One day last week my husband inadvertently offended my cooking sensibilities by saying something to the effect of: “You don’t cook, you just take something out of the freezer and throw it in the oven.” While I’m sure he said this in jest, I was a bit put off. Just so you understand, my husband loves to cook. And my kids constantly heap praise on him for his wonderful meals; but his weekend dinners take 3-4 hours to prepare and it’s my job to keep the kids away lest they ruin his mojo.
For those of you that are unawares, I have four children ranging in age from 3 (twins) to 8. I have a small home cake business and I work part-time outside the home twice a week. I also Tweet regularly and blog sporadically. I spend 88% of my day in the kitchen. Well, let’s be honest. It’s summertime and all the kids are home so it’s more like 97%. So, when it comes time to planning a meal, it goes something like this:
9 am: “Hmmm…think I’ll plan a yummy dinner tonight.”
9:01am: Oh, wait, I haven’t had my coffee yet. Better get on that. Oh, and catch up with an old friend on the phone.
9:40am: Make snack for kids while on the phone. ‘Cause I’m a multitasker.
10:22am: (What? So it was a long phone call. Don’t judge me for keeping my friendships alive.) Potty break for a 3 year-old.
11am: “Oh, darn. I should see what we have for meat so I can make that deliciously fresh dinner tonight.”
11:02am: Clean up the kitchen from breakfast/snack.
11:18am: Answer tweets.
11:47am: Tend to the other 3 year-old who has just navigated up from the basement proudly, and precariously, carrying his potty full-o-pee. Minimal sloshing, but clean-up required, nonetheless.
12:15pm: Make lunch and referee meal time.
1:15pm: Convince the 3 year-olds that, yes, they DO still need a nap and put a movie on for the older two
1:22pm: Quiet time. Hmmm… What to do? What to do? Clean up the kitchen. Then, likely work on a cake or cake pop project. Or design project. Or check emails. Or tweet. Or Google stuff I’ve been meaning to Google. Or read a book. No, really. With paper and a front and back cover! They still make them!
3pm: Deal with whiny, crabby children that just woke from their nap. Wait. You just slept for nearly two hours and you’re going to wake up and complain?!
3:20pm: Fix afternoon snack and clean up kitchen.
3:55pm: Slap forehead upon realization that dinner menu has yet to be conjured up. But kids want to play outside because it’s a cool 37°C and so, why wouldn’t we want to play in a sauna?
4:30pm: Come inside as it threatens to rain and pray nobody has heat stroke. Put on another movie for the kids and pray for minimal poking, kicking, pinching, grabbing, pushing, staring, copying or any generally-annoying behaviour that generates, “MOOOOOOOOMMMMM!”
4:35pm: Stand in front of the freezer and pray for a miracle. (I pray a lot, it seems.)
So maybe my husband was right. But wait. What’s this?! Fresh chicken breasts in the fridge? OK. Think fast. Think fast. Think fast. What would Martha do? Bahahaha! Right. Google: “Quick and easy chicken marinades”. The results netted this site:
Hmmm. So I tried the Lemon Herb Chicken Marinade. So easy and so very tasty, almost Greek-like. (Sidenote: Would have been delish with Tzatziki and pitas.) An added bonus: I butterflied the chicken breasts and hammered them flat. Great for venting frustrations. And, get this. I actually even had Kosher salt, but it was coarse so I use my mortar and pestle to pulverize it! Fancy huh?
5:10pm: Marinading chicken is in the fridge and I get to work prepping home fries (yes, from real potatoes!) and green beans.
6pm: Fire off text message to husband asking if he’ll be home in time to grill the chicken, because I don’t barbecue. Something about the possibility of singeing one’s eyebrows off is kind of a deal breaker.
6:30pm: Grill is hot and husband is BBQing. In the rain, I might add. He’s cool like dat.
6:45pm: We all sit down to a rare mid-week family dinner and the kids all compliment my husband on what a delicious dinner he made. Sweet kids.
Tomorrow: Chicken nuggets and frozen fries.
Got any quick and easy recipes you’d like to share? Would love to hear from you.