For twenty years I was a stay-at-home mom, until a few months ago when I landed a part-time job as a part-time Spanish teacher.
So I plan lessons all morning, teach all afternoon, and when I come home this lanky teenager of mine says, “Hi, Mom. What’s for dinner?”
I’ve barely kissed him on the cheek hello, and he wants me to think about what I’m going to feed him. Of course, that six-foot frame of his needs filling, but all I can think is that I want to slip into some jeans and read a book.
I’m no pink-cheeked Amish momma with prize-winning loaves of bread coming out of the oven. I’m more of the “who wants cereal for dinner” variety.
But when burger wrappers, take-out Chinese sack, and pizza boxes fill the trash can, we’re all weary of fast food and need something cooked on an honest-to-goodness oven and stove top. So I stand in front of the week’s menu that seemed like a really good idea when I created it on the weekend, and there is only one dinner idea that a fatigued woman can pull off starting at 4:50 in the afternoon.
I pull out a beautiful casserole dish and cover the bottom of it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Plop in the pork roast and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. In the oven it goes. An hour later my husband comes home and says, “Mmmmmmm.”
Now that’s something a working mom and a nice Amish lady can have in common: a man’s nose.
Then that man wants to know what’s going with the pork roast.
So I send him to the garden, which is 90% weeds and grass, where those brave potatoes have persevered despite me trying to kill them off from lack of attention. He comes back in the house with a potato so big our camera picks it up with facial recognition.
I wash and dice that one potato, big enough to feed three adults, and cover it with a little olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and minced onion. (Forgot the salt and pepper, but we add that later.) I stir the potato concoction and dump it into my microwave steamer dish to be nuked for six minutes. (Please tell me this counts as actual cooking.)
Then my man opens a can of green beans and heats them. Those beans look lovely when plated with the potatoes and pork roast.
So there: ten minutes of labor, and those boys of mine count it a real meal.
It smells like “from scratch” in here. That’s what a working mom can do.