Friday, April 2, 2021

Friday Food: Cook Once, Eat for Days


Short version: Cheese omelets, fried leftover roasted potatoes for the kids, cucumber slices

Long version: Omelets definitely take more time and effort than just scrambling a bunch of eggs, but omelets are also eaten without complaint by everyone in the family. The same cannot be said for scrambled eggs. 

So, extra effort upfront is sometimes worth it to have a meal in which I am not listening to anyone complaining about the food.


Short version: Breakfast sausage patties, rabbity rice, frozen peas

Long version: I had some rabbit stock left from the week before, with which I made rice. Thus, rabbity rice. Alliterative, amusing, and tasty. 

Somewhat relatedly, Jack's class did a craft last week where they had to come up with a word for each letter in "Easter," and one of his classmates, for the final "e" and "r," chose "eat" and "rabbit."

Look out, Easter Bunny. They're coming for you.

Cubby was required to pick up his room before dinner this day. He enlisted the help of his siblings by promising them a cheese party in his room after dinner for anyone who helped. And he made a poster for the party.

They did have music. Irish jigging music, because what else would you eat at a cheese party? They did not, however, have hot milk. They had water, which of course got spilled on Cubby's floor. And that is why they did not have hot milk.


Short version: Meatloaf, leftover rice, cucumber slices, mashed squash

Long version: Sausage is my new secret weapon in meatloaf. Our good ground beef is pretty lean, so the sausage adds some more fat, as well as more flavor. It also seems to help it stay together even without breadcrumbs, which I prefer not to use.

Meatloaf was not actually my plan for dinner. I had cooked a big piece of pork butt and also had the ground beef out. I had thought to have the pork Sunday and form the meatloaves to put in the oven Monday after work, but at the last minute I switched it up.

Wild, crazy, and unpredictable, that's me.

The reason I had so much meat prepared on one day was because I worked on Tuesday this week, too, so I needed three days in a row of easy dinners.


Short version: Carnitas-style pork, bread and butter, green salad with vinaigrette

Long version: And here's the pork! Incidentally, even though it's not Tuesday, here's a tip for you: If you cook any sort of large roast that has fat on it, always save the fat. Particularly with things like pork butt, the fat rendered out of the meat is the best for frying the meat in to reheat it. It tastes like it was just made, instead of like reheated leftovers.


Short version: Leftover meatloaf, leftover rice, frozen green beans

Long version: I made three meatloaves, and there were two left over. So there was plenty for this night, as well as for my lunches at work this week. Meatloaf is good that way.


Short version: A melange of meats, sandwiches for the kids, carrot sticks with curry dip

Long version: Some of the leftover pork made into pulled pork sandwiches for the kids. The rest of the pork fried in more rendered fat for A. and me. A. also ate the last of the leftover brisket from awhile ago, and the last piece of leftover meatloaf.

I hadn't made curry dip in awhile (literally just mayonnaise and sweet curry powder), but it really does elevate plain old carrot sticks quite a bit with minimal effort.


Short version: Not takeout

Long version: I really, really, really (really) was not into cooking dinner this day. I had taken stew meat out, but never worked up the necessary energy to actually cook it. At 4:45 p.m., I told A. "Get out the takeout menus. I don't want to cook tonight."

"Ha ha," he said. "April Fools'."


Anyway, in the absence of takeout options (of any kind), I put together a low-energy dinner from the freezer and pantry.

First, a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables dumped in a skillet, plus some extra onions from the bag in the freezer, plus a jar of pressure-canned bull meat, plus some extra frozen green beans, finished off with soy sauce, vinegar, ginger powder, and peanut butter.

I also made some rice, so it was just like Chinese takeout. Well, except for the actual cooking of it. And the dishes. It didn't produce nearly as much trash, though.

It didn't look like much, but it tasted good.

Tasty dog food.

Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Let the Games Begin

At 5:30 a.m., Cubby's alarm went off. Shortly thereafter, Cubby appeared, fully dressed. Of course, I asked him why he had set his alarm to go off a full hour before he usually gets up for school.

"It's April Fools'. Now I have a whole hour to get my bag of tricks ready."

My clocks are now set two hours ahead, there's a trip wire across the other boys' bedroom door, and Cubby just asked me which shoes his brothers wear to school.

I expect there to be some retaliation from said brothers today. I just hope they forget about me in all the, ahem, fun.

If you were wondering what my least-favorite day of the year is, now you know: April Fools' Day with a bunch of little boys. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

T.T.: Lean in Close

Should you find yourself with a fussy toddler whose attitude could use a little improving, I have an idea for you. Because, of course, I have had a toddler now for . . . nine years. Straight.


Anyway. Here's what you do.

Tell the child you have a secret to share, but to hear it, they have to lean in and let you whisper it in their ear. And then, when they're waiting expectantly for you to whisper something thrilling, you . . .

Oink like a pig right into their ear.

I have had a 100% success rate getting little kids to laugh at this. In our house, it's known as The Piggie Secret, but feel free to call it whatever you wish.

I have no idea how this started, but we're on child number four and The Piggie Secret is just as popular with her as it was with her brothers before her.

You can cover your ears, but you can never escape The Piggie Secret.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Snapshot and a Good-bye

My sister's husband died yesterday very unexpectedly. 

He was a good man, and he will be greatly missed.

Good-bye to Uncle Shannon, who will always be The World's Strongest Man to these little boys.