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Instead of the Dishes » Homemaking, Mommyhood » Sick of Making Supper? Swap it.

Sick of Making Supper? Swap it.

As the world’s leading expert in being NOT domestic, I struggle almost daily with making dinner.  While I consider myself an organized planner with a type A personality, I just cannot master dinner. I get stuck on what to make, usually trying to think of something that is easy to prep because the kids will be harassing me while I make it.  I also need something that is easily reheatable or will stay warm for a long time, since we never really know what time Daddy will make it home on week nights.  My pantry is well stocked with ingredients, but I rarely remember to unthaw meat or get a marinade set up early in the day.  I feel guilty feeding my family “boxed” dinners with their copious amounts of sodium (and who knows what other chemicals) too many nights a week.  Sometimes I get so stressed that I don’t make anything at all, and the kids end up eating PB&J with apple slices while hubby and I spoon down cereal (I have mine with a side of guilt).

Then, I came across an article about supper swapping.  “Ah-ha!”  I thought.  “I can do this.”  supper swapping is a micro version of village-style dining.  Two or more families of similar size work together on a rotating schedule to provide meals for one another, so that each family has to cook dinner fewer nights each week.  For example, I recruited three mommy friends who have families of three or four and live nearby.  The four of us rotate cooking one “swap” meal per week.  So, in week one, Rebecca cooks and delivers a meal to the rest of us.  In week two, Lucy cooks and delivers, and so on.  Other supper swaps are set up so that each family cooks a meal on a set day of the week, meaning that each family only has to cook once per week.  That’s one great thing about setting up a supper swap – you can customize it to be whatever the families in your group would like.

The huge and obvious benefit for me is that I have one less night per week to stress about dinner.  In addition, it gives me more time to spend with the kids, and when Craig gets home, we can all sit down to a wonderful homemade dinner.  We get to try a lot of new dishes we haven’t had before, and the kids seem to get a kick out of knowing that “David’s Mom” cooked our meal.

So, gather up a couple friends and give it a try. Here are links to a couple resources to get you started:

And, here’s another link to an article with 10 more ways to get food on the table:

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11 Responses to "Sick of Making Supper? Swap it."

  1. Kim says:

    YES! I am sick of trying to figure out what to make for dinner every night. It is a major C.H.O.R.E.! Love this idea. Do you think our family favorite dish, “Daddy’s Noodles” would still be warm by the time I drove it to your house in Arkansas?

  2. Fawn says:

    Ha. Probably not, Kim, but I bet you could round up a couple other families in VA who would love to have some Daddy’s Noodles!

  3. Julie says:

    Might I suggest that on the night it’s your turn to cook for the all the families, you have a really good crock pot recipe to use? Then you can prep in the morning, and forget about it all day! BONUS!

  4. Fawn says:

    Julie, that’s a great idea. Do you have any tried and true recipes to suggest?

  5. Julie Hill says:

    Here’s one that’s great for this time of year, colorful, healthy and easy to double:

    Southwestern Slow Cooker Chicken & Potato Soup
    4-6 servings

    3/4 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
    2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 large onion, chopped
    29 oz can of diced tomatoes, salsa style with chiles, undrained (RoTel works great)
    14 1/2 oz fat free chicken broth
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (not thawed)

    Mix all ingredients except corn in 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in corn, cover, and cook on high about 30 minutes more.

    Yields 1 1/4 – 2 cups per serving

  6. Julie Hill says:

    and here’s another:
    Andy is a picky eater and even he likes this one. Don’t leave the raisins out, even if you think you don’t like them. They are amazing. Also, it says 4 servings, but they are 4 GENEROUS servings.

    Slow Cooker Country Captain with Rice

    4 servings
    (I have a big crock pot, so I often double this recipe. It freezes and reheats pretty well)

    2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
    1 cup onion, chopped
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    1 medium garlic clove, minced
    1 pound chicken cut into bite sized pieces (I use breast, originally it called for thighs)
    1 TBSP flour
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I use a bit more)
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp paprika
    3 cups canned crushed tomatoes
    1/4 cups golden seedless raisins
    2 cups cooked brown rice

    In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute the first 4 ingredients until tender, (about 5 minutes), then place in slow cooker. Add chicken.

    In a cup, stir together flour and chicken broth until smooth. Add to cooker.

    add spices, tomatoes & raisins & stir. Cook on low for 5 hours.

    Prepare rice according to directions. Serve chicken mixture over rice. Yields 4 servings of about 2 1/2 cups per serving of the chicken mixture.

  7. Fawn says:

    Julie, I’m starting to think that you need to start a slow cooker blog!

  8. Julie Hill says:

    Interesting idea Fawn. In my freetime maybe… Did you try either of these recipes?

  9. Fawn says:

    Julie, not yet, but this weekend is my big shopping/cooking/swapping weekend, so I’ll be trying at least one soon.

  10. arfoodie says:

    This sounds really fun! Although I think I would be totally stressed out the week I was responsible for someone else’s meals. 😉

    As for crockpot ideas, here’s one of my Twitter friends, who cooked in her crockpot every day of 2008:

  11. […] They gave me even more, but I gave some to the neighbor. Luckily tomorrow is my turn to make the supper swap dinner.  Have you ever seen such huge […]

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