Want to know what I’m doing right now? I’m running from basketball game to basketball game, cheering for my boys and their teammates while they play at their big end-of-season homeschool tournament. There are teams here from at least 4 different states. This is big time.
Why do you care what I’m doing right now? Because you are super curious about what I’m eating. Right? You’re like, “So…basketball tournament in another state. Running from game to game for three full days. Sitting in bleachers all day, shouting for your boys. Are you eating concession stand hotdogs and nachos?” Yes, that’s definitely what you were wondering.
The answer to the hotdog/nacho question is, “Not if I can help it.” My thinking is: If I’m going to eat junk, it really better taste good. (Ever heard of Freddy’s? That is junk worth eating. Rarely. But yum. One of our meals out this weekend WILL be at Freddy’s.)
The thought of eating out (or eating hotel breakfast) nine meals in a row makes my stomach turn wrong side out – as does the thought of paying the bill for that because we are the Coppingers and we eat large. We’ll feel better and save money by eating food we’ve packed to take with us, and we’ll enjoy eating out a few meals with the team, too. If nothing else, we have loads of fruit and vegetables packed with us to help us avoid the 500-pound lead gut feeling that happens after eating out. This is why God made blueberries.
But here’s the thing about packing the food: I had exactly three days this week to do six days worth of work so I could be gone from Thursday to Saturday at a tournament. Plus we needed to prep and pack the food to take along. This required a huge group effort in all things food between Monday and Wednesday of this week.
That’s not even everything. We made pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, and
turkey sandwiches after we took this picture and took a break!
How can I say this more emphatically? If my boys didn’t know how to cook and weren’t able to help me in the kitchen – I wouldn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, I just, I don’t…well, the thought of it makes me cry. I can’t do this without their help. And I can’t always even stop and help them anymore because my work load is heavy and I need them to sometimes take the reigns and be independent in the kitchen. They can and they are and the thought of that makes me cry too. (I get weepy during tournament time. There’s just something so endearing about being here supporting our entire team who has worked so hard and grown so much this year.)
Wow, he’s tall.
I can’t tell you the huge blessing it is to me that my kids have learned so many kitchen skills through the years and can be so helpful and productive. I am sitting in the bleachers eating an amazing chef salad because my boys can cook. They didn’t learn everything overnight. But they certainly wouldn’t have learned it had I not chosen to teach them. (Justus -16 – made an amazing honey mustard barbecue chicken for our salads. So much yum.)
My 14-year old has become a Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait expert.
The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse? I’m not just talking about it this week because it’s cute and sweet and fun and a priceless way to spend quality time with the kids. I’m shouting hard-core about it because this is a skill our kids will need for their entire lives. They need to learn to cook more than they need to learn just about any other skill. Food is part of every day, forever.
Here’s Malachi, showing off his expert cutting skills, thanks to the free Knife Skills Series.
The funny thing is, I really was teaching my kids cooking skills because I knew it would benefit them. I had no idea how much it would benefit me, too. That’s been the serendipitous blessing in this. My boys are now a huge help to me in the kitchen! I can’t do it all without them.
So. My boys are awesome (on the basketball court, in the kitchen, and daily just because they are God’s and they are mine). I’m sitting in a hotel room eating a Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait that my 14-year old made on Wednesday. It is so good I might pass out. This is the kind of travel food fit for kings (and queen).
Food We Made to Take on the Road
- Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait (3 each because we are all addicted)
- Turkey Sandwiches
- Chef Salads with Homemade Ranch and Honey Mustard Barbecue Chicken (created by Justus)
- Homemade Pizzas (that we’ll eat cold)
- Breakfast Sandwiches that we heated and ate on our way down
- Sliced cucumbers, sweet peppers, and kiwi
- Summer Sausage and Sliced Cheese (protein in case hotel breakfasts are all empty carbs)
- Peanuts, Cashews, Crackers, Blueberries, Applesauce, Peach Cups, Pear Cups, Clementines
All of this took a couple hours of working together, and it was worth it! It’s always fun to hear about food you pack for the road too, so leave a comment with your ideas!