I've been working part time for years - but from the house. This new gig is also part time, but it's outside the house, like in an actual office.
When do people who work in an office cook dinner? Fold Laundry? Watch TV? (I'm kidding. Mostly.)
I've noticed, since leaving the house with the kids in the morning and coming home with them in the afternoon (this job fits snugly, maybe a little too snugly, between carpool runs) that I feel like I never know if I am coming or going, or what needs to be cooked or what's already in the fridge and also, where all the socks are.
In an effort to streamline things, and because, in this house, food is waaay more important than clean socks, I started prepping most of the food for the week on Sunday.
Is it a huge pain?
So much yes.
Is it cutting into all the fun Sunday activities?
Every damn week.
Does it make me so happy to see all the containers of food in the fridge?
So I do the trendy thing and meal prep - even though I hate that term, and I do not share the pictures of my food containers on Instagram and I certainly don't make everyone eat the same thing everyday. The list might sound insane, but I really do get four dinners, five days of lunches and usually four days of breakfast out of all of this. By Friday, we're eating cereal for breakfast.
And the kids will be okay.
The trick to all of this though - defrosting protein from the freezer on Friday, before Shabbos, so that it is ready to be cooked on Sunday morning.
These are the basic building blocks I make each week:
- grill a family pack of chicken cutlets
- saute a family pack of ground meat
- bake a bag of Kirkland salmon
- sautee four onions
- roast one pan of broccoli, one of cauliflower, one of sweet potatoes
- bake a bunch of regular potatoes
- bake a crustless spinach and mushroom quiche
- bake a batch of tuna burgers
- cut all cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles and peppers in the house and bag them in snack bags
- make dressing for the week
- cut up any fruit (melon?) waiting on the counter
- make a pot of rice
- make a pot of chicken soup - shred the chicken for chicken salad and store the carrots separately (they make a good side dish), serve the soup as part of a dinner
- bake cookies or muffins for the week
- bake a batch of granola
- wash whatever lettuce hasn't been washed yet.
Holy. Writing it out like that makes it look like a TON OF FOOD. And it is.
But it all gets finished, it gets us through the week in a house where almost no one likes pasta and it's, for the most part, pretty healthy.
When I first started doing this, I literally spent five hours in the kitchen, and I salted the food with my tears.
But now that it's been a number of weeks, and I know which pots to use for what, and have figured out how to use all the burners and both oven racks at the same time, I am in and out the kitchen in 90 minutes.
I won't lie and say the dishes are done or the kitchen is clean, but the food is most definitely finished and packed away. And Josh and I usually come back and clean the kitchen before bed.
Like date not. But so not.