Friday, May 11, 2012

Prepping for A Smoother Day

I am the Chief Executives of Operations in this household. I make the meal plans, do the grocery shopping, and prepare the meals. I also do homework, chase Preston to get him to do his homework, help the tween with his homework (if he actually has any), chase and feed the baby, do the dishes, shower Preston, help get Preston ready for bed, supervise room clean-up and usher Preston into bed, read to Preston for a half hour and of course, bathe baby, bottle baby, baby to bed (prior to Preston's bed-time routine) and deal with the doggy. Somewhere in there I also try to spend ten minutes of one-on-one time with Preston which admittedly is pretty tough these days.

With all that being said, I have had to learn to be a better prepper. So here is what I have found works best for me, I do all my prep in the morning simply because that is when I am the happiest and calmest OR at night when the kids have gone to bed. Ever noticed that your energy starts to fall short at about the same time kids get home from school and the baby starts fussing at about the same time you're getting dinner on the table and the dog starts to yak because you haven't fed her quite yet? The night pretty much looks like a scene from the Twilight Zone. However, this night-time catastrophe has become much more manageable when I take the time to prep and I seem to have far more nerves on hand as opposed to getting down to that 'last one.'

While baby plays and toddles around (or lays on the ground angry) I make treats to have on hand for hungry after-school kiddos, chop veggies, grate cheese and bag it , cook and brown meats, get out any canned goods, and organize everything for dinner or prepare my meal in the crockpot (I've been doing a lot of crockpot because there is no fuss. Crockpot meals are ready when I am and I'm not scrambling). I have started making extra of some foods so that I can freeze some to have on hand for the nights when it doesn't come together. I've also started buying 'all natural' bulk sausage from Costco that I brown when I get home and portion about one pound or so into individual baggies. I can unthaw them the night before and have them ready for my meal prep the next day. When I make my grocery runs, I always buy extra of what I am getting so that I always have everything I need on hand. This may make some trips more costly but it is both food storage and saves face on those 'missing ingredient' emergencies (which always tends to be eggs doesn't it?).

I also make my own sourdough bread every 3-5 days. I got the recipe from Heather (http://www.heathereatsalmondbutter.com/) and in the morning when I feed my starter, I also prepare the dry ingredients in a bowl so that at night I just add the starter, water and oil and I'm done. This makes making fresh bread every 3-5 days less daunting. I roll my eyes if I have to prepare it all at night. Employ and enjoy.





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