As you know, we are partnering with the movie Mom’s Night Out and giving away an AWESOME all expenses paid trip to the movie premiere in LA. (If you haven’t entered yet, do so here!) Sarah Drew, the main actress in the movie, shares a little bit about the meal planning and cooking in her home. Check it out in this exclusive interview below.
Getting food on the table can be one of the greatest challenges for any working mom, how do you approach this in your house?
Well, I depend on my amazing husband Peter to do it. Peter is the cook in the house and he does the shopping. He’s an incredible chef, actually, and I’m so, so lucky that I married a man who loves to cook.
We all know cooking is only half the battle, it’s clean up that’s the real challenge a lot of times. How do you share these roles in your house?
Peter cooks, I wash up. Generally, when I’m not working during dinner time, the evening goes like this: We hang with our son Micah at the table while he eats his dinner. We play with him and read to him and ask him about his day… and bribe him to eat… “if you eat another bite, Mommy will read the next page”. Peter usually does some sort of dinner prep while all of this is going on. Then I give Micah his bath and put him down while Peter finishes up dinner, and by the time I leave Micah’s room, dinner is ready. We eat and hang, and then I do the dishes.
What does meal planning look like in your home, do you find this to be a challenge? What solutions have you discovered as a family?
Peter doesn’t do a lot of advance planning. He will sometimes go to the store and just see what looks good, and what’s on sale, and then come home and cook it. Sometimes he shops for a few meals in advance, but he doesn’t ever use a recipe. I gave him this really cool book called “Culinary Artistry” which shows you what kinds of food go with what kinds of spices and flavors, and then he just creates something incredible from there. He’s really amazing. Have I told you what a great cook he is yet?
What are some of your favorite meals to cook in a pinch when you have limited time?
Um…. Rotisserie Chicken already cooked from Ralph’s with mashed potatoes already mashed from Ralph’s and sweet corn already made sweet from Ralph’s… So, yeah… we don’t cook things when we have limited time.
Oh… And Ralph is not a person. Ralph’s is our grocery store. (Check out our Ralph’s Meal Plans HERE!)
Is healthy eating a priority, and what does that look like for you? All organic? Gluten free? Other? Do you belong to a CSA and/or try to emphasize fresh fruit and veggies?
We try to eat organic when we can but sometimes we don’t. We like to make sure we’ve got all of our main food groups. We eat a lot of veggies and fruits and protein (my husband makes the best steak on the planet), but we don’t eat a lot of carbs as a family. We don’t have snacks (other than seaweed snacks) in the house and we don’t have any sweets in the house (other than a little secret chocolate stash—which actually isn’t so secret since I’m telling you all about it, and since Peter and I both know where it is). If we had ice cream in the freezer at all times, we would be ice cream monsters and we’d probably both be enormous, because we CANNOT control ourselves around sweets…. Thus, the little not-so-secret stash of chocolates. One bite after dinner is good enough for me.
What’s a favorite indulgence/guilty pleasure?
We know your husband has some skills in the kitchen too, when did you discover this and just how good a cook is he?
He cooked me meals all the time while we were dating, so I knew what I was getting myself into. In case I haven’t mentioned this yet, my husband is an INCREDIBLE cook! Seriously. He made me scallops the other day that were so insane I cried. Like, a tear literally came out of my eyeball. That’s how good they were. Sometimes I tweet pictures of his creations because I want the world to know how amazing he is!
A lot of moms feel pressure to be like Martha Stewart in the kitchen. What would you say to women who are struggling with this false ideal?
I think you should be Martha Stewart if you truly enjoy being Martha Stewart. Some people are gifted hostesses. Some people are gifted cooks. Some people feel particularly alive and fulfilled as they are creating the sauce for the beautiful meal they are preparing. Other people, like me, find creating a sauce for anything completely stress-inducing. Why add stress to an already stressful life? It’s a waste of stomach juice, as my mom would put it. Here’s what I remember about my mom in regards to cooking . . .laughing at the dinner table and being asked questions about my day. I don’t remember a single meal my mom cooked (oooh – except her lamb chops which is making me salivate as I’m writing this)… but other than that, I don’t really remember WHAT I ate. I remember WHO I ate with. I remember my parents sitting down with me, and my brother every night and investing in our lives while we ate. I remember feeling loved and known and seen by them as I was cramming sustenance down my gullet. That’s what I remember. Here’s my question: when we feel pressure to live up to some Martha Stewart ideal, who are we doing it for? I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to wear all kind of different impressive hats, and I’ve come to the realization that I’ve never actually worn those hats for myself. I’ve always tried to wear them to impress someone else, or to prove my value or worth. Here’s the thing: I’m already valuable. I already have worth. I’m already loved, so why pretend to be something I’m not? It’s all so exhausting. I used to throw big dinner parties and cook everything for them. I still throw the parties, because I truly enjoy parties, but now I have everyone bring stuff and help clean up. This attempt to be who I am and to stop trying to live up to some imagined ideal is probably something I will struggle with my whole life. But I think it’s worth the struggle.