…Because it’s July. Because it’s summer. It’s camp season. It’s…
Well, it’s a pretty much regular occurrence by now that I’ll be late with the meal plan. Not with creating it, because otherwise — as we know — I will be lost without it and the family will staaaaarve. But with posting it. Because life just IS that way.
Speaking of how life IS sometimes, in the spirit of full honesty and disclosure, I hereby confess that this weekend was the Weekend Mom Officially Lost her _______. (You’ll fill in that blank with whatever best suits your particular vocabulary, I guess.) See, here’s the thing. I have been telling you all for many years now that keeping everyone fed well doesn’t have to be this horrible, time-sucking, spirit-destroying thing. That it can be rewarding and joyful, or at least rewarding and not soul-crushing, or at least rewarding when you are lying in a dark room somewhere with a cold compress on your tired forehead doing deep breathing exercises and reminding yourself why you do what you do. That it’s worth it and you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the task.
That’s all still true. And yet, even the best of us are sometimes overwhelmed by the task.
So this weekend, I had one of those moments. They’re rare, mind you, but I share this with you because I think it’s important to acknowledge that EVEN THE BLOGGER SOMETIMES JUST DOESN’T WANT TO FEED PEOPLE ANYMORE. Summertime can be a particularly annoying moment in the feeding routine because when people are home more, and eating schedules are derailed by various camps and special events and activities, you might find yourself — as I did this weekend — feeling like you’re just trying to hold everything together with some sort of MacGyver kitchen skill, but you’re falling short. And the people still need to be fed, three times a day, or five times a day, or apparently eight times a day because suddenly the children are Hobbits. Thanks, summer.
The groceries were bought at the same time as they are every single week — Friday afternoon — and yet by Monday we were already out of several important staple items. I was beating people off of a few things that I needed to save for camp lunches. I’d been harangued for serving salmon cakes on Friday, then for putting zucchini in the salmon cakes, then for serving tuna steaks on Saturday, then for not making enough broccoli with the tuna steaks. Yup. Usually, my family is polite and gracious and even grateful, but not this weekend. I’d been promised that I’d get a break and we’d go out to eat at some point during the weekend, but we never did. I got worn down until I finally made pancakes even though I had just woken up and hadn’t had coffee and didn’t want to make pancakes. I woke up every day of the weekend to a group of hungry people who were looking expectantly at me, and who just a few hours later would do the same, and then a few hours after that, the same, and nobody wanted to eat the same thing as anybody else. And did I mention we were already out of several important staple items?
So by the time Monday lunch rolled around and I’d already been in the kitchen making pancakes for breakfast and then pickles for dinner and then focaccia bread for later in the week, and then everyone wanted something to eat and I didn’t know what to feed them, and nobody but me seemed to realize that lunch wasn’t going to just magically appear on the table…I had had it. I dug deep and put out a bunch of food: Part of the focaccia bread I’d baked, a caprese salad, tuna, egg salad, fruit. Here. Eat, family. I have provided nourishment. I even gave the LAST BOWL OF YOGURT — again, deep breaths, OUT OF A STAPLE BEFORE THE WEEK HAS EVEN BEGUN — with berries and honey to P.
And then they all sat down and the complaining began.
I may have suggested that they move out.
Grandma will feed you. And you won’t backtalk her for making your three squares a day.
I may not have used my kindest words, either.
Oh, I rallied. It took a few hours and some of that lying-in-a-dark-room-breathing-deeply therapy, but I rallied. And I cooked dinner. And I packed camp lunches. And I got up this morning and started everything all over again, because that is what I do.
But for a couple of minutes there, this weekend, I was totally serious about packing them up and shipping them all off to various family members. Except the dog. He likes whatever I feed him.
Anyway. That’s the story of how even the best of us can sometimes lose it completely. And now, a meal plan. Rallying.
Friday, 7/1: Salmon cakes with tzatziki, salad and sweet potato fries
Saturday, 7/2: Fresh seafood — we did tuna steaks with teriyaki, brown rice and broccoli
Sunday, 7/3: Moussaka and salad
Monday, 7/4: Turkey club burgers, homemade pickles and roasted potato wedges
Tuesday, 7/5: Chicken Caesar salad with focaccia croutons
Wednesday, 7/6: Penne Alla Norma
Thursday, 7/7: Mediterranean grilled pork and vegetables
Friday, 7/8: “No-Fuss” chicken and vegetables
Saturday, 7/9: Farmer’s Market chili and cornbread
Sunday, 7/10: Sunday roast chicken dinner
Monday, 7/11: Vegetable frittata and caprese salad
Tuesday, 7/12: Tacos or sheet pan nachos — I’ll let the guys pick when the time comes
Wednesday, 7/13: Candied Rosemary chicken and vegetables
Thursday, 7/14: Summer rolls and fruit
Friday, 7/15: Buffalo-style lettuce wraps
Saturday, 7/16: Out to dinner after L.’s orchestra camp concert (or at least, I sincerely hope so)
Sunday, 7/17: Tomato-basil risotto and salad
Monday, 7/18: L.’s getting braces, so I’m making breakfast for dinner so we can have nice soft options for him to eat
Tuesday, 7/19: Simplest stuffed peppers and salad
Wednesday, 7/20: I’m traveling for work — the guys will have to fend for themselves!
Thursday, 7/21: Still away for work. I bet they’ll order pizza….
Friday, 7/22: Pork chops with ratatouille
Saturday, 7/23: Fresh seafood
Sunday, 7/24-Wednesday, 7/27: I’m traveling with the boys to visit family
Thursday, 7/28: Zesty Italian chicken and pasta toss
Friday, 7/29: Quiche and salads
Saturday, 7/30: J. and L. are going to a concert; P. and I haven’t decided what we’re doing yet!
Sunday, 7/31: Grilled lamb chops and vegetables