Today was cooking day. Although my weekend cooking routine results in a kitchen disaster one day each week, it generally is much more efficient; I can reuse pots and pans with just a quick rinse between vegetables, for instance, the oven can cook multiple dishes, and I can reduce kitchen time significantly on weeknights. While Mari dyed her hair blue and Thom mowed the backyard despite the falling snow, I made cardamom raisin and oat sandwich breads, yogurt, a wild rice and vegetable salad, tapioca pudding, and Mari’s lunch lasagna.
Of all the ways in which our 16-year old has surprised us, one I really was not expecting was the return to dietary preferences typical of a toddler. We’ve always eaten a wide variety of fresh foods, and the sudden rejection of some foods was quite a surprise to me. To be honest, though, Mari does still eat many things that I know her friends don’t (case in point: the teen who picked all the vegetables out of our lo mein dinner), even though she would probably eat pizza for every meal if left to her own devices. Her lunch of choice so far this academic year is spinach lasagna, so I’ve been making a lasagna nearly every week. My pan makes 8 servings, which is perfect for one weekend dinner plus 5 lunches.
Yesterday a college student said to me, “You are very organized. How can I be more organized?” I was surprised; we have worked in the same office for a couple of years, but I am not sure why I would seem any more organized to her than would the average person. But I do know that weekend cooking makes it much easier to keep the family fed , and also allows me to have more time to exercise, read, spend with my family, and catch up with friends during the brief after-work hours.