Keeping house, making home. This is something I thoroughly enjoy and feel is one of my strengths, however, it isn’t something I am able to do full-time. Gone are my days of staying at home full-time raising little ones. The physical need for me to be home is lessened. Still, someone needs to put food on the table, clean clothes, balance a checkbook, shop, tidy the house. As far as I’m concerned that IS a full-time job. I’m in awe of mothers that work full-time outside the home and are still able to keep house in order. I’m working part-time outside of the home, and most of the time trying to keep afloat around the house.
I find that I’m able to pour myself into ONE task and do it well. Multiple tasks leave me in the center of a bunch of loose strings, and unordered, unfinished lists. One at a time I can do it like a pro: coupon, budget, clean, meal-plan. Try doing it all and I fall short. I wish I could create better balance because when one of those things is going well, the rest tend to be lacking. For example, I’m on a couponing bender. I find great deals, stock my shelves, am amazed at my abilities… but my house is a mess, my checkbook is scrambled and I can’t seem to put a meal on the table. Or, like this current run – I’m meal-planning, cooking, stocking my freezer… but my coupons are expiring, I need to balance my checkbook, and my house is a mess.
It’s frustrating. Maybe I need to cycle through and focus on one each week (since there’s about four). The problem is, I can’t clean once a month, or coupon once a month. Or balance the checkbook monthly (although that one might be the easiest to do). I need to find some order. Clearly. I’ll work on that.
In the meantime, I’ve been cooking, cooking and cooking, planning my meals and eating out way less (in the past week or so). That’s went well. I’ll focus on that.
Meatballs. Here’s some meatballs I made for this recipe for Meatball Minestrone Soup. The recipe called for some meatballs from Costco, but those ended up having soy protein in them (husband, allergy thing), so I made my own. I used 4lbs. of meat (3 beef, 2 pork), which gave me enough meatballs for 3 meals, including the soup for tonight. Having started this post prior, and now being in the post-eating stage, I can say a couple things about this meatball recipe:
1.) Do NOT sub the water for white wine, even if it sounds like a good idea at the time.
2.) This meatball recipe is WAY too bready for me. I’m going to have to get Frank’s nona’s recipe (again) instead of trying to do things “my” way. Her meatballs are the BEST.
Moving past the meatballs, the soup was a HIT.
It was super low maintenance with a fresh, tasty ending. I would serve this up for company, no doubt – it would be an easy make-ahead. I made this on a night that Frank was working overtime (he worked 4 last week). So glad I did. I grabbed frozen loaf of french bread from Costco (I freeze them and them zap them warm and crusty in the oven after defrosting – saves me many trips to the store for a loaf of crusty bread), served up the soup for the boys, and everyone ate.
So, yeah. Last week was a score as far as meal-planning went. On a busy Saturday spent 2 hours away for a soccer tournament, a lasagne made on one of my cooking sprees (I can’t find the dang recipe, either) came in handy. I took it out the night before, had the kids pop it in the oven as I was leaving the field, and they had a home-cooked meal while I went to book club. It was perfect. We didn’t eat out ONCE this entire week. Not even on pizza night Friday. It was a lot of work, but surely it saved time and money. There’s no way I could keep up with this every week though, which would be why it goes in spurts for me.
“E” for Effort, though.