A few months ago I received one of those group email announcements that a friend had her baby, and “please sign up to bring this family a meal.” Of course I signed up, no question about it. But then when the actual day to deliver the food arrived I panicked.
The thought of serving this friend of mine and providing a meal for her family in the midst of post-pregnancy hormones and the stress of so many things new while still attempting to balance the rest of her family was unquestionable. Yes, of course I want to help.
But what should I make? What will her family enjoy? What do her other children like to eat? What can I make that will look awesome when it arrives at her doorstep? What can I actually cook without screwing up?
This is where I realized I was going about this all wrong. I have 5 children and in the past have been blessed by some really awesome friends who have provided meals for my own family in those first exhausting, precious, stressful, beautiful (and in my case, painkiller induced) days at home with a newborn.
And this is what I realized. Over 16 years and five children, I received many meals. Honestly, I could not tell you what any of those meals were. But, I can absolutely remember every single sweet soul who took the time to prepare and deliver a meal for my family. Ultimately, whatever recipe you decide to prepare does not matter. The fact that you chose to serve another person and their family is what is really important.
Just in case you are wondering, for this family I chose to bless them with Chicken Pot Pie, Fresh Cut Fruit and a Key Lime Pie.
I really enjoy cooking – most of the time… I enjoy cooking when it isn’t necessary, or rushed. So I guess that is very limiting, and why I always dread dinnertime preparation.
But, I especially love the fact that my kids love to help cook. All of my kids love to cook. I suppose there is something awesome about starting with parts and creating something whole. And then of course the fact that they get to eat their (typically sweet) creation is always a plus too.
This morning I found this brilliant idea today over at HomeBasedMom. This idea is mom genius. Homebasedmom’s bread recipe for kids is started in a Ziploc bag. Sure there will be some spillage, but for the most part all of the ingredients, stirring and kneading take place inside the bag. And to give her girls even more ownership, this mom wrote the ingredients on the paper lining the table so that they were easy to read – brilliant.
So today we are going to make bread!
Honestly, I have never really quite understood all of the dread for Mondays. I kind of like Mondays. For me, Monday generally represents a fresh start. I start a new list, everyone jumps back into their routine and I get a chance to begin anew.
But I will tell you that when it comes to cooking dinner, that is what I dread – especially on Mondays. In our house Monday evenings mean homework, baseball practice, Boy Scouts, very soon 4-H, showers and multiple bedtime stories . It gets kind of crazy sometimes.
In order to remain sane, I have learned to embrace the fact that dinner’s primary purpose only need be sustenance within the evening hour. In giving myself this grace our Mondays are much more pleasant, for everyone. This may mean cold turkey sandwiches and fruit for dinner, but that is o.k.
Today I have decided to make Baked Potato Soup in the crock pot. My favorite (because it is simple) potato soup is inspired by a recipe found at Suchamom.com. This recipe is super quick and easy. And best of all, the kids love it!