$138 A Week For Groceries - About The Tyranny Of The Home Cooked Dinner & Day 6 Meals (Thursday)

How timely that both Slate and PBS featured articles this week about what Slate so clickbaitingly calls the tyranny of the home cooked dinner, the tyranny being the expectation that women, no matter how otherwise employed, occupied, or exhausted, should be the ones expected to provide our families with home cooked meals.

Leftovers noodle salad... AGAIN. :P

Specially fitting for this post because I could not be arsed to cook dinner last night and we ended up getting In N Out.

Anyone who's cooked and cleaned up after a proper meal - specially after a full work day, whether that day be at the workplace or at home caring for children - knows that while it may not always be, it can be arduous drudgery. Multiply that chore by 4, 5, 6, or 7 times a week, and maybe we can begin to see where someone might get the idea to call it tyranny.

And when we talk about how difficult it can be, there's always someone offering what can seem like glib solutions to a complex problem - plan your meals in advance and cook everything on Sunday, make your family either eat whatever you cook or starve, make your spouse and/or your kids cook for a change... Without telling you how to find the extra time, energy, and yes, discipline, to plan your meals in advance and cook everything on Sunday, or how to get your motley family to sit down and eat the same thing without bitching and moaning about it starting tomorrow, or how to uncondition the generations of cultural conditioning that tells you and your family that it's your job and no one else's and makes it seem near impossible to change without upending life as you know it...

There is an evolution in our post-agrarian and now post-industrial culture taking place in which we are beginning to share domestic responsibilities between the sexes more equally, but as with evolution in general, the movement is slow as measured against a single lifetime, and it won't hit all of our households at the same time or pace.

My experience, which is a very personal one, is that the larger evolution begins with individual revolutions in which we determine:

-  that self sufficient humans are actually much better equipped for healthy interdependent relationships than ones who attach themselves to others to fill needs they feel either unequipped or unprepared to meet for themselves

- that cooking is a life skill that is part and parcel of that self sufficiency, and

- that we should lovingly require that each member of our family, as they are or become able, learn to contribute to the feeding of self and family, which includes not only learning to cook and clean up, but also to choke down some things you might not love without bitching and moaning, for the greater good

Lest this should sound like we've got it down pat Chez Robinson, this is all a work in progress for us. I still do the bulk of the cooking, specially now that Dean is working full time, finishing up his IT degree, and taking over the primary Izzcare responsibilities in the evenings. When he isn't in school, Dean cooks more often. Both of the older kids are able to put together assembled meals and are learning to cook more involved ones, but they're nowhere near ready to take over the cooking for the household on a regular basis. And there are still lots of foods that are a challenge to get our kids to eat, as adventurous as others might assume their palates to be, being members of this particular household.

And if I'm to be real and honest here, because of my particular relationship with food and cooking, it's not likely that anyone else is going to take over the bulk of the cooking in this household anytime soon, but that really isn't a function of sex or gender as much as personal preference. Nevertheless, the goal is that all three of our kids will grow up to be able to feed themselves and their families, effectively, efficiently, and deliciously, and also that they will raise all of their children to be able to do the same.

Some people for whom this has always been a reality might not understand how big, and even scary, this personal revolution can be for someone else who's been raised and acculturated differently.

If you fall in the latter category, I want to let you know that I've been there, and I understand how deep and wide this issue runs, and that the so-called tyranny of the home cooked dinner is but a symptom.

But it also can't change unless we're ready and willing to change it.

How's that for glib propositions.

And for the wholly uninteresting meals brought to you by the fatigue precipitated by the tyranny of home cooking... ;P

As always, I've included a meal total and per serving total on the blog. The detailed ingredient cost breakdown HERE.


Another open faced ham and tomato sandwich for me, a closed one with double ham for Dean, yogurt for Joey, and coffee for all three of us. A half PB&J and milk for Izz.



More of that noodle salad for me. (Some weeks, I will eat the same thing as many times as it allows me not to have to cook.) Izz had some of my chicken and noodles before they were dressed as well as a little bit of watermelon.

For Dean, some Ropa Vieja, mashed potatoes, and an apple. And for Joey, his usual ham sandwich, apple, and juice pouch.



was INO care of the Entertainment budget.


Time to chain myself to the stove and make some polenta now... :P


This post is part of my 30 Day Grocery Budget Diary. To see all the posts of this series in reverse chron order, click HERE.

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