Bitchin’ Batchin’ Bangin’ Go

Phil and I once went to a couples’ therapist who pointed out that all our fights revolved around dinner. Even if we were fighting about parenting, really the fight was a result of dinner. Because if I was off cooking tomato sauce from scratch, it was keeping me from doing something else like teaching a child to make his bed. If the fight was in the car over the fact that I pointed left when giving directions instead of saying the word “left” because my brain couldn’t think of the word, it was really about how I should’ve used Yelp! to find the restaurant instead of our car’s GPS. All out war and its daily battles were always tied to meals.

This week, I tried again to get Phil on board with my batch cooking plan, where I’d shop once, cook once, and feed us like a badass all week long. “That’s not you,” he said. “Besides, in the history of histories, the kids will actually eat two things of the ten you’ve ever made.” It’s true. No one ever eats what I make. ” Dear reader, he just walked in to say, “Lucas and Abigail need to eat lunch now.”

“So, they can get their asses something to eat. They’re thirteen.”

“Like, what?” he said.

“I dunno; I’m writing. Yogurt, sandwiches, heat leftovers in the microwave.” I know what he wants to say. Intuitive knowing tells me that he wants to say, “Again, it’s all on my shoulders whether these kids eat or not. Not cool, Stephanie.” But he doesn’t say this because I’ve thrown down the writing card, and he likes when I write because it means I’m being somewhat productive. I hear him firing up the outdoor grill, and I love him.

The dinner freedom fighters of my home resisted my Middle America Mom push for a dinner calendar. “Because what if we’re not in the mood to eat that,” was their unanimous battle cry. “Tough,” I said. “Together we’ll decide on what we’d like to have for dinner, then I’ll organize and take care of everything.” Aside from Lucas’s allergy to both salmon and cod, we don’t have any major food allergies in our house. Gluten, dairy, nuts, wheat, all fair game. Lucas won’t eat beans. Abigail won’t eat obvious animal fat and would prefer to be a vegetarian. I love the idea of cooked fruits like plums with duck or roasted grapes, walnuts and Brussels sprouts. Everyone in my house makes a bitter face when I even suggest as much. I can’t take it anymore. I need reinforcements. Enter the quad.

My Quad Squad:

Experts in all things weeknight dinner. I own these 4 cookbooks and am using them to go napalm on my family. The way I convinced Phil? “We’ve been married for over 13 years. I think you can give me a week in the history of all dinners. Even if I fail miserably, why not?” He went on to say, it’s a waste of food, I won’t follow through, if I do follow through, no one will eat it and he’ll be left having to make everyone dinner anyway, and cake topper to his argument: “it’s not who you are or what you do.” The older version of me would feel resentful. But the me who has been married to this man for over a decade doesn’t much care what he says about who he thinks I am. His words don’t bother me because I know the story of identity is my own. I can be anyone I want, on any given day, no matter who I’ve ever been. And this week, I’m going to be someone who executes dinner with a chalkboard and a blog. Documenting it all here, starting now.

Batch Cooking Dinner


  1. This is absolutely hysterical !! I can so picture the goings on in your house over all these issues. And once again, I feel like I am right there with you experiencing it live. And you know that’s one of the many things I love about your writing. Although I am not a cook (I mean you know this!) I do go through something similar when I ask my husband what he wants for dinner. The conversations starts with saying, “Kevin, what do you want for dinner?” To which he replies, “I don’t know. Whatever you want!” (I now have a new found level of appreciation for how my mother felt when my father did this!!). And then everything I mention HE DOES NOT WANT!! So I’ve reframed (WW technique) the question & I now ask “Kevin, what don’t you want for dinner??!!” I still get the same answer but it’s not as frustrating for some unknown reason!!! And on another note, I for one would be more than happy to eat anything you make. And I have a funny feeling there’s a line behind me for that! Thanks for another incredible read! You are definitely my favorite author, blogger, & Coach!!!

  2. Oh Steph! This is my household as well. My husband and I also fight about what’s for dinner. Whose cooking. Why didn’t you figure out dinner. Did you pick up dinner?

    Good luck! I too want the chalkboard laid out plan.

    I hope it works!

  3. Thanks for sharing a glimpse in the life of my favorite WW coach. I’m still smiling as I comment here. I’d move forward with your plan and let your husband and kids each choose one day’s meal for you to prepare in advance and you choose the rest of the days. This way at least they will like one meal, the one they chose! You’re exercising your mom rights so no further negotiation, just do it!

  4. OMG, my husband and I get into fights about pointing versus vocalizing in the car all the time. He points, and I bitch. :-)

    Batch cooking is da’ bomb! The trick is to not make too much to where you’re sick of it – a main meal and 1 leftover meal is a happy medium, IMO. Also, I try to repurpose the leftovers into something else so it doesn’t seem like we are eating the same thing over-and-over.

  5. But these smiles are accompanied by the groans over the food situation at MY house. My spouse has informed me that I’ve become a boring dining companion because “either it’s not on Weight Watchers, you hate it, or it contains gluten.” All true, but still annoying. And that is why nobody should ever argue with the woman of the house!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.