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Do You Need a Dinner Doula?

family dinnerLike many moms (myself included), Lori Leibovich feels guilty that she doesn’t cook. She’s also worried that by not cooking a variety of foods for her kids, she’s turning them into picky eaters.

“For five years, I have done little more than stick turkey hot dogs and chicken nuggets into the microwave and call it dinner,” Lori (my editor at Babble.com) confesses at RealSimple.com. “I just can’t muster the energy for chopping and peeling—or even boiling water—after a long workday.”

Fed up with her culinary ineptitude and tired of feeling like a slacker in the kitchen, Lori turned to her foodie friend, The Family Kitchen blogger Jenny Rosenstrach.

Jenny volunteered to hold Lori’s hand in the kitchen and give her the confidence she needed to whip up family dinner.

“You know how a doula is there for a new mom so the mom can concentrate on the baby?” Jenny asked. “You need the same thing as a cook.”

That’s how Jenny became Lori’s “Dinner Doula,” helping her to attain three goals:

1. To eat a family dinner once a week for six weeks during which everyone would eat the same thing.

2. To eliminate at least one store-bought meal by replicating it from scratch at home.

3. To master roast chicken.

As for the roast chicken, Lori wrote, “I believe all worthy and competent mothers should be able to perform this efficiently. I also believe that if I could do this one recipe—this one simple recipe—I might just feel a little better about everything else.”

I can so relate to Lori’s struggle. Until recently, I had barely cooked anything except for Pop Tarts and somehow managed to burn packaged mac and cheese. I’ve since cracked a cookbook or two, but I still struggle to cook a family dinner where we can all eat the same thing. And I certainly haven’t yet mastered roast chicken (I generally buy it already roasted from the market).  Any chance I can borrow your Dinner Doula, Lori?

Meanwhile, do you struggle in the kitchen? How do you manage to get dinner on the table every night?

Photo: flickr/stevendepolo

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