Can we have McDonald’s, Mommy?
As a working mother of four, I have had my share of days where I gave in to such a request and rolled up to the drive-thru. Back when my kids were little, I didn’t even consider how bad that stuff was for us. I enjoy cooking and I do it well, so that wasn’t the problem. Some days, I just wasn’t in the mood to cook; on those days we’d get double this and super sized that. Not everyday, but as often as once per week, some times. Our favorite spot was Wendy’s. I justified it with several reasons, but the main one was “their burgers taste just like grandmaw’s burgers.” Even still, home cooked food will always be the better choice, if you ask me, especially if you take the time to prepare the food well. Homemade doesn’t always equate to quality; it requires some effort and some care. I feel like anyone can follow a recipe and it’s easy.
Oh boy! If I knew then what I know now. I won’t get into the details about all that here (you can research that on your own) but let’s just say everything isn’t always what it seems. Now I know; better late than never.
Nowadays, I make McDonald’s-esque dishes, the long, but better way. For instance, The Egg McMuffin with cheese: easy to duplicate and delicious, honey. The long, long way means we make our own muffins and get eggs from the chicken coup; we’re not there yet, but one day soon we will be. In the meantime, the long way simply means toasting some English muffins in the toaster, making a folded egg, slapping some cheese on it and serving it in your own dining room. I put more effort into it than that, like using real butter and drizzling honey on the muffins or sliding a crispy piece of turkey bacon in there, and the end result is tastier than McDs. Even though kids get all happy when you pull into the drive way at McDonald’s, I know they appreciate being served food, at home, that looks like McD’s but tastes far better.
Do you have any McD’s money?
As children, we used to get so MAD at my mom when she said this to us. Like, “Wow, Mom! McDonald’s doesn’t have their own money.” Funny thing is, I remember the first time I said that to my own kids and my mother overheard me. She gave me a look because she knew I never thought the day would come when I would be sounding like her. Well, we have come full circle and boy is it deja vu when it comes to complaining about the money we spend on fast food. Once, I remember my mother-in-law helped me realize that I spent almost $100 at Wendy’s in a week. I was done after that. I worked there as a teenager, so I figured it wasn’t too hard to duplicate the taste and texture of their burgers. I remembered their condiment formula and I make my burgers like that to this day! (Hint: white, red, green 🍔)
If eating healthy isn’t a reason to stop eating fast food, then being more frugal with your money is certainly a good one. I’m not gonna preach to you about frequenting fast food joints, but if you pay attention, I’m sure you’ll see that you’re spending more money on fast food than you realize. It’s cheaper to buy and prepare your own and YouTube has tons of tutorials on how to duplicate some of your favorite fast food recipes. Speaking of which…
The FRIES are delicious though…🤤🤤🤤
Believe me. I know! I used to think McDonald’s had the best fries of all time…but then they changed the oil and now they just taste dangerous. We prefer my fries over anyone else’s now and not necessarily because I make them, but certainly because of how they are made. Fresh cut potatoes and high quality cooking oil are a must for great tasting and better-than-fast-food fries, if you ask me. I always have potatoes and cooking on hand because I try to keep the staples on-hand just because. On the days when I’m feeling fast-food fries, I cut up some potatoes in the classic shoe string size, deep fry them in peanut oil (canola works too, if you prefer), then season them with salt and pepper and a few secret spices and I’m heaven. And for the record, I know peanut oil is expensive, but it is worth it because it cooks clean, so you can reuse it and it lends a nice buttery taste to whatever you cook with it. It’s better for you too, which explains the price. (I’ll talk about that on another post). One thing I noticed about fast food fries like McD’s and Wendy’s, they deep fry them first and then season them fresh out of the hot oil. I used to season my fries BEFORE cooking them, but I love how much better they taste when I season them after they’re cooked.
Your children will thank you!
Once, I heard my children bragging to their friends about how my burgers taste better than McDonald’s, and while their friends argued against the notion, my babies stood their ground and defended their position. The proof is always in the pudding, though. Those who were lucky enough to feast with us are now believers. Seriously, though, I believe that children are more appreciative of food that we take the time to prepare with our hands because they can feel the love that comes with all that. Sometimes they don’t act like it, but deep down inside, they do. Last night, I made dinner rolls and a fruit pie that rivals KFC and McD’s, respectively. Now that my babies are adults, they occasionally go to fast food joints for a burger and fries and, let them tell it, they regret almost immediately after they eat. When they eat at home, they are more satisfied, well-nourished and grateful, without the bubble guts. I don’t know for sure what makes the difference, but homemade wins over fast food all day everyday, if you ask me.