Four Boys, Three Meals Each, One Happy Tired MomBy
This has been one fun week! If you recall, our four boys were in charge of planning and cooking meals one day each this week. Here is their menu plan if you’d like a reminder.
I took pictures throughout the week, although you’ll likely notice that there are more pictures of food than boys. Trust me – this is not because they boys weren’t doing the cooking. It’s simply because the older my boys get, the less excited they are about having their lives documented on my blog for all the world to see. I respect that. So instead of seeing them stir their muffins, you just get to see the muffins. (With the exception of one Elias picture and several of Malachi – who is still usually okay with having his picture taken.)
We’ll begin with Monday’s meals – the day Asa, our 15 year old, did all the cooking. He actually didn’t make breakfast that day (logistical issues), and is instead making breakfast on Saturday before soccer games.
For lunch, he worked and worked, cutting chicken and potatoes into nuggets and fries. He then used our fryer (the one Matt and the boys gave me for Christmas!) and cycled through batch after batch of fries and chicken nuggets. I was impressed with how he never stopped working until the last batch was finished. In fact, at one point, I stepped in to help and he said, “Wait. I thought I supposed to be cooking this meal?” Sweet! I promptly put down the knife and went over to eat fresh french fries.
For dinner that night, Asa and I worked together to make a double batch of fresh whole wheat tortillas for tacos. That was quite a job, and he did awesome once again! He also took the time to make Peanut Butter Brownie Cups. We devoured that meal. SO good!
Tuesday was Elias’ day – our 11 year old. He got right out of bed and made a big mountain of French Toast.
Just like his brother, he didn’t stop to eat until all of the bread and eggs had been made into French Toast. That’s saying a lot for a kid who is typically ready to eat his pillow as soon as he wakes up. This boy wakes up hungry and is a HUGE breakfast eater!
After breakfast, we cleaned up, then I taught Elias how to make pie crust. More on that later. :) For lunch, Elias used the Corndog Maker he got for Christmas to make 40 corndogs. (They actually were 20 hotdogs cut in half.) There was a grand total of three corndogs left after our meal. We sliced up pears and got out baby carrots to go with the corndogs. Oh, and we decided that our corndogs would be stickless. No need to go to the trouble to put a stick in the dog when we’re just going to devour it anyway, right?!
Right after lunch, Elias got busy making two Cream Cheese Lime Pies. Into the fridge they went. Then, he browned hamburger meat and put his dinner into the crock pot.
When it was dinnertime, all Elias had to do was get out bowls and chips to go with his Hamburger Cream Cheese Dip. I think we had apples with this, but for the life of me, I can’t remember. And yes, we did just put our chips on the table beside our bowls. Who needs extra dishes?
After dinner, Matt had a few buddies over to play cards. Elias served us all some of his pie. It was crazy good!!
That night, Justus, age 13, who was up next for cooking meals, got into the kitchen and made Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins to serve for breakfast Wednesday. That got our morning off to a great start!
Justus made us a huge lunch that day!! Chicken fried steak strips, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas – wow. I can’t believe how hard that kid worked.
It was his first time to make mashed potatoes and gravy and he did awesome! See, the gravy thickened up just perfectly…
Justus also went all out and tried a new recipe for Carrot Cake. He got fancy and decorated. To say the least, after lunch, he was exhausted. :)
Would you believe I forgot to take pictures of his dinner? :( He made pasta with Alfredo Sauce and steamed broccoli and carrots. It was delicious, but we rushed off to church after we ate and taking a picture completely slipped my mind.
Wednesday night when we got home from church, I asked Matt if he wouldn’t mind helping Malachi (age 8) get his Breakfast Cookies made for Thursday. They went right into the kitchen and got started, Malachi’s excitement level growing the whole time they worked. I hollered in some insufficient information about which pan to use and how many cookies to put on one pan, so the cookies sort of ran together and off the pan into the oven just a bit, but hey, that’s how we learn, right? (I’m not talking about Malachi. I’m talking about old married couples. After 18 years, we’re still learning more effective ways to communicate.)
I’m debating on whether or not I should tell you about the small oven fire that resulted in this slight miscommunication. Oops, I just did. Well, let’s just say it was smaller than some I’ve started in the past, and we put it out quickly. The next day, I was easily able to scrape up charred cookie drippings from the bottom of the oven. My hair still smells strangely smokey. But the breakfast cookies sure tasted good. :)
After we ate breakfast, Malachi and I got to work on the Lasagna. Yes indeed, we used store-bought noodles. By day four of helping boys cook, I was getting tired. ;)
We ate the lasagna for lunch, since there were soccer games in the evening. It was delicious!
After lunch, Malachi made brownies because he was set on making Death by Chocolate for dessert. In the late afternoon, he and I made a double batch of Calzones so that we could have some in the freezer as well as plenty for dinner.
They turned out great! Here’s round one out of four:
And the Death by Chocolate? Well, it was as tasty as Malachi is proud…
Sheesh, did we eat a lot of sugar this week!!! Big desserts every day of the week? Too much. But shucks, it was fun just this once.
What was I doing while my boys were cooking up a storm this week? Standing in the kitchen helping them cook, cleaning up messes with them, and offering a lot of guidance. I found that everything took at least twice if not three times as long as it normally takes me. But wow, did the boys learn a lot!
It was wonderful having so much one-on-one time with each boy. It was super to see their excitement and willingness to work so hard all day. And I daresay, they really learned how much effort it takes to put great meals on the table three times each day. My favorite quote of the week was this: Upon hearing that it was time to come downstairs and work on making dinner, Justus said, “Already? I feel like I just finished cooking and cleaning up after lunch!” Uh-huh. This is what it is to cook three meals a day for a family. I let him know that this is why I give them “the look” when they come into the kitchen asking for a snack 45 minutes after a meal. He grinned sheepishly. ;)
Did you do any cooking with your kids this week? Fun as this week was, I’m telling you right here and now – we are having leftovers tomorrow!! This mama is tired. :)