Monday, July 12, 2010

Cooking as a SAHD

Now that we have all those lovely groceries, that we got on sale, with coupons, we need to be sure to cook them before they go bad.  Keep in mind that "cooking" involves ALL food preparation.  To that I would add all clean up.  I know that clean up would technically fall under "cleaning" but let's put it under "cooking" for smiles and giggles.

Cooking sounds easy enough... just fix the meal right?  Anyone who has "fixed" a meal knows that it is WAY more involved than that.  First you have to figure out what in the world you are going to eat.  Of course you could look at the new Food Pyramid or go to the American Association of Pediatrics for advice.  First, who knew there is a whole website dedicated to the Food Pyramid!  Man, can we complicate the fog out of something or what!  Then you go to the AAP and you can go broke trying to read their info through their bookstore and publications.  Since I do not have a team of people or my 30's (they are almost gone) to read all of that information I just try to figure out what they will like that is reasonably healthy.  There are some good resources out there to help like The Sneaky Chef.  I actually got mentioned in the last edition!

On to what they will/want to eat.  I follow the mantra that I am not a short order cook.  One of my favorite quotes on this comes from Buddy Hackett: "As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices:  take it or leave it."  But I do frequently give them choices, this or that.  Usually the Triplet of the Day (TOD) makes the call for everyone.  Our biggest weakness is veggies.  Other than green beans cooked with bacon they are not welcome by the kids.  BTW, I LOVE being a Southerner... our veggies include bacon cooked green beans, fried okra, fried squash, green bean casserole, etc...  As you may know, just because they eat it today it does not mean they will eat it tomorrow, next week, next month, etc...

Also, how far in advance should I plan?  I will sometimes plan a meal or two in advance but that is it.  I do not plan out the whole week.  Yes, it would probably make it easier but so would turn signals and no one around here uses those either:)  OK, I know what we are going to cook, now what?

Let's look at the three main meals.  This of course does not include the two snacks during the day that most kids have.  Snacks are good but you have to plan when AND where you are going to have them.

Breakfast is the easiest of the three for me.  Our usual choices are:

  • Cereal (fruity or chocolate cereal ONLY on Saturday and Sunday)
  • Oatmeal (the kind you have to cook) with brown sugar and raisens
  • French toast
  • Blueberry pancakes from scratch
  • Waffles from scratch

Keep in mind I only offer/do the last three if there is enough time or I have some frozen that I can reheat.

Lunch is a bit trickier as I need to figure out where we will have it.  If it is at home how long will I have to cook it?  I mean, will we be getting back home right at lunch time or can they "play" while I cook?  If we will not be at home I need to consider the following:

  • Can I keep in cool? (you try carrying my backpack and a cooler)
  • Will we be able to sit down?
  • Do they have napkins?
  • Is it outside? (fresh fruit is NOT a good idea outside as bees LOVE it!)
  • Are there trashcans available?

Dinner is usually our smallest meal of the day, which my team of researchers (sarcasm) tells me should be the smallest of the day, and is usually easy.  But I do have a few things to consider:
Does the CFO want to have dinner with them?
If she does, what time is she coming home?
What time did they go down for their nap?
How much did they eat for lunch?
What leftovers do we have?

Keep in mind I need to clean all of this stuff up!  So if we go somewhere during the day I am scrambling to clean up breakfast before we leave.  Then I need to clean the cooler out after lunch.  Finally I need to clean up after dinner.  No worries, I only start my day around 6 am and I am usually done cleaning up by 9:30 pm or so.  See, being a SAHD of Triplets is just like a normal job:)

I LOVE this from (thank you Roger) and I think it is a good reflection of me:

Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.
Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)


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