Lately, I have been through various stages of inspiration and frustration when it comes to feeding our family. I am blessed to enjoy cooking and to have the creativity to be able to experiment – but often its difficult to be creative with the time constraints of being a homeschooling family.
I plan our weeks meals 1 or sometimes 2 weeks in advance. I have a simple blank menu planner page that I print out and then fill in with pencil each week (for easy editing) and then follow roughly through the week. I often give the family a chance to contribute ideas to the weeks menu (Sunday supper table is a good time for us).
Lately, I was inspired by Kimberley from Raising Olives to cook some freezer meals. I went all out and made lots of big ones – and got thoroughly burnt out in the process! But I must say its been wonderful to be able to rely on those freezer meals when I have run out of energy for cooking on other days. I do prefer though to have fresher food like stir fries or steamed goodies more regularly. I need to find the balance between bulk cooking and regular cooking.
We have also been trying to cook extra meals to bless others with regularly – and that has been great fun. Our children get involved in making little gifts and cards for the recipients to go with the meals. This feels like a relatively easy way to be a blessing, although it does take its toll as I can get quite distracted and busy when the little ones need me!! I am learning the balance – slowly, one step at a time!
The “every second day” concept works well for me and helps me to keep up the good habits without becoming overwhelmed. We have carrot juice every second day, homemade yoghurt (not actually yoghurt but a blend of nuts, fruit, lemon juice, psyllium, etc.) every second day, cooked lunches every second day, etc. freezer meals every second day with cooking on every other day, homemade bread or homemade rolls or breadsticks or pita breads every second day. This helps me to have enough time for the children and to focus on other things than cooking. Of course, the challenge is to find the time to do the freezer cooking or raw food preparing – a Saturday morning every few weeks with lots of planning before hand seems to work for me.
I try to alternate easy homemade lunches like steamed corn on the cob or steamed potatoes with more time-intensive ones like roast vegetable salads or soup and breadsticks, or Raw Pizza (in the dehydrator)….
I also try to alternate easy snacks like popcorn or rice cakes with something a bit more time-consuming like Banana bread or carob chunk cookies.
More on this soon! Any ideas you can inspire me with? 🙂
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31 v 27