Friday, March 09, 2007

Fast Food

Okay, I have a big long hopefully helpful post planned really soon, but it's not ready yet so tonight I'm going to tell you about my last minute dinner. Because I know you're dying to hear about it.

I was way behind in running errands today due to some very late nap takers and by the time I got home it was way past dinner time, past the kids bath time and almost bedtime. I did not today have something nifty already cooking in the crockpot. My dinner plans were not made with an emergency toilet paper run in mind, which in my case is a 20 minute walk to the store with 3 kids in tow another hour dragging them through the store and another 20 minutes minimum getting them home. I didn't buy many groceries however, because I have most of what I need for this week already.

I knew that my plans for baked chicken with noodles and sauce were not going to happen tonight, we couldn't wait another hour to eat. So when we walked in the door I had no idea what to eat for dinner and I needed to get it together fast. You all know me, sort of, so you won't be surprised to hear that I have no convenience foods on hand, none nada zip. Okay, I do have some cans of tomato sauce and I make meals ahead but those are pretty much gone and pretty much everything is dry or frozen. Suddenly I remembered that I have all of these turnovers in the freezer so I pulled some out to warm up and figured that that may have to do for dinner. Then behind the turnovers I spotted a lonely little vegetable broth that I made last month and forgot about and I knew what I was going to do about dinner.

I put the frozen soup broth in a pot, turn it on high so it will thaw. I added some rice to cook in the broth. Then I pulled from the fridge some leftover black beans that have gone with two dinners so far this week, into the pot they went, with a can of tomato sauce, some andouille that I had just picked up at the store on a whim, chopped. I madly seasoned for about a minute, covered the whole thing, and 15 minutes later threw in a few handfuls of kale that I had chopped and then frozen and we were enjoying a pretty tasty soup and a salad that I made while the soup was cooking. It was a little rushed but it worked out.

So, I have some habits that made this possible of course, like making soup broth out of all of my usable leftovers, meat bones, and vegetable scraps. And I usually make double what I will need for one meal of just about everything and save the other half for later. These habits are so ingrained now that I don't think about them, it just happens. I was just very pleased to discover that even when plans go awry I don't need to rely on convenience foods to get my people fed.


a. borealis said...

Wow -- that is awesome. You definitely have reason to be proud of yourself! Atta girl.

kate said...

Great! And I'm impressed that your kids are open to eating so many different kinds of foods...

Could you specify exactly what vegetable scraps are useable? What about, say, carrot tops and ends? Do you save them up in the fridge until you have enough for a broth? And how exactly do you make the broth? My MIL always makes broth from the bones and heads when she makes fish, and it's really nice to have on hand...

Alice said...

I took a short break from blogging, but I'm back, and have just read your last four entries. I think you are wonderful! You inspire me. I think I'm organised and then I see the variety in your meals and I realise I have a way to go, but you are an inspiration and I'm thankful for it.

Putting that aside, don't you find it incredible that some people insinuate you are depriving your children by reducing their sugar and fat intake? I find this attitude extremely irritating and very ignorant. I wonder if you ever come across it?

AND: I fed a friend's child his evening meal recently, and served an aduki bean dish, including carrots and brussells sprouts, and the mother cuddled the crying child and said, not to worry, she'd NEVER make him even try a horrid brussells sprout (in front of my child). Unbelievable. Sorry about this rant. I will try to contain myself in future!

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