You know that advice that baby books and magazines give to moms-to-be about making and freezing extra meals for reheating in the post-partum days? This is my second summer baby and I learned the hard way that I need a better option. In the heat of summer I just don't feel like heating the house up with the oven or eating soup. Still, I am going to be tired and finances do not allow for a lot of take-out, so I need a plan that lets me make meals I actually want to eat without hassle. Here it is.
-I plan on making good friends with my grill. I stocked up on a few favourite spice mixes from Penzey's, which seems expensive on the surface, but they have great flavour and go a really long way. Even on a tired day I can toss a few bone-in chicken pieces on the grill. I'm getting a grill pack from the butcher shop and some sausages from Kramarczuk's, a nearby specialty sausage maker. Their Morroccan Lamb Sausage and French Apple Sausage are to-die for and very reasonably priced. Some of the meat will be marinaded before freezing so all I have to do is defrost it and cook it. Thanks to Tracy for that idea!
-Lots and lots of raw veggies with dip and berries. All of us love the farmer's market veggies and instead of coming up with new and interesting ways to cook them this year, we're just going to eat them raw. Fresh from the farm cherry tomatoes, broccoli, ground cherries, salads, strawberries and raspberries. Maybe the odd half melon filled with cottage cheese. Does it get any better than that?
-Sandwiches. Good cheeses, good produce and maybe a summer sausage or two? Sounds like dinner to me.
-Pasta salads. There are so many variations on these, Italian, Thai, Chinese, Tuna, Grandma's Chicken Curry pasta salad. They are easy to throw together and you can make a big batch to last a few days.
-On bad days PBJ, crackers, cheese and fruit or grilled cheese is a perfectly acceptable dinner. It doesn't have to be gourmet.
The bonus of most of these ideas is that they are not only easy to make, but easy to clean up, which is essential to me in the sleep-deprived post-partum period. Hopefully by keeping things simple I can avoid the call of LeeAnn Chin and Pizza Factory and save both my sanity and our hard-earned money.