This past week there was not a lot that happened around here. And yet I was swamped.
Lots of things are *getting ready* to happen around here, so I’ve been knee-deep in preparation.
We rolled the combines into a corn field for the first test cut on Wednesday (the moisture content was still too high – a farmer would say “It’s too wet.”) and are now rolling full-bore. This lands me back in the camp of spending most of my time in the kitchen prepping harvest suppers, in the fields driving a tractor to pull the grain cart, on the road helping move people from place to place, or at the computer tallying results and tracking inventory. While I’m at the computer I promise to do my best to upload some pictures from the time I spend in the field.
I’m also ready to begin school again. The kids are excited too, but they are making sure to enjoy their last un-scheduled days as we count down to changing our routine back to active homeschooling. In preparation, everyone will spend the weekend cleaning their rooms and building as much lego as they can.
I have used this past week to put the finishing touches on my lesson plans and preparing materials for the first few weeks. I have also been cooking like mad. Last year, I made several meals I could freeze and just pop in the oven on school mornings so we could have a hot lunch with no effort on my part. It worked so well I’m repeating it this year. I have some spaghetti casseroles, rice/mushroom/broccoli bakes, salmon and noodle dishes, and creamy mac and cheese waiting patiently in my deep freeze.
I made meatloaf, except it was meatsheet. I mixed up our favorite meatloaf recipe, but instead of cooking it in a loaf pan, I spread it out on a cookie sheet with edges as if it were a sheet cake. It cooks much faster (around 30 mins) and is easy to cut into bread-sized pieces. I freeze those pieces between sheets of wax paper so I can pull out one at a time for a meatloaf sandwich or a single hot serving. I also made my mother-in-law’s famous sloppy joe meat and froze it in serving-sized balls (in a muffin tin). They are so simple to pop out of a bag and zap in a dish for a fast, hot sandwich.
I also made our version of granola, which my children love to have with plain, non-fat yogurt and honey…or all by itself. Here is the recipe:
3 cups rolled oats,
3/4 cup EACH: sunflower seeds, walnut pieces, sliced almonds, macadamia nuts,
Mix dry ingredients.
Stir together 1/2 cup oil (I used organic olive oil from Azure Standard) and 2/3 cup maple syrup.
Poor over the dry mix and stir with a spatula until incorporated.
Spread into a large, oven safe dish or sheet. Bake at 250 degrees F (I used my convection setting at 225) for around an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until crunchy.
Store in an air-tight container.
What is your favorite make-ahead meal?