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Like Seriously, How Flash Do Family Meals Have To Be?!

(40 Posts)
victorianhomedreamer Mon 08-Dec-14 18:03:09

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KalindaSharma Mon 08-Dec-14 19:09:52

Our weekday meals are seriously not flash. My general rule is that they have to take 30 mins to prepare. And that's a real 30 mins not a Jamie Oliver 30 mins which takes a normal person 2 hours wink

At the weekend we might dust off a cookbook or we might order a takeaway smile

agoodbook Mon 08-Dec-14 19:14:11

I don't think you need to be 'flash' with food. I love to cook, and I love to cook for the people I love - sometimes very fancy!. But the most important thing is the taste. Not how 'faffy' it is smile

fredfredsausagehead1 Mon 08-Dec-14 19:14:22

They're lying! Or have too much time on their hands wink

Clutterbugsmum Mon 08-Dec-14 19:17:24

I with Kalinda, If it takes more then 30 mins then it not going to happen.

BertieBotts Mon 08-Dec-14 19:34:28

I used to try and make them flash and then got so disillusioned with the whole process that DS lived on pizza and chips for about three years blush

Now I'm looking up nice, easy, quick and simple recipes rather than fancy ones. It doesn't have to taste amazing (the oven chips and frozen pizza don't!!) as long as it's filling, reasonably balanced and DS will eat it rather than poking at it suspiciously. I'm sort of teaching myself to cook in reverse I suppose because I've never really learnt this kind of simple, essential stuff before.

WerewolfBarMitzvah Mon 08-Dec-14 19:39:22

I love Nigel Slater - for me, he can take cheese and bread and make the most sophisticated and heartwarming meal ever, served on an earthenware plate.
He takes simple ideas, but fresh ingredients and it somehow feels special.
Forget 2 hours cooking on a Wednesday. That wine's not going to drink itself.

victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 09:51:03

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4merlyknownasSHD Tue 09-Dec-14 09:59:45

For meals generally, I work on the principle that it shouldn't take longer to prepare than it is going to take to eat it. I allow some slight latitude in that for more special meals, I would add up the time taken by each person to eat it. So, if four people are going to take 20 minutes to eat it, then I would stretch to 1hr 20 mins if necessary for Sunday Lunch, but would probably limit to half that (or less) on a week night.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 09-Dec-14 10:09:44

I love to cook and try new things, but that's what the weekend's are for. If it takes more than 30 minutes then forget it - well, that's not strictly true, I do a lot of traybakes and things like that through the week which take an hour or so to cook but I don't have to do anything during that time.

If you want to make things poncetastic though, focus on the ingredients and start using the word 'sourcing' a lot. Like last night I made a sausage traybake - baby pots in oil for 20 mins, then add a pack of sausages, leeks, peppers, onions with seasoning, herbs and Worcestershire sauce and bake for a further 40 minutes. I mean, couldn't be easier right? But I used (I mean sourced) local venison sausages from the butcher round the road, used organic leeks and my herbs were sourced from Sciliy my friend brought me back a packet of oregano from her holidays

CogitOIOIO Tue 09-Dec-14 10:50:36

I have a bunch of stand-bys - some with more processes than others - that I've made so often that I can do them in my sleep. I might try out something new from a fancy cookery book if I have friends round or it's a weekend and I'm feeling creative. If a dish takes a long time to make I'll do extra portions and freeze them for another day. I really try to avoid things that are stupidly fiddly, involve ingredients only available in Marrakesh, or require too much last-minute timing. Life's too short to stuff a mushroom, etc

HollyBdenum Tue 09-Dec-14 10:59:26

I do quite a lot of meals that take a long time to cook (alongside fried eggs/ nice bread/salad type meals) but that's because cooking and eating nice food is a hobby rather than because it is necessary. It's the mealtime equivalent of being a family who all go out hiking together at weekends - it's nice if you enjoy doing it, and it's handy to enjoy something which is also good for you, but you can get the same benefits in a less time consuming way if country walks aren't your thing.

victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 12:11:40

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Laquitar Tue 09-Dec-14 12:24:31

I like that!

I don't know what makes a meal 'flash'?
In this house our favourite meal is baked salmon fillets with new potatoes and veg. It takes 20 min and it happens to be nutritious too. Not the most budget friendly though.

Tbh money is the issue for me. If money is not issue then you can have baked fish every day which is easy and healthy. Is it not 'flash' enough? :-P

chemenger Tue 09-Dec-14 12:33:26

Our most popular family meal is chicken breasts coated in a mixture of olive oil, smoked paprika and dried thyme baked in the oven for 25 mins, with roast cherry tomatoes and baked potatoes or oven chips . It takes no skill or finesse but tastes and looks great. (I source everything in a little place down the road called Sainsbury's). Nothing takes more than half an hour during the week because we are all starving when we get home. At the weekend I make more elaborate meals because I do enjoy cooking. These are not always wildly popular with dds.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 09-Dec-14 12:39:34

grin I really want delicium angelicum now...

victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 12:41:41

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victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 12:43:28

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victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 12:43:53

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agoodbook Tue 09-Dec-14 16:25:18

Wow- sourcing- well shall I boast grin- ALL my vegetables are guaranteed organic - but thats because i have an allotment! So I have expensive stuff like asparagus and 'handpicked and selected sprouting broccoli and fresh that day garden peas, and borlotti beans ! So to me thats not fancy, thats me enjoying digging and growing my own ( and its cheap as well). To me its making the most of what you have. So we eat a lot of soup- thats quick but only if you then have the time to leave it to simmer. Best quick meal for me- while cooking pasta - fry chopped shallots or onion in oil - add chopped up bacon bits and cook, add sliced mushrooms cook, chuck in about 1-2 tablespoons philly , let it melt into a sauce , season ( you may need a bit of the pasta water to thin it a bit ) put pasta a nd sauce together. You cant get faster than that- about 15-20 minutes dependant on pasta cooking!

Flingingmelon Tue 09-Dec-14 16:30:54

Don't forget to make sure all your 'sourcing' is done 'in season' wink

victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 19:37:52

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agoodbook Tue 09-Dec-14 21:13:27

victorian - I can seriously advise it, if you have the time and willpower! I am semi retired and husband helps .We had to wait a while for ours and due to demand I 'only' have a half of one , but apart from potatoes which I don't grow, there is enough and spare to cook, freeze and give some away. I make a lot of jam, chutney, soup and vegetable casseroles. I grow everything for flavour and the things we love. But it is hard work ( particularly now in this weather) worth it all when you cut asparagus , and 15 minutes later you are eating it - and proper strawberries and more raspberries than you can imagine!

victorianhomedreamer Wed 10-Dec-14 11:26:54

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OfficerKaren Wed 10-Dec-14 11:47:30

Long term, low effort plan:

Plant some herbs in the spring (in a sunny spot).

A while later take to strewing said herbs, freshly picked, on the roasting dish before laying fish/meat on the top. A lot less hassle than an allotment!

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