Saturdays tend to be major kitchen days for me. On any given day, I spend between 4 and 6 hours in there cooking, doing dishes, and feeding the kids. But on Saturdays, that might turn into upwards of 8 hours, as I do extra food prep, try to use stray stuff that has accumulated throughout the week, and pre-cook for Sunday lunch. Today was one of those days.
After falling asleep just before 9 PM last night, I woke on my own around 5:45 am today. I can count on one hand the nights I get to sleep uninterrrupted each year since having kids. Well, last night was one of those blissful nights. My husband had offered to spend the night in the guest bed with Becky, who had been waking me every half hour all week long to wipe her nose during the night. As a result, I got to sleep with zero interruptions for the full nine hours - yay!!!
I sneaked out of the house without waking anyone for my usual Saturday-morning-run to the produce house. Driving alone in quietness just before dawn is always very pleasurable, as is talking, joking, and doing business with adults. Like most weeks, I was able to score awesome deals, and each of us who splits produce every week ended up with this in our baskets today:
5 lb bag of russet potatoes
1 lb bag of heirloom fingerling potatoes
1 head of califlower
1 bell pepper
1 bag of romaine hearts
1 lb heirloom tomatoes
1 lb beefsteak tomatoes
2 bunches of broccoli
All organic, all for $22. I compared it to the sale prices on organic produce advertised in the store fliers this week, and came up with a minimum cost of $42 for all that. Not bad! :)
By the time I got back home and had divided up all the produce, the kids had woken up and were clamoring for breakfast. More specifically, they were
demanding requesting strawberry shortcakes. I entered the kitchen, never to leave it again today. Well, almost never. We did all start on a yummy green smoothie (banana, apples, blueberries, blackberries, orange, and spinach), before devouring an insane amount of strawberry shortcakes and milk.
All three girls needed baths after breakfast
Breakfast done, I started ordering the kids around on their weekly chores while I myself set to cleaning the kitchen, doing dishes, and working on a bunch of food prep on the side.
I made a batch of cilantro pesto and froze it.
Throughout the day, I churned about 6 qts of cream into butter.
I washed, hulled, and froze a whole bunch of strawberries.
Safeway had them on sale this week for $2.50 each. I think I have shopped at Safeway twice in my entire life, and was never planning on doing so again after their sandwich debacle, but this was too good of a deal to pass up, at least for being this early in the season. We have made a total of 3 trips to different Safeway stores near my house in the last two days, and bought a total of 19 boxes. The kids ate all but 7 of them fresh. I froze the rest just to keep them from gobbling those up, too. I need them for the morning smoothies.
While we were in one of the stores, the kids asked if they could eat some of the strawberries right then and there, on the way to the checkout. I hissed at them to not even think about doing so, or we'd all get arrested. Besides the obvious reason that produce should be washed before eating.
Of course, the family wanted to eat lunch today, as every day. We had "fish and chips", i.e. some breaded and fried cod, homemade fries, and salad. Not too much work, since everything but the salad was leftovers from last night, reheated.
Cleaned the kitchen all over again after getting the girls down for nap time, while the boys were sent off to read quietly. Made a meal plan and shopping list for the coming week. Then, friends from church dropped off a HUGE box of blood oranges for us - these make the best juice!! It will only take me approximately five hundred hours to turn all these into juice, and my family about 5 minutes to drink it all.
Later in the afternoon, I ran to Trader Joe's for a few missing groceries, only to be faced by seven hungry people waiting for dinner upon my return. In light of the "heavy" lunch, and the fact that I did not at all feel like cooking, I served everyone a humble meal of cucumber sandwiches. The fresh butter did make them especially tasty, though, and nobody complained.
I will start using only seasonally appropriate serving dishes as soon as the kids stop breaking all my nice platters.
Before their showers, all the boys plus my husband needed haircuts - oh joy! Now, everyone is tucked into bed, my last batch of cream is churning, and the kitchen is waiting for a final scrub-down.
That should have been the end of it for today in the kitchen. Except that my husband just asked me to bake him chocolate chip cookies...