect for those of you looking for a meal that's delicious, simple and cheap.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch cayenne pepper
2 pound salmon filet
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Remove fish from grill.
Serve salmon with sauce.
You can tell from the looks of the salmon on my platter that I haven't quite mastered the task of cooking for two yet. On the plus side, it's nice to have a little extra for lunches. I think that you're going to enjoy this recipe.
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