Tonight another culinary disaster nearly derailed a nice, family evening followed by an even nicer bout of mommy writing time.
Instead of questioning why this keeps happening--the reasons are as varied as my fiction--I am trying to develop a flexible strategy for quick and easy meals for when my original meal plan goes astray or I'm busy all day, preferably writing, and don't get dinner whipped together in time. Bonus points if the meal can be prepared by my long-suffering husband.
Here are our family's top meals for the crisis nights that happen more often the more time I devote to my career:
1) Breakfast for dinner. Eggs, yogurt or cheese, toast or pancakes (frozen!), a green salad and -- if the eggs aren't a veggie filled omelette -- a frozen vegetable or can of fruit.
2) TV dinners. Unhealthy but so easy hubby can make them! Supplement with green salad and/or fruit.
3) Canned soup and sandwiches. We usually only have peanut butter and jelly on hand (or eggs!) but it doesn't hurt the adults in the family to eat peanut butter. I love peanut butter. I also try to keep "healthier" canned soups in stock.
4) Easy black beans (canned beans, corn & tomatoes) and tortillas with a green salad.
5) Leftovers. This isn't as obvious as you might think! It takes preparing more than we need at some point during the week and then not gobbling them up for lunch the next day.
6) Newly discovered: stir fry and egg drop soup, both homemade.
Yes, the Wallaces don't have a lot of imagination compared to the number of times dinner goes mysteriously awry and we have an over-reliance on eggs. Hey, what can I say, the kids will actually EAT them and it's not fast food, pizza or hot dogs.
Here is a more inventive list of quick meals from various websites. I believe the trick is to make sure your pantry is stocked with SOMETHING, which, as we all know, is harder than it sounds.
So, what does your family do when you need to get dinner on the table fast without drive through service?
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--In Paper, Samhain Publishing
LIAM'S GOLD--In Electrons, Samhain Publishing