Thursday, January 29, 2015

7 Days, 5 Kids, 1 Mom - Feeding The Hungry Hordes

Ah, bedtime at last!

Or rather, writing time.  It is every bit of midnight and I should be in bed, but not before jotting down the happenings of the day.  Otherwise I will never get to sleep.

The most exciting thing today was that I finally made contact with Robert.  Hooray!!  Evidently he had  been faithfully sending me emails and pictures of all that he has been doing.  But I didn't get them until late this afternoon.  So, while I was agonizing over why doesn't he write, he was agonizing over my silence as well.  When I did start getting the emails, they were ones of concern, hoping that I was okay.  It was killing me, knowing that he was so worried about me and obviously not receiving my messages.  Finally, however, our correspondence did catch up with each other.  How did people manage in the 1700's?  I can't imagine being John Adams or Benjamin Franklin, in France, waiting anxiously for news from their war ravaged homeland.  News that would take months to cross the Atlantic, if it ever made it at all.  Your loved ones could be dead and buried for several months before you would ever hear anything about it.  My trials and tribulations in this science fiction age are so very insignificant.

Besides school, today we also ventured out on a provisioning foray.  We got a rather late start, not leaving the house until four o'clock.  And that was compounded by long lines at the bank and my irrepressible urge to put my two cents worth in on the radio show I was listening to, so by the time we actually hit the store, it was almost five.  We trudged onward, buying enough vittles to (hopefully!) last us the next two weeks.  By the time we finished up at Aldi's and Walmart and arrived home it was 7.  One of my New Year's Resolutions is to make more freezer meals.  So far the plan has worked out pretty well.  I have several meals from my last grocery trip still in the freezer.  I pulled one of them out to pop in the oven while I cooked up the fresh groceries.

In theory, this is how the plan should work:

Mary leaves for the store at a reasonable time.
Mary arrives home at a reasonable time.
Mary immediately begins to cook and assemble the planned meals as tonight's dinner burbles away in the oven so that the family may eat at a reasonable time.
Since Mary is washing dishes and putting away the remaining food as she goes, the kitchen should be cleaned up after dinner at a reasonable time.
Because of Mary's thrift and industry, there should be plenty of time for a cozy family evening around the fire, after which the children are lovingly tucked into bed at a reasonable time.

That scenario did not happen.

The Greek Chicken Spaghetti took much longer to cook than anticipated.  We didn't eat until 8:30.  Elle had an accident that required an immediate bath.  Ana ransacked the bags of produce that I so thoughtfully had left on the floor for her convenience.  No dishes were washed, most of the groceries were left strewn about the floor, half my meals were still un-assembled.

And I still needed to pack because we are leaving for Oklahoma City first thing in the morning.

That was when Elle stuck her ice cold hands under my shirt.

Things are kind of a blur after that point, but eventually all the kids wound up in bed.  I set the timer for 15 minutes and picked up the living room and dining room.  I vaccumed, just because I knew it would make me feel better.  I wasted copious amounts of time on my phone.  I had no idea that Cy had recorded me reading out loud this afternoon.  That stinker!  I might have had some chocolate . . .  Finally I plucked up my courage and plunged back into the fray, er, the kitchen.

Guess what?  My freezer is now fully stocked with delicious meals that I can pop into the oven, crockpot or take to a friend at a moments notice!  I think that is worth the investment.  Even if it is now rather unreasonably late.  I walked out of the kitchen at midnight, on the dot.

But you know, cooking while the house is quiet is kind of enjoyable.

Here is what I fixed tonight:

2 batches of Creamy Garlic Meatballs.  Basically these are dressed up frozen meatballs that I will serve over mashed potatoes.

2 pans of Lasagna.  I found it was much faster to just cook the meat instead of putting it in the fridge to potentially spoil before I ever found the time do something with it.

2 Sausage Spinach Casseroles.  I fried the sausage at the same time as I was frying the meat for the lasagna.

I still have Stroganoff (waiting for my darling's return dinner!) Cheeseburger Pie and one more pan of Chicken Spaghetti in the freezer as well.  That's nine meals that I don't have to worry about!  Nine afternoons that I can spend playing games with the kids or at the park, or going to the zoo or practicing the piano or writing the Great American Novel . . .

Who am I kidding?

I'll probably just take a nap.

And it will be awesome!