I’ve devised a new theory as to why pilots yell out “mayday” when they’re in distress. They understand that evoking a typical day in May would say in the briefest of timeframes, “AAAAHHHH! You have NO idea how crazy it just got up here! Send help! And I mean NOW!!” Am I the only one that feels like this? End of semester – even when you don’t have kids in school – feels like the busiest time of the year between the parties, meetings, fieldtrips, end-of-year events, sporting events, and extra time spent enjoying the glorious weather.
So, what’s a busy mom to do in the height of these hectic times when there’s barely a moment to catch her breath much less prepare healthy and nutritious meals? Well, if you’re like me, sometimes you let others do the cooking. And, you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. Last week, on one of the many days when my husband and I were off in separate directions, I opted to take my kids out. At some point during the meal I was struck with the fact that while my kids were just fine eating their meal I found it to be sadly lacking. Having spent the last year trying to focus on eating better, I’ve become quite the snob. I’ve been spoiled month after month by eating delicious vegetables cooked into all sorts of things and I was so disappointed when my dinner turned out to be rather blah. And then I remembered a meal just a few days earlier in which my son took one bite and proclaimed, “Mom this is delicious! You should make this again.” He’s a sweet boy who is learning at the tender age of 5 the art of a well-placed compliment so I am fortunate to hear his praise for the things I cook more often than one might think. But the thing is I don’t ever hear my kids saying those things when we opt for the quick meal out. Which gave me renewed passion for making the better, though slightly more difficult, choice next time. (And I do mean slightly more difficult. Any person who has ever taken 2 busy preschoolers out to eat all on their own knows what I’m talkin’ bout here, right?)
The meal that received such praise, my basic frittata, is nothing special; it’s one I make when I need to use up some leftovers and can’t think of anything else to make, a quick and easy dish for which the only ingredient you absolutely must have is eggs. I decided to make another one for breakfast today, since we’d had such success before, so that I could write out a recipe for others to follow. The whole thing went together in about 30 minutes with half of that time spent letting it cook in the oven while I went about my normal morning routine.
I served breakfast and both kids went straight for the accompanying smoothies, leaving the food untouched. So I reminded my son that this was the meal he’d liked so much and asked me to make again. He took one bite, looked at me, and said, “Mom, please don’t make this meal again. Ever.” Some days are like that, even in Waco.
I explained to him that his comment hurt mom’s feelings. I work hard to give them good food and my husband and I agree that our children need to learn how to politely take at least a few bites of the meal, preferably with smiles on their faces. We want our children to express themselves but we want them to do so with grace and kindness. My son eventually cleaned his plate and told me I should definitely make the frittata again but “maybe no greens next time.”
Let it be duly noted then, on a day when life gets crazy and you just don’t know what to make, this is an excellent choice that is sure to be loved by all, so long as you go easy on the greens.
Hope you and all your eaters, finicky or otherwise, have a great week. We’ll see you in the SUMMER SEASON!!!
The Home Grown Mom’s Clean-the-Fridge Frittata
1 c milk
¼ c water
1 Tbsp. oil or butter
1 tsp garlic
½ c cheese
2-3 c sliced/diced vegetables (carrots, onions, radishes, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, potatoes, beets, etc. – let your imagination run wild on this one)
2ish c greens (spinach, mustard greens, kale, Swiss chard, braising greens, etc.)
1. In a large oven-safe pan, sauté the garlic in the butter/oil over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes (till fragrant).
2. Add any uncooked vegetables to the pan, reserving vegetables that soften significantly when cooked till last. I put carrots, bell peppers, squash, onions, potatoes, radishes, beets and the like in first, cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to get tender and then add in the “soft” veggies – tomatoes, mushrooms, and leftover veg that has already been cooked.
3. Continue cooking until all vegetables are warm and then add greens with 1 tablespoon of water. Let the greens cook down slightly. Meanwhile whisk together the eggs, milk, and ¼ c water.
4. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables and let cook on the stove for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally as you would for scrambled eggs. Once the eggs are partially cooked, sprinkle with cheese of your choice and transfer to a preheated oven.
5. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through then turn to broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese all nice and bubbly. Serve hot with toast and a smoothie for breakfast or with a side salad for lunch or dinner.
The Home Grown Mom’s Orange Julius
2 c ice
2 TBSP yogurt (we use plain Greek but vanilla, honey, or any citrus flavored one would work too)
3 TBSP frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c water
1 ½ c milk
2 tsp Maple Syrup (or other sweetener)
6 tablets chewy vitamin C (totally optional but adds a little pep to the drink and to your step)
Put the ice in your blender and pulse 3 or 4 times to begin breaking it into smaller chunks. (This is the key to a smooth smoothie.) Add the remaining ingredients and blend to desired consistency. Divide into four glasses and enjoy.