Preparing for Back to School
It’s like I’m nesting or something – which I am not thankyouverymuch. I just get this way at the end of a summer break as we head into full school days, regular music lessons, and a busy soccer season. I like to be prepared, and I also somehow have a mind-set that I’ll never again have time to go to the store so I’d best purchase 52 boxes of kleenex to ensure that leaving the house for any variety of nose issues will not be necessary for a very long time.
This makes no sense, except that it is how my brain works so I just go with it. I’m a stocker-upper, and a prepper-aheader, and I want to ease us in to our full schedule with as much grace (read: frozen food and kleenex boxes) as possible.
This mind-set will go away completely after precisely 3.5 days of school, at which time we will all settle into a routine and I will realize that life outside the home hasn’t stopped. Plus I will learn that fresh plums are on sale and determine that we should buy some. We will also be out of eggs.
In the meantime, here are 9 of my favorite foods (random though they may be) to have prepared ahead of time to make life easier overall. Want to borrow my list? I highly recommend it. Also, here is a toilet paper coupon because if you’re like me even a little bit, you realize that stocking up on tp is even more important than stocking up on kleenex.
I make several jars at a time, otherwise we would run out within just a few days. If I’m dirtying up my food processor, I might as well make it worth it, right?
I use this mix to make Quick Mix Biscuits, Quick Mix Fruit Pizza, Quick Mix Honey Cinnamon Muffins, Quick Mix Pancakes, and Quick Mix Very Vanilla Cookies. (These recipes and more in my Oh, For Real cookbook.)
I love having this on hand because it is so versatile and convenient. We can sprinkle in dried fruit, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, or plop in some applesauce – whatever sounds good.
Pictured is the Dark Chocolate Granola variety.
Do this. It’s an amazing trick. You will love the convenience of fresh-from-the-oven muffins without any work.
Having broth on hand means I can make soup very quickly on a busy day. And ooooohhhhh the health benefits. :)
I like cutting several pounds of bacon into bit-sized pieces and cooking in a big pot. Why? Then I have cooked bacon on hand for Bacon Cheesy Egg mornings, and to use in recipes like Bacon Cheese Muffins, Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Salad, BLT Chopped Salad, or BLT Wraps. Also, my hair won’t smell like bacon every single day we eat bacon – only the day I cook several pounds of it. See what a great strategy that is?
Or you can make Frozen Oatmeal Cups. Or you can make both.
Not only do I use this mix to make Italian Salad Dressing, I use it for these easy recipes: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken, Italian Roast Wraps, and Italian Stew. It also makes a great marinade for grilled meats.
I haven’t completed this list yet, but here’s what I did over the weekend:
I got out my food processor and made several batches of Homemade Peanut Butter.
I turned out 4.5 jars of Super Creamy Peanut Butter variety, but left one jar for me which is just straight Peanut Butter with nothing added. I labeled it “Mom’s” but I’m very nice and willing to share. I just wanted to avoid accidentally dipping into the wrong one since I prefer the straight peanut variety.
Also pictured is the Oatmeal Breakfast Bars I had made for Sunday morning.
I cooked four pounds of bacon, then froze it into six bags. If we’re making salads, we might need two bags for our whole family. But if we’re making Bacon Cheesy Eggs we can get away with one bag, less than a pound. (Yay for stretching meat.)
Everything is getting back to normal at our house now that all the boys are home from camp – as in we are blowing through food faster than I can keep up. Thankfully we have cooked bacon and peanut butter on hand so we won’t starve. (Because we were all so worried about that after seeing my freezers.)
In all the years past, our family has begun our school year the first week of August. This year we’re pushing it back two weeks for these reasons:
- The three older boys were at Guys Camp the first part of this week.
- The boys need to recover from church camp (lack of sleep).
- Matt and the boys are redoing someone’s roof – a project that couldn’t be started while they were away.
- Asa is moving into the college dorm in a week and a half and will be on a college schedule. (How do I feel about this? I’m excited for him and I also cry. Just like one would expect.)
- Justus is taking a college class, which makes it even more necessary to stick with the college schedule.
- None of us are quite ready yet and that’s just the truth. But hey, at least the peanut butter is ready. And the kleenex.
As soon as the books are ready, I’ll try to post about what we’re doing for school this year.
What are your favorite foods to make and have on hand for convenience? When does school start for your family?