A Week in a Day

My husband has taken up yoga on Saturday mornings, which means Sunday mornings are my gym time, and I am quite liking it.  In particular, while I am gasping away on the Stairmaster I like watching Meet the Press to get my comprehensive week-in-review for news and current events, followed by a new Food Network program called Week in a Day hosted by Rachael Ray.  The former program wraps up the week, the latter kicks it off.  Symmetry in TV-land.

Love her or hate her (and I confess I oscillate on that one), Ms. Ray has landed quite a concept with her new show, and while I haven’t actually made any of the recipes I’ve seen I find it to be rather inspiring.  The idea is this: you take a few hours on Sunday, and prepare a handful of master recipes which serve as a base for five weeknight recipes.  An entire roast chicken can be cut up, with breasts served as Sunday supper and thighs and wings shredded and set aside for fajitas or Chinese chicken salad on Tuesday; a braised pork shoulder is sliced with potatoes on Monday, then shredded into a hearty ragout over pasta come Thursday.  You see where I’m going here.

This method of menu planning serves two (often conflicting) purposes: weeknight dinners become more about assembly than cooking; but, the food is nonetheless home-made and unprocessed.  The only challenge (and actually, for the working parent it’s a big challenge, as weekends tend to be about Family Time) is finding those hours on Sunday do all the prep work.  (Hence my overdependence on naptime.)

As is her talent, Ms. Ray also appears to be tapping into some kind of trend/movement among home chefs and working parents.  I couldn’t help noticing (actually, in fairness, it was my husband who noticed: “For your blog!”) that this past Sunday introduced a new column in the San Francisco Chronicle Food & Wine section which will focus on this very topic: how to work and cook and have kids all at the same time.

How many times did I use the word “time” in this entry?  Too many.  I guess when something feels scarce you start to get kind of obsessed with it.

Leave a Comment