The title sounds redundant and boring, I know. And the last thing most of us want to think about, or worse, hear. I promise I’ll try to keep it interesting.
I commute about an hour each way to work, partly because of my commitment to alternative transportation and the environment. However, my roundtrip commute would only be about a half hour shorter if I drove, so it’s a pretty easy decision for me. As a result of this, and my 9-5 job I arrive home sometime after 6:00. My husband and I have been in the habit since E was a baby of eating dinner after the kids go to bed. This is something we’ve always enjoyed, and even when we both worked we avoided the whole arrival-dinner-dishes-bath-bed-marathon. My kids have typical palettes enjoying the usual kid fair of quesadillas, hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches, so this keeps their dinner pretty simple. As our daughter approaches the tween years though, her bedtime is moving into our dinner time. And, as Rob and I are growing further from our tween years it’s evident that this habit is not as healthy for us.
The other pattern emerging is that the 9-year old wants to try our food, a lot of the time now. And while leftovers are a must-like in our house, I like to have her try a new menu item when it’s fresh. Some of her recent likes are Jambalaya, homemade pinto beans, chili, beef stew, and chicken lo mein.
All of this means that we’re in the thick of the arrive-home-and-make-dinner rush. And, I don’t know how you people do this! Last night I tried this recipe from my latest favorite food site. And while this is not a good example of easy weekday fare, I ask again, how do you people do this? I will say that it’s a great kid-friendly recipe with the main ingredients for the sauce being sugar and ketchup. I livened mine up with diced peppers and onions, both of which the girl will eat.
Now that summer is fast approaching, and the weather warming up accordingly we’re well past the make-ahead casseroles and crock pot masterpieces I’ve become famous for (4 people are in the fan club, including me) it’s time for a transition to summer fare. What’s for dinner? Soon I plan to try Taco Salad, Chinese Chop Salad, stuff-your-own burger, grilled pizza, and…whatever you add in the comments. I’ve already tried Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs and those were a hit, but not so much for the potato salad-and ideas how to make potato salad more friendly?
So, the hated question, “What’s for dinner?” won’t end, but maybe we can make it easier and more kid-friendly since it’s not summer vacation for me!