Reality Bites.

We are so back to school. As in, pack the lunch, brush your hair, brush your teeth, are you wearing that?, mom has to blow dry her hair, run to the bus, sit in traffic, curse, mom teaches all day, race to after school program to collect first kid, race to after school program to collect the other one, jam dinner down your throats, go to baseball, homework, brush your teeth, go to bed and start it all again. And I am pissed off. Every September I am outraged that we go back to this relay race that is our life after a long, boring, happy summer. As if I don’t remember that I have a job. If I was a normal person that worked 12 months a year, it might be easier. But as it stands three out of the four of us have to go through a major transition every September.

At this time of year, getting dinner on the table requires vigilance. I had exactly 15 minutes to cook tonight, and then we had 15 minutes to eat it. A plan is necessary, or you will be eating cereal. This weekend I sat down with my computer and magazines to search for recipes, and a pad and pen for my grocery list. And I planned every meal through Thursday. I do enough thinking on the fly all day long at work, answering all those brilliant questions from 19-year-olds, so I cannot think at home after work. I am literally brain dead. I actually need a reminder in the morning about what I am supposed to make for dinner. And then I check it again when I get home.

Today I pulled out my slow cooker (another piece of evidence that summer is over). Actually, I pulled it out last night, when I chopped my vegetables and got out everything I needed to dump in the slow cooker in the morning. We had pot roast with root vegetables. Throw large chopped vegetables in the bottom of the pot. We had carrots, celery and parsnips. By the way, I decided to try parsnips, they are the white carrot looking things, for the first time at home. So easy and good. Put pot roast on top. Then after some internet searching I went with the savory combination of onion soup mix, low sodium cream of mushroom soup, and water. I threw in some fresh thyme sprigs for the hell of it. Turned it on before we left for the bus, and it was all ready when we got home. All I had to do was cook some egg noodles for the side, which can be accomplished in 15 minutes.

The meal was warm and filling, although probably not doing our sodium levels any favors. Kyra calls every meat “chicken.” Her quote of the night was, “I wish I could take a bath with this chicken.” So I guess she liked it.


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