On Labor Day, I actually labored. My superhero endured the heat to trim, cut and edge on yesterday, so I thought I’d do my part and weed. The weather was so pleasant until I also decided to stay outside and clean out the garage. It’s amazing how the day before an impending storm can bring about such a peaceful day. Hmmm…that’s a good start for another entry, but I’ll try it at another time.
While out in the garden, I had a chance to reflect on a number of things. One thing was how nice it was to have a day with few have-tos. I was so excited about that, in fact, that I almost slept in—that is, until I realized how much “help” the five-year-old would give me if I waited. But I did cook breakfast rather than allowing everyone to go for themselves with cereal and bagels. That decision almost spelled doom in terms of my to-do list, but thankfully, I was able to recoup.
There’s a neat story about meal time at our home. It goes all the way back to my mom, who was “old school” in all her ways. She cooked one meal, and if you didn’t like it, tough. I was never a picky eater, although I do remember using ketchup and barbecue sauce to cover up the taste of black eyed peas and lima beans. Having grown up in that environment, how’d I get to be such a bleeding heart when it comes to food? The oldest is just plain picky, as I’ve spoken of before, and our son is a vegetarian. The five-year-old comes the closest to eating the same diet of my superhero and I, a diet that encompasses a wide variety of dishes. We’ve picked up something from each of our eating adjustments, i.e., fad diets, over the years—vegetarian dishes, lowfat, whole wheat pasta, you name it. The impact of all of this is that, on any given day, I cook at least 2 different lunches and 2 different dinners. The only reason breakfast isn’t consistently impacted is because everyone loves those rich, starchy foods—pancakes, waffles, biscuits. Recently my husband and I experimented with the South Beach diet. I was trimmer and I felt better, but it was alot of work for me. The hardest part was cooking breakfast each morning. I had to cook eggs and turkey sausage for us. My son likes eggs, but the girls hate them. The youngest likes meats, so sausage works, but she hates cereals, hot or cold, which the oldest enjoys. After weeks of eggs, I missed my fruit smoothies, and 2-1/2 to 3 breakfast dishes each morning took a big chunk of my energy and enthusiasm for the rest of the day. Charlotte Mason, in Ourselves, talks about the danger of gluttony and of thinking ahead to the next meal while consuming one. Yet, with several appetites to cater to, I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about what to cook, when to cook it, and how each person might respond to it. I know the food pyramid the way some ladies know their favorite store in a mall. I actually took a picture of the stove one day recently before dinner.
The chicken and fries were for the girls, and the spinach enchiladas (pictured in back) were for the guys. Since I like corn tortillas rather than flour tortillas, I cooked hearty rice skillet, a vegetarian variation on beans and rice, for myself. This is me each day: full-time short-order cook.
Anyway, after cleaning up the garage, I actually had a little school time with the kids—their idea. We didn’t finish everything we needed to on Friday, and rather than try to rekindle our energy late on Friday night, we thought to wrap up when we’re more refreshed. Then, after a brief check-in with the bigger kids, I actually had an opportunity to relax, respond to a few blogging friends, and type this entry, an entry that started on Monday, but will become public on Friday–HA HA!! Is the start of school having this effect on anyone else? Dance season for us began on Tuesday, and I’m still making the adjustment to having someplace to go almost each evening.
Dinner on Monday was buffalo burgers with roasted potatoes and broccoli for hubby and I, chicken and fruit for the girls, and a sandwich for our son. My mom is looking down from Heaven and laughing.