No, but really, what’s for lunch?

standard January 31, 2012 2 responses

I know we’ve all read the book, or at least heard the maxim, about how no one really cares about what you had for lunch.

I mean, duh, in general that would be a terribly boring thing to write about. Unless you were a food blogger in which case it would be totally appropriate and would probably make me hungry.

But right now, right here, I want to know what you’re having for lunch. Especially if you hang out at home all day, working, not working, whatever. If you’re home between the hours of 11am and 1pm, I want to know what you’re feeding yourself.

See, I have a problem. I’ll find something awesome for lunch and make it, once, twice, three, fifteen times. I’ll stock up, pack the fridge or freezer full of my new favorite meal, and then, overnight, I’ll become overwhelmingly bored with my lunch options.

And that? Is when I start snacking instead of eating.

It is amazing how much crap I can ingest when I’m not sure what I’m craving.

So, since this whole having-lunch-at-home-pretty-much-every-day-instead-of-going-out thing is relatively new and since I’m almost over eating avocado and grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m turning to you for inspiration.

Do you make a big batch of soup every weekend? (That’s what Kelly of does.)

Do you always cook enough dinner for lunch left-overs? (That’s what Tonya of does.)

Do you find ways to jazz up a salad? (That’s what Katja of does.)

Or do you just forage in the fridge for hummus or an errant yogurt and carrot sticks? (That’s what Julie of does.)

Help me people! Don’t make me go back to the frozen burritos that have been playing hide and seek with the frozen peas!

Ode to Breakfast

standard December 19, 2011 Leave a response

Many years ago, the day after I had met M and we had already spent a considerable amount of time together, he stopped mid-sentence and turned to me with a dead serious look on his face.

Here it comes, I thought, he’s going to ask me something crucial. Couldn’t be about religion, we’d covered that the evening before. Couldn’t be about… Really, I had no clue. All I knew is that it was clearly something monumental for him.

I held my breath.

“Do you…” He started and hesitated, looking me deep in the eye. I squirmed. “Do you like breakfast?” He finished in a rush.

I burst into laughter. Ridiculously relieved that this was the question and, more importantly, that I knew the answer and was pretty sure that it was the right one.

“Of course I like breakfast. What’s not to like?”

Moments later we were headed towards M’s favorite breakfast place, a hole-in-the-wall joint I’d come to love too (and would once stand in line at for an hour in the middle of a Boston snow storm just for one of their very much in demand tables).

From that day on breakfast has played a central role in our lives. We know where to find the best french toast, have perfected breakfast for dinner, and make sure that we always stock the staples for a great start to the day.

Of course, since that day, our routine has changed a lot. No longer will we stand for an hour in the cold just for the promise of warm pancakes and fresh orange juice. Now breakfast is a family affair, kids, daddy, mommy, juice, cereal, yogurt, and the morning paper.

We don’t talk a whole lot, at least the grown-ups don’t, but we start the day all together, enjoying a routine that started the moment C was born and grew to include Little L when she made her way onto the scene.

Moments after breakfast we split up and go our ways. M heads off to work. C and Little L retire to the living room to watch a PBS show. And I bustle around getting everyone’s things together. But that brief interlude (On average 17 minutes for each family according to Kellogg’s.) at the kitchen table, as predictable as M’s eternal love for breakfast, grounds me and gives me the energy I need to get through the day.

All survey statistics come from the Kellogg’s Breakfast in America Survey by The NPD Group (December 29, 2010 – January 24, 2011).

Please note, my love for breakfast is all mine (and M’s) but I was compensated by Kellogg’s and The Motherhood to share it with you.

A peanut butter alternative bans the lunch packing blues

standard November 12, 2010 8 responses

After my endless whining about the impossibility of packing C’s lunch every night I was thrown a bone. A massive, sticky, sweet bone.

At a school function the children were served sun butter and jelly sandwiches. By some unexplained miracle C bought my explanation that sunbutter is a special peanut butter that was safe for kids who are allergic to peanuts.

She didn’t try it that day and she made a face when I pulled out the jar I had optimistically bought. And then, nonchalantly, two days later, she asked me to pack her a sun butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

I didn’t question her or hesitate. I grabbed the reusable sandwich wrapper that I’d bought on the off chance that she’d one day let me make her a cheese sandwich and got to work.

The wrapper came back empty and C asked for the same lunch the next day, and the next, and every day ever since. I’ve switched lunch packing duties to morning so the sandwich doesn’t get soggy, and miraculously it’s no longer the bane of my existence.

Who would have thought all it would take was some sunflower seeds.

Once again the bane of my days… packing lunch

standard October 25, 2010 8 responses

Every weekday eventing, and Sundays, it’s the exact same thing. 10pm rolls around and I start to get sleepy. I glance at my to do list and decide whether or not I can wrap up soon. And then, just as the thoughts of my bed are infiltrating every brain cell that’s still awake and functioning… I remember that I still have to pack C’s lunch.

I hate packing C’s lunch.

Let me preface the rest of this rant with the fact that I don’t just have to pack her a lunch, I also have to pack her a morning snack and an afternoon snack. Seriously, since when do kids need a morning snack? Whatever happened to Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Dinner?

Then let me explain that the school is peanut and treenut free and that C doesn’t eat sandwiches unless they’re filled with a delightful mixture of peanut butter and jelly.

In fact, the child doesn’t eat many things, so I end up packing three variations of cheese or yogurt and fruit or veggie, for the lunch portion I go all crazy like and throw in some sliced turkey.

The start of the school year was only a few weeks ago and I’m already bored to tears with my lunch packing options. I can only imagine how bored C is getting with eating the same thing day in and day out.

I tried switching it up, threw in some cheesy noodles in a thermos one day… they came home barely picked over. I try to add some edamame every few days, but more often than not that doesn’t get eaten either. The only thing she sometimes lets me get away with is when I get fancy with different flavors of squeezy apple sauces.

I know! I can barely contain my excitement either.Shoot me now.

I could maybe get behind the whole same-lunch-every-day thing if packing it wasn’t such a pain. Of course my eco-conscious brain had to open its big trap and freak out at the thought of 750 meals requiring multiple ziploc bags each. (3 bags per meal would equal over 2000 ziplocs getting thrown away every year. Eeeps!) So I went and bought some reusable containers… and some reusable ziploc type bags. And every night before I pack her lunch I have to wash everything, and dry everything.

The last time I was doing this much nightly dish washing, C was an infant and I was packing her lunch in breast milk bottles.

There is no magic solution to my lunch packing woes. C won’t overnight broaden her dietary horizons. The school’s peanut policy is never going to be lifted, nor are they going to be offering a hot lunch any time soon. And the bags and containers are never going to clean themselves.

I just want to know that when 11pm rolls around I’m not the only one in my kitchen hating the lunch packing life.