Posts Tagged ‘meals’

Most people, I think, fall into three categories when it comes to Easter Dinner.  I have a bit of advice that I’ll keep short and sweet. (edited to add that I go on a bit below…just to warn you that short and sweet didn’t happen.)

The three categories:

  1. I cook a big meal for my loved ones
  2. I go to a big meal cooked by a loved one
  3. I go to a restaurant for a meal with loved ones

Then there are those who, like me, will be working on Easter Sunday.   For the last 30 years,  my parents have owned and operated a family run restaurant in our little town.  Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, and Easter are BIG days for a restaurant.  For the last 15 or so years, they have not been open these days as they would rather spend it with their family than working.  Fair enough, right?  Let’s face it, though, things are tight for everyone and one of the first things people stop doing is eating out as much.  To combat the slow economy, my parent’s restaurant will be open and the response has been amazing.  So much so that they really need another server…hence, I will be working on Easter Sunday.   

Back to me giving some advice, I got sidetracked.

If your mother, father, aunt, sister, or daughter-in-law’s step-grandmother is cooking a nice spread for you and your loved ones, this advice applies to you.  Make sure you offer to bring something, remember to say thank you,  and offer to help clean up.  A large meal like that takes hours of preparation, funds to cook,  and skill to time it all  just right.  Often, by the time the meal is served the hostess (or host) is so relieved that they are too tired to even eat.  An offer to clear the table, do dishes, or even help store leftovers is an amazing gift. 

If you are cooking said meal, accept help when offered.  Yes, even from children.  It can be hard to let others into your kitchen, but thinking ahead of time of a few things that would be easy to delegate can take a bit of the load off of you.  I know it can be difficult to have children help with the cooking as that timing thing can really be thrown with little-ones “helping.”  A kind word of thanks and offer to let them scrape the pans later and use suds to wash up afterwards might do the trick.  If that doesn’t work, have them help place silverware, carry breadbaskets (with napkins tucked tightly around the rolls), etc.  I have many fond memories at my Grandma’s house helping do these little things that made me feel as important as my aunt making gravy!

If you are going to a restaurant for your meal keep a couple things in mind.  This is an extremely busy day for restaurants.  Try to bring an extra dose of patience if your table is not ready or food is slow to come.  On Easter,  my parents will likely do the same amount of business in 3 hours that they will do all night on a busy Saturday (6 hours.)  Plus, remember that your servers (cooks and dishwashers too) might rather be at Grandma’s for a meal with loved ones and likely have missed Easter service at their church home.  

Restaurants are open because of demand and the demand is that  you want to be able to relax on Easter Sunday and let someone else do the “dirty work” of cooking and cleaning!  Perhaps you go so that your large family can all eat a meal in one place that one person’s home could not accommodate.  Isn’t it worth a few extra dollars to be able to just sit back and enjoy the day?  This applies to any day, really, not just Easter Sunday.   If you are a Christian, wouldn’t it be awful to leave a restaurant after being impatient with your server, stiffing them on a tip,  and yelling at your kids on Easter Sunday?  What a witness, right?   I rarely say it, but regardless of faith, tip your servers well this day.  It’s a long day for servers, full of large groups, children not necessarily used to eating at a sit-down restaurant, tired families, and church-folk that act like they are better than non-church folk.   

Okay, I am on a soapbox now, so much for short and sweet.  I admit it.  Are there other server’s reading this?  Am I not right?  Does anyone else find that servers argue over who has to wait on the church groups?  Often times the church groups are the ones that run you to pieces without a thanks. It really irritates me to see a church group come in acting like they are better than me  (or anyone) because they have been to every service from the first Sunday in Lent to Maunday Thursday and Good Friday and had their children looking spic and span for sunrise service that morning. Or they are from the big brick church with doctors and lawyers that has been in town since the time of Ben Franklin, not the little group meeting in an old grocery store.  This isn’t just Easter Sunday, either.  I cringe when the group that prays over their meal is the one that leaves $1 tip in a tract with their bill of $50, or doesn’t have a kind word for anyone but their own companions.  It’s awful, but this is so common in the restaurant world.   Trust me, I know it is not easy to get four little girls up and moving, dressed, fed breakfast, and hair looking nice before heading off to Sunday school and church…add in a sun-rise service and looking special for Easter and well, by lunch all of us will be running low on patience and smiles.  Remember, though, that you go to this restaurant so that you can enjoy a hot meal after service with family and friends without having to plan food and set-up on top of all you have already managed to squeeze in that day.  

In all reality, as professing Christians, we are should be admitting that we ourselves are no better than anyone.  If we are to follow Christ’s teachings, his life, and Paul’s letters we agree that we all fall short, miss the mark.  That we are sinners, in need of a Savior.  The joy and celebration of Easter is Christ living a sin-less life, facing an unjust death, and overcoming not just that death, but sin, and doing so in our place.  Acting as though we are better than anyone goes directly against the very faith we profess and is a terrible witness anytime of the year.  Perhaps we get so caught up in getting to church that we forget what church is all about?

Stepping down off the soapbox now.  I apologize if this offends, truly I do, as it is not my intent to offend.  I really just wanted to say that Easter should be a joyful day and that it’s great to offer a hand in the kitchen, not to rant on or to scold.   If your reading this, I was brave and hit “publish” rather than “save draft”, brave in that I do not normally discuss my Christian faith here and I do not normally scold anyone other than my children.


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Has anyone else been absolutely stumped when it comes to what to cook for supper lately?  I think it is all the sewing, but I am beyond un-inspired when it comes to meals as of late.  I did stop sewing this weekend for a much needed home clean-sweep.  Isn’t funny how once you get started it is hard to stop! 

We started cleaning out flower beds, but then cleaned out the garage yesterday.  Oh, our garage gets so very cluttered in the winter.  It is a very small garage.  Forest’s old Toyota Celica would go in, the mini-van I am not fond of…not so much.  If need be the truck would fit in there, though you might have to climb out the window.    During the winter, it is the dumping spot for all sorts of nothingness.  Eight trash bags later, you can walk freely and park the girls’ bikes in there.  Yes, it has been warm enough for them to be out biking! 

In our garage is our beloved freezer.  It is still relatively full and I took a visual inventory while out there.  I was concerned I made too much applesauce last fall, but not so as we still have quite a bit left.   There is still a ton of veggies left out there as well as odds and ends of meat, lots of broth, and a few bags of fruit.

Here’s my list of things I want to use up, we seem to have a surplus of them:

  • broth
  • zucchini
  • rhubarb
  • sour cream (it was on sale, I bought extra, we already had plenty)

To help plan on using some of these things up, I am going to try a loose meal plan for the week.  I used to do a meal plan and it really helped.  It is time to get back into that habit and I am thinking next week will be a no-grocery week so we can eat out of the freezer and save a bit of money for some bedding plants and mulch.   To complicate things, soccer starts this week.  It’s been a blissful two weeks without swimming, now soccer starts.  We have practices Mon and Wed at 4:30 and Forest is going to help coach.  There is no game schedule yet, but if I am remembering right this is a fairly short season.   This week I am also working on Fri and Sat, so that is two meals I do not need to bother with.  My goal for Mon and Wed will be quick and easy meals or (like Sunday lunch) a crockpot meal.

Monday- Oven Fried Shrimp, wild rice, and broccoli

Tuesday- Beef, Pepper, and Mushroom Fajitas

Wednesday-Beef Stew in the crockpot with potatoes, peppers, and onions

Thursday- Sausage Lasagna (with  lots of zucchini in it)

Sunday Lunch- Whole chicken with new potatoes and carrots

While doing at that, I also cleaned out the pantry cupboard and refrigerator.  Next is the rest of the kitchen cupboards.  There is a big yard sale in my near future.  I have quality things I want to get rid of and would like a bit o f cash for an upcoming trip.  Also on my list is a massive sorting of all little girl clothes and toys…the two things that seem to take over my home!

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back and trying

I survived vacation and have so much I want to write about.  Unfortunately, I also have so much to do that relates to being away from home nearly two weeks!  My plan was to blog as I went.  The internet where we were staying would not pull up the site, though and what I did write out in my word processing software crashed and burned after one of the twins “did mommy’s pu-ter”.  So, here I am, starting from scratch and letting you all know that I’ll be posting regularly again.

In this post, I’m just simply going to address the things I missed the most about my home.  I really missed our dog.  She’s my fur-baby and about as sweet as they come.  I missed our milk (we ran out about half way through the trip) and the twins immediately downed an entire sippy full of it.  My pillow is something I will take with me next time as it was missed every single night.  Our church family, no church for two weeks is very odd feeling to me.   Then there are the little things like cold water when it comes out of the tap, mail and email, a weeks CSA, and my kitchen.

We managed well on the trip.  I plan on doing a post about Disney itself separately.  The rest of our time was spent at a 3-bedroom condo.  We swam, slept, watched TV, read, played, colored, cooked, napped, and blew lots of bubbles.  There was room to spread out there, a “fully equipped” kitchen, and a nice pool.  The kitchen was small and I can’t imagine a “fully equipped” kitchen that has no spatula, scissors, or food storage containers.  So we were challenged a bit there, but made do and had fun with it.  My food plan worked out well.  We had very little food that we didn’t eat (a little bit of a leftover roast and mashed potatoes.)  Meals we ate while we were gone were:

  • roast, mashed potatoes, and broccoli
  • fried rice
  • pork chops, baked potatoes, and green beans
  • brown rice spaghetti with salad
  • pizza
  • quiche
  • stir-fried chicken and veggies

Breakfasts were granola, smoothies, eggs and sausage, and oatmeal.  We used leftovers to make lunches and always had fresh fruits and veggies available for snacking as well as popcorn, granola, and crispy nuts.   Our 3 jars of milk lasted the week they normally do and after that we did store-bought milk.  Not sure I’ll do that again as the oldest had some issues with it.  I might look into a coconut milk alternative (wonder how that tastes on granola?)   Food-wise a very successful vacation.  For 8 people (4 adults and 4 children) we spent about $200 on groceries and water over a period of ten days with a few meals eaten out and some food brought from home (meats, cheese, snacks, and milk mainly.)

It’s so good to be back!

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