I went from the craziest, busiest, most exhausting school year yet, followed by a houseful of company celebrating our oldest son’s high school graduation, to an entire week of quiet. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry, do cartwheels, clean the house, take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, or catch up on emails.
I decided to skip the cartwheels (our health insurance wouldn’t have appreciated the risk taking), forget cleaning (at least for a few days), and ignore my inbox (eh, what’s 400 unanswered emails?). I had some uninterrupted writing time (bliss!), took many walks with Malachi while he rode his bike, read Farmer Boy to Malachi, did some special projects in the kitchen (you’ll read about them soon), and found my brain again (mostly, sort of, probably not really).
Why the quiet? Three out of our four boys went to Wisconsin on a week-long mission trip with our church youth group. That left Matt and me with our 10 year-old, plus a college student who had moved in for the week. I missed our older boys, but the week was very refreshing. I mean, our tiny little laundry pile amazed me all week long. (And then the older boys came back with trash bags full of stink, filth, and ticks – pictured below. Not the ticks. Just the laundry.)
I barely cooked all week because leftovers go a long way when the teenagers aren’t here to make me forget what leftovers are.
I am so used to buying mountains of food that without thinking two weeks ago, I ordered our normal amount of food from Bountiful Baskets which included a regular basket of fruits and veggies, two specialty fruit and veggie baskets, 25 pounds of nectarines, 48 whole wheat hotdog/hamburger buns, and 100 wraps. What? If the boys had all been home it would have just been another day of bringing home groceries for the week (or two). But instead, last Saturday I brought home this:
…and then on Sunday all the teenagers left for the week. Thank goodness for friends we could share nectarines with, a freezer for buns and wraps, and a college age young man who stayed with us for the week and was happy to eat whatever we put in front of him.
I will say that having all that great produce – plus the buns and wraps – made it very easy to put simple no-brainer meals on the table this week. I was ready for a kitchen break. I got one.
So now the older boys are back for the week. (They’ll be gone again to a church camp next week – such is our all-or-nothing summer.) I’m eager to cook for them again, and to fill them with green stuff that they likely aren’t getting much of while they’re away from home.
I don’t have an official menu plan made, but I thought I’d share a few dishes I plan to make while they’re home:
- Whole Wheat Waffles with fresh berries and whipped cream
- Cinnamon Smoothies and Pineapple Mango Smoothies
- Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- Carrot Cake
- BLT Chopped Salad (I love this salad so much I can not get enough. Thank goodness the family loves it too. Because bacon, obviously.)
- BLT Wraps (You know, since I have almost 100 wraps in the freezer. And because bacon, obviously.)
- Black Bean Chicken Nachos
- Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot (I love doing this on hot days.)
- Creamy Mac and Cheese (because I have milk to use up since we were down three peeps last week)
Well, that was fun. Hopefully you’ll see some ideas there you can use this summer. I love summer food SOOOOOO much. Mostly because I love summer. And food.
All of that to say that when Matt was heading to Walmart to grab some paint on Friday, he asked if I needed anything. Typically I need a cart full (to go with our Bountiful Basket, Azure Standard, and online orders). This time I just stared at him blankly. I didn’t need a thing.
Oh wait. Yes I did. I keep making the BLT Chopped Salad without the feta cheese because I keep not having any on hand. So Matt got us some feta cheese. It was the most exciting grocery shopping list ever.
Anyway, yay us. We saved a bundle on groceries this week. The boys are back in town (sing it with me…). Let us commence eating enormous quantities of food.
What summer food are you enjoying so far this season? Been grilling much? Have anything to pull from a garden yet?
You always show the photo of your small plate of food :) How about showing us what the boys put away at meal time.
Just wondering how and what your kids eat while at camp. Last year I sent my two 11 yr olds’ to church camp for the first time. They both came home starving and sick having never eaten traditional kid food — mac and cheese (they only know home made), hotdogs and hamburgers, too much candy stuffs, and so on. One of the two has asthma and ended up seriously sick a short time later needing an ER visit. We don’t want to keep them from camp, but neither can we compromise their health. Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
My kids eat whatever is served to them at camp and they enjoy it way too much. ;)