Monday, September 6, 2010

Cramp in My Style

I have gone back to work. This puts a serious cramp in my blogging schedule, not to mention my cooking schedule.

I did a trial run during Sam's first week of daycare. The trial being: Can I cook dinner, prepare lunches, get myself and Sam ready in the morning, and so on. I only went to work a couple of those days, and cleaned the house during the others. The trial was me waking up at 5am, trying to exercise and ready myself, and make Sam's lunch and get him up and eating breakfast. Turns out that is too much to do in the morning.
The trial also included me hanging out in the kitchen all day Sunday. I prepared a couple soups and a few items for lunch. I even made Sam empanadas which - surprise - he didn't like.
I made bread for breakfast and lunches, too. It was a recipe I found on the back of my whole wheat bread package that called for "cracked wheat" and "cracked rye," neither of which can be found. I substituted wheat berries, thinking I would crack them myself with a rolling pin. That didn't work. So we had incredibly chewy bits in the bread. So chewy that it prompted Josh to ask about their identity, which is his way of saying that he doesn't like something. "Hm, what is this?" He manages to wipe all curiosity out of his tone so that you get the message. It was good bread, the wheat berries just needed more soaking so that you could chew them ... at all.
I made a soup that I have featured here already: Lydia Bastianich's vegetable soup. I got to include more potatoes from our garden. Yippee.
The second soup was a Jacques Pepin recipe: Corn Soup. You use hominy and tomatoes, thyme and cumin, then add fresh corn and cilantro. It was delicious.

I think I will continue with this plan of making a couple big things over the weekend. But I don't want to spend all day in the kitchen. I know I will get used to my new schedule, but it is so different and my body is so tired. I was exhausted when I got home every day. I just wanted silence - something not easily had with a two-year-old.

Speaking of which, I have to pack his lunch every morning. This is a major drag because (a) he is picky, and (b) it has to be cold. The parents are advised from the outset to pack a variety of lunches. Okay. Sure. The real curve ball is that the daycare is peanut free! What the hell is wrong with Western culture that we have created all of these allergy mutants! Who in the world is allergic to all nuts? I had a kid tell me he is allergic to stone fruit! What? These were domesticated thousands of years ago in the Orient and you are allergic to them? Egg whites? What?!!


  1. I am thinking of you and hear you on the cold, varied lunches. Be as easy on yourself as you can. You're a great mom and teacher. xox, EB

  2. I continue to marvel at how the heck you are doing it all! I, unfortunately, fall more in the category of pasta + sauce from the jar. I pride myself on us having a hearty breakfast in the morning but cannot say much for our dinners! What I did want to share is this brilliant idea a parent came up with in EO's daycare class. She proposed the idea of "community lunches" to the parents (13 kids in the class) and we all agreed on a diverse menu that addressed allergies or distastes. The teachers gave the most input by telling us what the kids were eating (what they liked) and what they were tossing. Some kids grabbing from other plates, etc. So, with 13 kids, it means I just have to make lunch (granted, a big lunch for 13!) only once every two weeks! Community lunch---has saved my sanity! No more nights of "darn, what am I going to make for lunch!). We are asked to just bring in a snack for our kiddo--a piece of fruit and we're set!

    food for thought-

  3. That is food for thought! A great idea, in fact. Thanks L.