Feeding the Family with a Traveling Spouse
Spring has sprung! The little kids and I spent about five hours outside in the (windy) sunshine yesterday, and it was glorious. It may not have topped 60 degrees, but that didn't stop the girls from donning bathing suits (with tags still on) after we picked up Eloise from school and running through the hose.
Nick has been away this week (home tonight!) and I'm pleased to report it was an uneventful week. I always say I think the kids sense that they need to be on their best behavior when he's gone. This morning, I woke up at 8:00 (!) when George got up, and the girls had already gotten themselves dressed, made their beds, and were downstairs weaving (Eloise) and looking at photo albums (Amelia). Bless them!
One thing that can leave me scratching my head as we approach one of his work trips is what to feed everyone while he's gone. I "cook" very basic meals most nights, but even that usually feels like too much while he's away. The bedtime routine with three kids and one adult can be exponentially longer to complete, so when I finish, I want to be able to come downstairs having dinner (and the house, if possible) already cleaned up so I can pour myself a well-earned glass of wine and relax.
Here are some go-to basic meals I call on when my husband is away:
Costco frozen lasagna! I always have a couple of these in our freezer. They are delicious, require zero hands-on time and cleanup, and there are no weird ingredients.
hot dogs + fries
Annie's mac and cheese / buttered noodles + eggplant parm from our local prepared foods market
frozen chicken fingers (I have tried so many kinds and like Applegate organic chicken strips the best. I just wish I could buy them in bulk because they're fairly pricey)
frozen soup (from a prior doubled recipe) + rolls (I like La Brea)
grilled cheese (which I bake like this)
takeout pizza if it's a Friday (which is our weekly ritual)
For sides, I keep it simple: raw baby carrots, applesauce, fruit, or a simple salad if I'm really ambitious.
Not the epitome of health or deliciousness, but I don't worry about those things while he's away. It's all about keeping things as simple as possible so I can focus on the kids / tasks at hand, and not create extra work for myself.
If your spouse travels, do you have go-to meals? I'm all ears!