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Pandemic Meal Planning

Jeremy:
So one of the things that we have heard a lot from mothers and wives in this season, Jeff put out an amazing, just a form on, I think, Instagram and he got hundreds and hundreds of responses and almost an overwhelming response to the question of, what are you guys really wrestling with right now? What do you need right now? Was a lot of people just had menu planning. And it was interesting when you actually read some of those responses, a lot of the wives were just, you could tell they felt totally alone when it came to feeding the family three times a day and they were getting burnt out. And so Jeff and I have talked about connecting to your inner chef as a father. That’s a really good thing to do. Jeff and I are both really into cooking.

We both really got into cooking because I think we just really value the table time that our family and the experience of what that does for the family. But in this occasion, you also need just get really efficient and helpful. And I think that sometimes guys just, we just get into this dividing conquer kind of mentality where maybe that’s just not my thing and that’s her thing, and so I’m going to ignore it. And so I would just want to give you guys a couple of quick tips. If you were to actually help the family, if this is new to you and you are really watching your wife burnout, cooking a lot of meals and you’re not being super helpful and taking any kind of leadership in that process, what are some way that you can just jump in? So, I want to give you guys, three quick tips, because almost everyone, every single person, what these moms said in so many of these posts, which is like, I’m running out of ideas. I’m running out of ideas.

And so, I want to get Jeff, your ideas. My quick three ideas are rice bowls, pastables and breakfast for dinner. Okay? These are really low hanging fruit for a lot of guys who are not excited about the kitchen. Most of us can make rice. If you don’t know how to make rice, you can figure it out in about 90 seconds, and you can get a rice cooker, and that takes us two steps to making rice.

Rice feels really simple. I mean, you make rice and then you put something on top of it, right? You can put, and that could be whatever, you guys, whatever you have, you can put chicken on there and you just grill some chicken and bam, you got a meal. Put some vegetables, whatever, you can make it so simple. Pastable, same thing. You can put macaroni and cheese and throw some ground beef or tuna fish on there, or something like that. Something that can take maybe 10 minutes of your time to make, but can make a hearty good meal for the family so they feel full and you can dial up the nutrition and all these things. And then breakfast, a lot of guys are comfortable making eggs, bacon, pancakes, or whatever. So doing that for dinner once in a while is also a huge hit for the family and really easy for a lot of guys, but Jeff, how would you try to walk a dad into getting comfy in the kitchen to try help out?

Jeff:
I think a couple of things. One, realize that it’s probably one of the most helpful things you can do in the family dynamic with your wife, if you are not stepping into that right now. Meaning, it eases a lot if you’re not doing it right now. I feel when I stepped into the kitchen, it felt it alleviated 10 more things than just the kitchen. It just felt it took on the balance of the day better, et cetera. Another thing is just YouTube the crap out of whatever you want to do. I feel I have been able to level up the cooking to now, where I have a couple of meals that I felt were actually better than restaurants, not because I’m bragging, but because I’ve just watched YouTube videos and they tell you how to do it. Right?

Jeremy:
Totally.

Jeff:
And you practice it a couple of times. So I would say that. Learn all the tricks, all the ticks. There’s amazing food channels out there. I would say get a couple of cast iron pans. I love cast iron. You don’t have to, if you don’t want to, but cast iron is the way to go because you can put it in the oven, put it on the stove, put it on the grill. So basically, you only need one of those and you can do everything. And then I would say everything that Jeremy said, but I also say, if you are a meat eater, and if you’re not, this won’t apply, but I feel meat, there’s a lot of really easy things to do with meat, and a lot of different creative things to do with meat, especially on a grill or a cast iron type thing, and that’s really easy.

I feel some people are intimidated by meat, but after a couple of YouTube videos, you realize just it’s science. I put it on for this many minutes, I get to this temperature or whatever, and then boom, it’s done. So I would say same thing, but I would say work backwards from the reason why. I think stepping into the kitchen was one of my favorite things, and I didn’t actually care about it at all. I didn’t even know how to make toast five years ago until I started really stepping into this whole mentality of a family team, and it became a byproduct. This exciting, more creative outlet for me to lean into this kind of way of honoring the table and the kids and involving them and cooking, et cetera.

So, I would say work backwards from the reason and if it’s the right reason, then I think it kind of just falls into place. And then it takes practice. We’ve had so many bad, terrible meals that are burnt, overcooked, taste terrible, because it’s a fun learning experiment, and I think if you spend a whole year on it or something, then you kind of develop the practice and get better.

Jeremy:
That’s right. If you want to do some really masculine cooking, just go to YouTube and look at Gordon Ramsey, and then just, he’ll slap you around.

Jeff:
He’s too much. He’s too much for me. When he put the toast between, that famous scene where he puts the bread between that guy’s face, and just yells at him. It’s amazing.

Jeremy:
Oh man. He’s like a drill Sergeant. It’s so incredible.

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