Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Household Outsourcing

A work friend and I spent a little bit of time discussing our respective household outsourcing decisions. I (after much debate with a reluctant Hubby) outsource some of the cleaning, and want to outsource more. I came home to a gloriously clean house today- our cleaner comes every fourth Wednesday. I'd like to change that to every second Wednesday, since Hubby and I have most definitely not been keeping up with our cleaning plan. Hubby hasn't agreed yet, but I am hoping that the realities of life with a newborn will bring him around.

My friend outsources more of the cooking- she and her family eat out or order in more often than Hubby, Pumpkin and I do. She thought that we must spend a lot of time cooking. I had to laugh. In the interest of full disclosure, here is our menu plan for this week:
  • Sunday - leftovers (we usually cook on the weekends, but this weekend, we were recovering from colds)
  • Monday - Italian eggs with spinach over polenta (a Cooking Light recipe that Hubby makes and I really love. Sadly, Pumpkin has yet to consent to try any part of this. This week, she picked up a slice of toasted polenta, but decreed it to be "too hot"- her standard response to anything she doesn't want to try- and put it back down.)
  • Tuesday - Quesadillas and smoothies (the quesadilla maker we got as a surprise gift for our wedding has turned out to be a wonderful thing. I make the smoothies using whatever frozen fruit I have on hand, OJ, and a little water. I used to also put in a tub of frozen yogurt, but that's too much effort these days. This is a great way to use fruit that is heading past its prime- I cut it up and freeze it for the next smoothies day. Pumpkin will eat both parts of this meal.)
  • Wednesday - Frozen fishies (fish-shaped fish sticks), mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce (Pumpkin will eat some of the fishies, dunked in ketchup. She has yet to try the potatoes, and after her one nibble on the "little trees with cheese", she has refused to try again.)
  • Thursday- Tortellini and red sauce (Pumpkin LOVES tortellini. I have yet to figure out how we did this and replicate it. The red sauce is home made, but from canned crushed tomatoes. But they're organic! I make a big batch periodically and freeze jars of it for later use.)
  • Friday- BBQ (usually sausages, corn, and zucchini- this is all Hubby)
  • Saturday - Chicken Fatoosh Salad (another of Hubby's Cooking Light recipes. We haven't tried this one on Pumpkin yet. She'll probably eat the pita bread bits, but not the chicken, tomato, or edamame. We figure its worth a try, though.)
We won't be winning any culinary awards around here. However, none of these meals, except perhaps the Chicken Fatoosh Salad, takes more than about 20 minutes to make. The tortellini and red sauce will be ridiculously easy, since it is packaged tortellini and pre-made red sauce. I will fry up some zucchini, too, because another colleague just repaid our earlier avocado generosity (we have a big tree in our backyard) with a couple zucchinis from her home garden. Pumpkin won't touch the zucchinis.

Since it takes Hubby at least 30 minutes to clean one of our (really small) bathrooms, I think it makes good sense for us to keep the cooking in house and outsource the cleaning. I can see how someone with a less, um, thorough housecleaner for a spouse might come to a different conclusion, though.


  1. After I read Speed Cleaning, I was able to clean a small bathroom in 10 min. I can clean all 3 of our bathrooms in 30 min.

    Do I want to do it?


    But I do it on the weeks our cleaner doesn't come. She comes tomorrow. Yippee!

  2. I can clean a bathroom in 10 minutes, too, at least when I'm not pregnant (right now, I'd have a very hard time cleaning the tub). I have to admit, though, that Hubby's cleaning is quite a bit more thorough than mine.

  3. Ha! Le Petit's standard excuse for not eating something is "too hot," too. But he's a pretty good eater, so I'm not complaining... not he eats many of our adult meals yet!

    We're all about salads at the moment. Green salads, potato salads, shrimp salads, everything-left-in-the-fridge salads. Very short prep time.

    We have a tiny apartment, and I only have three tasks I consider essential to do on a near-weekly basis (bathroom, kitchen, vacuuming). I don't want to outsource because I think it would be too depressing to see everything get dirty again the day after paying for a cleaner to come. If my husband and I do the cleaning, it's still depressing to me, but less so!


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.