Quick Dinner

Okay, I know I was bragging about how wonderful emealz is. But there is one problem with emealz. There isn’t a contingency plan for when you’ve stayed up past your bedtime, awoke at 2:30am to feed Farley, then tried, in vain, to take a nap in the afternoon instead of cooking. So you get up from your aborted nap, change the poopy diaper, clean up the syrup that was dumped onto the counter and defrocked Farley, whose shirt was sticky, and realize that DH will be home in fifteen minutes. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch; DH isn’t the kind of guy that demands supper on the table right when he walks in the door. Far from it, but that’s a tale for another blog. However, I LIKE having dinner ready right when he gets home. I’m usually pretty hungry, and so are the kids. And it looks like I’ve been working all day, instead of sitting on my babushka reading Super Freakonomics.

So I love having a jar of spaghetti sauce in the pantry and a box of Cheese-Topped Texas Toast in the freezer. (Thank you ALDI!) We also have leftover salad. Ta Da! A little side note about salad. As you may have divined from my previous posts, I have a little problem with junk food addiction. (I can stop anytime.) But lately salad has sounded really good, and not only a nice leafy green salad with tomato chunks, but I have rediscovered that it tastes really good with just salt and pepper. No dressing. Finally, something approaching nutritious that I can’t get enough of.

Happy Eating!

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Sweepings

As you may have surmised by reading most, if not all, my posts, I am obsessed with the food that goes into my family members’ mouths. Not that I have any dietary restrictions or obsessive leanings toward organic…I just think about it all the time, and spend most of my day in the actual kitchen. I wouldn’t consider myself a truly gourmet cook either. Although I can whip up recipes out of thin air. Not that there’s anything wrong with those who spend a lot of time, money and effort into providing really healthy food for their families. Really, I aspire to that. But back to the sweepings.

I subscribe to the philosophy that I can feed my kids a balanced diet over the course of a week, as opposed to all in one day. This gives me a little more leeway. I have at least one picky eater on a given day. If he refuses the tortilla soup one day, there’s a good chance he’ll eat the beef stroganoff on the next.

I am a spontaneous cook. I have a huge repertoire of dishes, both meaty and meatless, and I cook for variety as much as for my own appetite as for anyone else’s. I like the idea of preparing something that sounds good to me, so I may have a couple different menu choices each day. I also try to balance this with what is thawed in the fridge and how long it will take me to prepare it. For example, yesterday was Chorizo y Papas with re-fried beans. Night before that was Sloppy Joes and onion rings. Night before that was breakfast sandwiches: English muffins with egg and sausage patties and cheese. As you can see, there is no rhyme or reason. It has everything to do with what is in the freezer, fridge and of course, what I’m in the mood for. Tonight is fried catfish with cornbread and fresh green beans from the garden, and maybe I’ll make up some picante out of the garden as well.

So, bringing this all together, I sneak the vegetables in wherever I can. I figure by the end of the week, my kids will have eaten plenty of carbs, plenty of dairy, and certainly an adequate amount of vegetables. Harvest season is easier because they’re more likely to sample garden produce that they helped plant and water.

What, you ask, does all of this have to do with sweepings? Well, I was pondering dietary variety, sufficient vitamins and minerals and general food consumption as I was shooing Farley (the one-year old) away from the pile of yuck that I swept up in the hallway. He crawled toward it like it was the Last Supper, a smorgasbord of culinary delight in a convenient one-stop shopping pile. Gross! Why will little kids put really horrible stuff in their mouths, like pillow stuffings and dryer lint or worse (see my post about Ingesting Foreign Bodies) but won’t eat things like pureed bananas or Cream of Wheat? It’s a mystery. Brings to mind my aforementioned picky eater, ‘Kevin’, who will dine quite happily on frog legs and miniature squids, but won’t touch my tortilla soup. Maybe if I disinfect my floors to pristine clean, I can throw a day’s worth of veggies on it and pretend to sweep it up. I know at least one of my kids will eat it.