What's for Dinner?

The average person spends an average of 5 hours a week cooking. Since the average person lives about 80 years. With 52 weeks in a year, that equates to 4,160 weeks that we live; take that times 5 and you get 20,800 hours that we spend cooking during our lifetime. Divide 20,800 hours by 24 and your get 867 days. Divide 867 days by 365 and you end up cooking for 2.38 years of your life. That’s a lot of time in the kitchen, standing on your feet.

When I first got married, I thought cooking was fun. I made stuff from scratch; I even made some fancy pastry with cream filling and chocolate frosting – a Bavarian Cream yummy thing. It looked hilarious but tasted divine – at least that's what my still in the honeymoon phase, smart husband of 2.5 months said. I now save the “from scratch stuff” for birthdays and holidays. The rest of the time, I love my Crock Pot!

My husband and I recently bought a Crockpot/Fast-Cook combo for our son who is off on his own at college. As a working wife and mom, I’m now on my 2nd crockpot in 26 years. I used the first one so much, it finally cracked and demanded it be allowed to rest in peace – or should I say, pieces.

Sunday night as my husband and I were debating about heating up left-over Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings or Stir-Fry, my grown daughter texted me that she and her husband were going to have left-overs for dinner, but even the left-overs were over their prime. Last week, a male colleague at work came into my office and said, “Doc, what do I do; my wife is mad at me?” I said, “Bring home dinner and she’ll forgive whatever grievance you’ve committed.” It was my quick, honest answer. If dinner is taken care of – the rest will take care of itself – at least in my book.

My new realization that we spend 2.38 of our lives cooking, has me thinking about the way I spend my time. I googled other activities. To my chagrin, I learned we spend about 8.5 years watching T.V.; 3 years posting on Facebook; more than 12 months sitting in traffic, 248 days finding parking spots (where I work, it has to be double), 13 years listening to music, 8 months laughing, 15 months working out, 12 years at work (+15 months of overtime that we don’t get compensated for), 8.5 years engaging in retail therapy, and 2 years in meetings (more than 25% of this meeting time is spent on pointless discussions and needless minutiae – Amen to that; are we having church here?)

I’m going to keep running with this topic:

On average, there are about 2,000 steps in a mile. In an 80-year-life, we walk about 110,000 miles. That equates to 1,375 miles a year; 114.5 miles a month; 28.6 miles a week; and 4.08 miles a day. As a kid, I used to go running and pretend that each step I took was bringing me 1 step closer to my future. Essentially, it was. At the age of 18, I left for boot camp. At this point in my life, I had already walked 24,750 miles (not counting the miles I ran for fun).

In the middle of our day today, our week, our month, our lives, may we stop and reflectively contemplate the value of the activities in which we engage and may each step we take bring us 1 step closer to enjoying our lives and 1 minute less on wondering what’s for dinner…

And for those of you who want to know what’s for dinner? Throw the below in the crock pot and call e’r done and get back to spending quality time with the ones you love.  


Kristina Seymour’s Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

1 cooked rotisserie chicken deboned (I buy one at the grocery store the day before I need it)

1 chopped large onion

3 stems of celery cut into small pieces

4 carrots cut into small pieces

¾ large box of chicken broth (save the extra for heating up left-overs) (always keep chicken broth on hand for soup and heating up left-over soup)

1 can of cream of celery soup

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 can of biscuits cut into thirds

A small frozen bag of peas and carrots

Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Celery Salt, Tabasco to taste

Cook on low for 6-8 hours – or whenever you get home but 6 hours is ideal if you have a timer on your crock pot.


IN THE MIDDLE (from God & Coffee: in that order I)

In the middle of a cake

The pudding is very moist.

In the middle of a day

To take a nap would be the choice.

In the middle of a walk

It’s good to sit upon a rock

And contemplate your life

And lose yourself in thought.

In the middle of the night

It’s good to look upon the stars

And drink some hot coffee

And consider where in life you are.

In the middle of making a decision

It’s fun to roll the dice,

To flip a coin and laugh

But more importantly – to talk to Christ.

In the middle of one’s life

As we run here and there

As we work for all the “things” we “need”

Do we stop and think in prayer?

In the middle of hard times

It’s not good to throw oneself down

And pout and remain stubborn

Forgetting about the one who wears the crown.

In the middle of one’s charted journey

Plans are made and bags are packed

What if in the middle-

You realize you have the wrong map?

What if God chose to re-route your vacation

Passing by the beach in Florida

And what if God told you that you

Were destined for Oklahoma?!!

You must go, you must not whine

For whining is not allowed

And only real babies in this life

Gather admiration crowds.

If you want to be a leader

And show God’s gracious light

You must be in the middle

To try to understand your plight.

For in the middle of a cake

In the middle of a day

In the middle of troubles God is there

To say

“Eat the cake, I tried it – it’s delish.

Take a nap if you’re tired – but only if

You’re done with your list.”

And in the middle of your troubles in the middle of your goals

Know that God may re-direct you

For the good of your soul.


Enjoy the Chicken & Dumplings, Gang!