It is very upsetting to me when cooking is referred to as drudgery. I understand that I have an unusual passion for food and cooking, but the drudgery concept has been "fed" to us since shortly after WWII to promote a rapidly growing prepared/packaged/chemically laden "food" industry. We now have a few generations of folks who have no idea how to cook, and we are marketed ridiculous products like pre-peeled hard boiled eggs, or my new favorite outrage, the pre-peeled oranges sold by Whole Foods Market. They say cereal sales are on the decline, because millennials say cereal is too much work. How has this happened? Nigel and I kind of live a life of the opposite extreme. We enjoy homemade yogurt. I am soaking and cooking beans, and am attempting to bake really good bread with our flour. We make our own mayo, salad dressings, sauerkraut. I even whip cream with a whisk instead of using an electric mixer, because I think it tastes better (also I get everyone involved and I love that!). Sometimes I think I am a bit crazy, but over the past few years, I have learned to trade some things out. I don't make as many "fancy" meals. I have learned that when we are really busy or too tired for a big dinner, a simple omelette and steamed spinach is amazingly satisfying and delicious! But one can not survive on omelettes alone, so how do you make time to cook a few good meals every week? For some that means planning ahead, knowing what you will eat each day. Some cook a lot on the weekend and for me, I am learning how to work a little more passive cooking into my repertoire. Beans are a great example, in the morning before leaving for work, you put them in a bowl to soak. When you come home in the evening, drain, rinse, and discard bad beans. Then put them into a pot with water and cook on low, covered and they will be done before you go to bed. The next day, you can use some for a soup or in chili or add to pasta, or purée and make a dip like humus. Often while I am cooking one meal, I can have the next night's starting in a separate pot. When I chop onions and garlic for tonight's dinner, I chop a few extra and throw them into tomorrow's pot. This way chopping and cleaning happens just once. If I use only half a bunch of greens, I will wash the entire bunch and sauté or steam up what I am not using. Those extra cooked greens can be added to soup, or enjoyed with that delicious simple omelette. Use temperature and time to your advantage. Cook on a lower temp when it is something that allows for that, so you can be free to walk away and work on something else. This is my new favorite trick, low and slow, because I am forever running out the front door to do something, feed the animals, or muck out the stall, quickly move the fence, or hang laundry. There are many great practices that help us work cooking into our busy modern lives. One tip I would encourage all of us to embrace is to ask for help, even if it is just a little bit of help like chopping the onions. Sharing the process of putting delicious food on our tables makes the entire experience better. I always appreciate feedback, so if you have a favorite time saving tip or two, please pass them on! Oh and if you have any tips on how to make the perfect omelette, I would love to hear that as well:) You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.