I’m the cook in our house (generally speaking). But sometimes my husband steps in and takes over (for which I’m grateful).
This week has been, you know, one of those weeks. Here’s the rundown on why:
- Little Brother is sick again; diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease
- Big Sister has a horrendous cold, but she’s a trooper and will not give in to it (which kind of makes her cranky)
- I’m insanely busy trying to make up time on work deadlines that have long since passed (not because of me)
- Our babysitter quit without notice Monday at noon
- We leave for Cuba on Friday
What this means to me:
- I can’t send Little Brother to a back-up babysitter or drop-in daycare because of his illness
- A cranky Big Sister makes an even more cranky Little Brother
- I have to get through all my work before I leave on Friday while the kids are sick and at home with me
- I have to find a new daycare for when we return and my son is no longer sick on top of packing, running errands, and confirming flights, travel arrangements and insurance
- I have no time to cook, I have no prepared dinners in the freezer, I refuse to feed my family take-out all week (much as they would love that)
God bless my husband. He asked me on the weekend what he could do to move us toward our Friday goal and give me as much time as possible to get my work done.
The only thing I could think of (besides running a few errands) was the cooking.
Much as I love cooking, it takes up a lot of my time. The main thing I’m looking forward to on our trip is sauntering into the buffet every day at our leisure and choosing whatever we want to eat, with no complaining from the kids about what’ s being served for dinner. And if the kids don’t want to eat at mealtime, no big deal, they can grab a snack at the snack bar whenever they want.
Back to my husband. So far, he has handled the cooking like a pro. But I’ve got mommy guilt. I usually throw in one or two new recipes a week to mix things up a bit and introduce my kids to new flavours.
I really should have just let that go this week. But I couldn’t, so I found an easy recipe in my new cookbook, 500 Best Quinoa Recipes, and left it out for my husband along with the appropriate ingredients. All he had to do was put it together and cook it.
Now, you know how women of our generation were taught to be self-sufficient? I know how to do basic repairs around the house, how to use an electric drill and all sorts of other tools. But I don’t do any of it as well as my husband. I can use a drill, but he’s just way better at it and when I use it for something, I’m always afraid I’m not doing it right or I’m going to make a bigger hole than I need.
Apparently, this is the case with my husband in the kitchen. He has never said, and it never occurred to me, but small kitchen appliances to my husband are like a drill to me. He can use them, but he’s not well versed in their use. So if they don’t work exactly as they are intended, he doesn’t know what to do.
Needless to say, the recipe I chose required some prep with a food processor, which is something I don’t have. I have lots of other little food processing-type machines (a Magic Bullet, a blender, a mini chopper) that work as decent substitutes, but they require a bit of adjustment in the way you fulfill the requirements of the recipe.
My husband tried, but I ended up completing that step of the instructions while he cut up chicken strips.
I finished up and went back to the computer. Then I heard:
“These aren’t going to be chicken strips as much as they are going to be mangled chicken pieces.”
The wry humour in his voice was the comic relief of the evening. Because, when you’re stressed about all that life has thrown at you and you’re running out of time to get it done, all you can do is laugh and do your best to get it done.
But dinner turned out great! The kids loved the Almond and Quinoa Chicken Fingers. I thought they were delicious, and they weren’t all that mangled after all.
Apologies for the poorly shot dinner. I just didn’t have time to stage it properly.