I was listening to a few coworkers in the break room one day talking about how difficult it is to balance extra-curricular activities and after-school schedules with meals at home or cooking dinner each night. Everyone seemed to be lamenting the fact that there’s little time between work and when sports or whatever starts, and some days, families aren’t sitting down for dinner (although out here everyone calls it supper) until well after 8. When I got home from work, I was telling Jay about it, and how I was a little skeptical that it’s truly that difficult to get any kind of meal on the table each night. And maybe I’m wrong–The bambino isn’t even in school yet, and not involved in any activities, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, and it really is too hard to balance family dinners with after-school activities. Even still, Jay and I decided that we might want to try and buck that trend once the bambino is in school.
And it’s not that I’ve always got a home-cooked meal on the table at 6 o’clock sharp every single night. If I don’t plan ahead, there are nights that I’m scrambling to come up with something to put on the table. Leftovers, or whatever I can pull out of the pantry. And I’m really not that great at whipping up a quick meal from 4 ingredients, so I do better if I plan ahead…And when I remember to take things out of the freezer to thaw!
But even still, I think sitting down to dinner together, even if it’s just whipping up some pancakes and tossing 8 different nut butters on the table because you’re out of syrup, is better than nothing. It’s better than hitting a drive-thru, or popping some frozen entrees in the microwave.
And tonight, I did just that. Made pancakes, that is. Because I went to Katie’s Saturday night and got home later than I planned (we spent the evening talking and drinking wine and before I knew it was 11, and then midnight, which was my cutoff, because I am old), I was a pile for most of Sunday morning. And we went to Jay’s folks’ for lunch, so I didn’t get started on laundry until about 2:30. Plus, I decided to tackle the mini-cupcakes again. This time, I think they turned out fine:
Sweet little cakes of goodness. And because I was just wiped by the time I got the 3rd load of laundry in the dryer, I told Jay we were ordering George’s because I just didn’t have it in me to cook. Buffalo chicken pizza to the rescue (and a hamburger for the bambino)!
I got a taste of having to get dinner on the table ASAP–Jay had to go and cover a school board meeting, which meant he had to be out of the house and on his way by 5:45. So pancakes it was. I usually make them whenever the bambino and I are on our own for dinner, but they’re also pretty quick. And I’d originally said I was going to make pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning, but the bambino and I ended up eating granola bars. However, Jay decided that he was going to eat after his meeting, but I got started right away anyway. I decided in the interest of time that I was going to cook some bacon in the oven. Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do that again.
It got stuck to the baking rack. Perhaps I should’ve oiled it first, but really, isn’t bacon greasy enough already?! If I pan-fried it, it would deep-fry itself! Oh well. I’m more irked about having to scrape bacon off that rack than anything else.
I experimented a little with the pancakes too, although these turned out pretty well.
And after dinner, I started on some cookies that I’d wanted to make yesterday instead of the cupcakes.
I sampled one (quality control, of course), but I’m going to take the rest to work tomorrow–I have a meeting after lunch, and since I was in the mood to bake again this evening, I offered to bring in some treats. No one objected!
Melissa brought me a treat today:
My first-ever macaron! She went to the Twin Cities this weekend, and brought it back for me. Unless I’m missing someplace in Sioux Falls, I don’t think the macaron craze has hit SoDak as yet. It was light, airy, ganache-y, and everything I hoped for! Now, if I’d just work up the courage to attempt making them at home…!