Last week, I came home from school most days and wanted to pass out. It took everything I had to stay awake long enough to help my kids with their homework and brush my teeth. (I don’t recommend falling asleep with a toothbrush in your mouth.) I hadn’t planned out dinner and most nights didn’t have the time or energy to cook. I was naive. I was clueless. I was unprepared. I stopped at Chick-fil-A a lot.
Actually, I only stopped at Chick-fil-A once. The other nights, we had Taco Bell, and pizza. Some of you may ask what the big deal is. I mean, it was my first week at work after staying home for seventeen years. It’s understandable that I might have relied on fast food that first week, right? But the thing is, that kind of stuff is not in my budget. It was obvious I needed to change things, so, I came up with a plan.
I decided I needed to plan out menus and do some cooking ahead of time on the weekends. Great plan, yes? Sunday night, I made grilled garlic chicken, knowing I’d have enough left over for lunch for the week. While I grilled the chicken, I browned some beef stew meat on the stove and chopped carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes in anticipation of Monday’s dinner. Monday morning, I threw the fixings for beef stew in the crock pot and went to work, all happy that I was so organized and so amazing, confident in the knowledge that dinner would be ready when I got home and there would be enough left over for another night this week. Oh yeah, I gloated, I’m awesome.
So, we ate the beef stew and by “we ate”, I mean, six of us ate while Brooklyn turned up her nose at the yucky, non-peanut-butter-sandwich gruel I’d placed before her. Life was good. I decided I could do this working thing and still manage to feed my kids. Hot diggity dog! Oh and speaking of, I checked that we had buns so we could have hotdogs for dinner the next day. I went upstairs to read with my little kids, fully planning on coming back down to finish cleaning up the kitchen and to put the leftovers in the fridge.
I fell asleep.
This morning when I trudged to the kitchen to make some coffee, I realized I’d left the beef stew sitting in the crockpot all night. I’d have to dump it out. I almost cried at the waste, and more importantly, at the fact I’d have to plan another meal this week. I started to grab the crockpot to clean it when I noticed that not only had I failed to clean it up last night, but I never even turned it off! For those of you who might be interested, this is what beef stew looks like after it cooks for 24 hours.
There’s a reason Pioneer Woman has a show on the Food Network and I don’t. A very good reason.
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