I’m sure that somewhere out there there are working moms1 who have everything under control; they bring the toddler home from daycare and have dinner piping-hot and on the table in under 30 minutes, all of it homemade and all-natural2.
I am not such a mom.3 It requires lots of planning to be that kind of mom. Sure, in theory it’s easy; from the quiet comfort of my cubicle, I can think “yep, I’ll get the kid home, I’ll put a pot of water on to boil, stick some meatballs in the toaster oven, put pasta sauce on to heat, wash some veggies, cook pasta, blanch the veggies in the pasta water, dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.” In practice, you’re hauling in a fussy toddler who’s tired from running around all day and just wants to be held by his mommy, and who cries and clutches at your legs if you refuse to pick him up, and before you know it you’ve just served him dry cereal again for dinner because he’s too hungry to wait for pasta to cook, and you haven’t even managed to get the veggies washed yet. Assuming you even got the water on to boil in the first place.
Anyway, I haven’t done much cooking this week. But we’ve eaten very well regardless, because House of India does great carryout, and the kid likes rice and naan. We also ate at the Lebanese Taverna in Rockville, so I dined on leftover lamb shawarma and hummus for lunch today. I did manage to throw together this spiced applesauce cake for a brunch at my brother’s place, which was well-received even though I initially underbaked the cake, broke it in half trying to get it out of the pan, and tried to spread buttercream frosting on it when it was too hot, thus resulting in a bumpy-looking cake with what I optimistically called a “buttercream glaze.” It was still incredibly tasty; my brother called it “addictive.” Smitten Kitchen makes foolproof recipes, I tell you.
The point is, when you look at this beautiful picture of produce picked up last Wednesday, of CSA week 174, know that we’ve consumed only some of the eggs and almost all of the apples (the kid loves apples), but practically nothing else. I’m going to throw romaine lettuce in ramen noodle soup tonight. It’s not K’s favorite, but soft soupy romaine is actually one of my vices, and as dinner-preparer in the family, I get to make executive decisions. If the kid goes to bed early and I have energy left over, we may snack on kale chips tonight.5
So. Week 17: eggs, kale, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, golden delicious and Cortland apples, bread (Great Harvest parmesan sourdough), and a single enormous head of broccoli.
And here’s a bonus picture, blurry because I’m reacting to the sight of an opportunistic hand reaching up to grab himself an apple out of the arrangement:
Oh, the squash in the corner? That’s from last week’s share. Yes, it sat on the kitchen table for an entire week. Maybe I’ll do something with it in the coming days.
I can’t help but think we’ve regressed from technology re: processed foods. So many other advances in technology have made life much simpler for the housewife: laundry machines, vacuum cleaners, incredibly absorbent paper towels, the microwave… and here I am refusing easy-prep foods, choosing instead to cook from scratch (that is, if I get around to cooking at all), out of some Luddite suspicion of chemicals. I generally embrace technology, but this is a glaring exception. ↩
Why this is the mom’s task is a separate question. I don’t know how my household degenerated into traditional gender roles, being as we are two egalitarian wage-earners with roughly similar attitudes towards gender roles in the home, but although K is an excellent cook, I have for some reason become the one who makes dinner and cleans up after, even though he gets hungry first. We’re working to resolve the situation more equitably. ↩
I’ll do a catch-up post of missing CSA pickups some other time. ↩
I should have made kale chips for our watching of the Breaking Bad finale, but I was too tired. (A recurring theme in my life.) ↩