We eat a really good breakfast and a really good dinner pretty much every day. But lunch is another matter. It just seems like a little too much. It’s hard to devote so much time to meal planning and preparation. But, with three boys who eat like men now, I can’t really get away with not planning something substantial. So recently I came up with the idea that we needed a regular lunch rotation for Monday through Friday. I can’t handle eating the same seven dinners on rotation like some people do, but eating the same lunches week after week doesn’t seem as bad, especially considering that half the time I am scrounging for lunch food anyway and not coming up with anything good. So here’s the rotation that I came up with: Monday- soup (prepared the night before–crockpot maybe?) Tuesday- black or pinto beans (soaked the previous day and then cooked in the crockpot overnight. Some of my kids like to eat plain beans with salt some dress them up a little more.) Wednesday- Potato and sausage hash (If we’re on top of things, potatoes are prepped by kids the night before–We fry in bacon grease in a cast iron skillet.) Thursday- beans (again–whatever kind we didn’t have on Tuesday.) Friday- spelt sourdough bread with *huge tons of butter,* fruit, cheese, or whatever (bread is made the evening before-it rises overnight and goes in the oven late morning. We began with the spelt sourdough starter from Cultures for Health and I follow this no knead recipe.)
The truth is that I don’t think we have followed this exact rotation for a single week since coming up with the plan. Sometimes we have left overs, and sometimes I forget to soak the beans, and sometimes I forget that I need to be planning for lunch in general. Having the rotation there is very reassuring though, and maybe at some point it will become habit. Right now it’s there if I need it (and if I can remember that I have it.) We pull at least a couple of days from the plan every week and it’s very good to have it to fall back on.
Homeschooling is the other area that I have tried to get more organized with over the past couple of weeks. I guess those are two of my big priorities for life with a newborn: making sure that we eat and that school happens. Years ago I made excel spreadsheets for each of my kids to use as checklists. They were a good thing, but work for me and I have slacked and stopped using them over the past year or two. I am not a huge list maker. Any sort of checklist system that I try to start usually fails, but school checklists have been an exception to that. They definitely benefit my kids and our homeschooling experience in general. I don’t know how to explain it: sort of the difference between floating and being grounded. This time around each kid has a checklist for the week. I spend time over the weekend going over the previous week’s work and then filling in the checklist for the following week. It keeps me on top of what my kids are doing, which is especially important with my two kids who work almost entirely independently. Larkspur is my most challenging student right now, and having a checklist of what I need to accomplish with her each day is tremendously helpful I am finding. It also holds me accountable and makes me less likely to think to myself, “We don’t really need to do math today. We can do it tomorrow or over the weekend (never happens.)”
Finally, while I know it’s time to be talking apples and pumpkins, they still have watermelons at our farmer’s market and we made something really yummy with one last week. I just have to share the recipe with you:
3/4 cups raw honey (you could substitute 1 cup granulated sugar)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 pounds watermelon, chopped and seeded
1. Combine water and honey in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove syrup from heat and let cool.
2. In a blender or food processor blend watermelon and and syrup until smooth. Stir in the lime juice.
3. Pour puree into an 8 inch square baking pan, cover, and freeze until mixture has started to freeze but is still slushy (2-3 hours) Stir the mixture thoroughly scraping the sides. Cover and freeze until solid (about 8 hours)
4. To serve, scrape with a fork and scoop flakes into serving dish.
We used a large watermelon and ended up quadrupling the recipe. You might need to adjust the sweetness based on how sweet your watermelon is.