Big J has a new job which will have him in DC during the week. If all goes as we plan, he will be here Friday night through Sunday night, then little j and I will have Monday through Thursday on our own. Cooking for two is definitely different than cooking for three, especially when one of the two doesn't like everything that is offered. So, gone are the days when I decide to do something a little different and have a back-up plan for little j. Instead, I need to plan our meals with both her and I in mind.
I'm a little nervous. No, really. This week my plans include rice, veggies, and egg; quinoa tabbouleh and shrimp; and burrito bowl. These are all things that she's not particularly excited about. But they are good and good for us, so this is also my opportunity to encourage her to challenge her palate. We'll see how that goes.
Tonight we are having our old standby roast chicken -- this is the perfect home comfort food for a day after long hours of travel. We also found some beets that we had bought from the farmer's market before we left (untrimmed, they are nearly indestructible), and I picked up some corn on the cob. No, we aren't having mashed potatoes and gravy, and I'm quite certain I will hear protests at the table from little j. After dinner I need to pop the chicken remains back in the oven in a pot of water for stock since I am nearly out.
While I was in Oregon I had a long conversation with my grandmother about cooking. It is interesting that I was giving her cooking tips. But she tends to make lots of food when she cooks and then freezes the leftovers. A good idea, but she has two freezers full of food that she never gets around to using. I suggested that she plan her meals out for the week and think about what is in the freezer as well as things she could use multiple times during the week in different forms (e.g., roast chicken, pork loin). Not only would it help her manage her food, it will also give her something to plan and do throughout the week. This was a good reminder for me to think about using everything I buy, know what is in house before I head to the store, and plan ways to use any potential leftovers.
I think the biggest challenge for little j and I will be getting in a routine. Were Big J did most of the clean up, little j and I will need to do it together. It will be good for us. I imagine there will be some whining on both our parts, but I know we can make it work.