Saturday Morning Meal Planning and Train Track Engineering

My shirtless three year old son (soon to be four!  FOUR!) is studiously banging a wooden hammer on some wooden train tracks, to make them “stick together.”  Our Christmas tree lights are a-twinkle – the boys decorated it and so it is predictably bottom heavy with ornaments and bare at the top.  I artfully arranged some glass ball ornaments in bowls and vases around the house, and Liam keeps helpfully emptying them and putting the ornaments on the tree.  “I found these over here so I hung ’em up for ya, mom.”  Thanks bud.

The Christmas season is upon us.  Halloween is probably my favorite time of year, but it kind of blew past me this year and I never really got into the swing.  You know how some years, a holiday is just sort of perfect, and other years, a holiday sneaks up on you?  I missed a good Halloween, so I’m trying to wallow a little more in Christmasness to make up for it.  I even put up the tree on a random Tuesday night after work while the Prof was at a work event, just so we could have it up a little longer.

We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving at my parents’ place in Nashville.  All but one brother in law and my brother were there.  My brother is living in Germany for a bit, and couldn’t swing both a Thanksgiving and Christmas visit – my brother in law had other obligations that kept him home.  But all of my sisters, two of their spouses, and their children were there, and we made a happy and contented jumble.  The boys ran around outside with the neighbor children, and we did a lot of eating and drinking and cooking and did some adult dot-to-dot pictures that a partner bought me as a thanks for working a difficult case.  (Adult as in hard, not XXX rated!)  I was also able to bill quite a few hours on the drive up and the drive back, which allowed me to take four full days off (Wed – Sat).  That was great as I have worked most weekends lately – full days in some instances – and I needed a break.

This week’s meals are a nod to the fact that we have tons of evening activities and may have to heat something up individually certain days.  I have 3 (count ’em, THREE) evening holiday events next workweek, and the Prof has two, and then we have my work Christmas party next Saturday.  I’m tired just thinking about it.

So, meals are as follows:

  • PW cauliflower soup.  I made this before Thanksgiving and froze it, so all we have to do is heat it up.  It’s delicious – tastes a lot like potato soup, and the Cajun spice gives it a nice kick.
  • Dressed up ramen.  Not a great idea to eat ramen too often, as it’s full of sodium, but on a chilly winter evening, a steamy hot bowl of noodles hits the spot.  I throw in frozen veg and usually swirl a raw egg in the boiling broth til it cooks (sort of “egg drop soup” style), easy, peasy, cheap and good.
  • PW chili.  This week’s rotation is heavy on the Pioneer Woman, but that’s cause her stuff is usually pretty simple and crowd pleasing.  I made this Thursday from stuff we already had in the pantry and fridge, and I made double so we’ve got enough for this week too.
  • 12 minute chicken and broccoli.
  • Spaghetti with frozen meatballs and jarred sauce.

Happy December to all!  Only 23 days left in the advent calendar, til Santa Claus comes.

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