when you’re a mama, sometimes it’s the little things…no?
on friday afternoon i stopped by a friend’s house after a long beach walk with EBN. while we shared the end of a bottle of wine and chatted about the week that had just passed, she suggested our families get together for an early dinner the next night. as she mentioned a local dive bar/fresh fish restaurant (honestly, there isn’t much better) my face lit up – “wait, you mean i don’t have to cook!?!)
you see, i’m the family cook (along with the cleaner, the baker, and the candle-stick maker…okay no). in an effort to be more organized with time and money i’ve even started meal planning – thinking about the week ahead and deciding what we, as a family will be eating each night for dinner. on busier days i make sure i have something that i can prepare quickly or some type of leftover from earlier in the week or my freezer stash (did i mention we recently acquired an extra freezer for our basement – AMAZING). i think about what i need from the grocery store and try (it is oh, so hard) to make just one big trip a week – supplementing with a mid-week dash to our farmer’s market for fresh fruit and veggies. this week is a good example of why meal planning is so important – we leave town on thursday and i don’t want anything leftover to go to waste so – tomorrow we’ll have chicken breast, broccoli and couscous, tuesday tamales (from the farmer’s market by way of our freezer – again, OBSESSED), and wednesday – i’m thinking left over chicken over a salad that includes beets, because i only recently discovered that i love beets and now i roast beets constantly. sounds good right?
okay, so i like cooking – but everyone needs a break. and when it came up that we might go out on saturday night – well, i basically started to cry – i was so excited.
ABN and i have never been the partying–staying-out-til-all-hours-spending-lots-of-money-for-no-reason-let’s-see-a-show-and-get-drinks-and-dessert kind of people (surprised much?) but in our past life (ie. before EBN) we were known to pick a place where we were guaranteed a good meal and spend our saturday night sharing a bottle of wine and food prepared by someone who was not me – on really crazy nights, we’d even order that dessert – especially if there was a creme brulee on the menu. since EBN we’ve found ourselves staying in on saturday night – EBN goes to bed early and it just seems like a lot of work (and money) to hire a baby sitter. also, i’m pretty sure i’d fall asleep at the dinner table.
enter dinner at 5:45 pm. BRILLIANT. go to a restaurant of your choice – doesn’t matter if it’s nice or not so nice – as long as the food is good and the bar is full. you get seated right away, you eat and drink, your kiddo can make a racket and best of all – you can go home without having to do the dishes.
we had a great meal on saturday night. i can’t really remember what i ate – all i know is that i didn’t cook it. my kiddo had the time of her life smiling and waving at the people at surrounding tables and flirting with her dinner date (a preview of our future) and ABN and i had an adult conversation – with each other AND other adults. we’ll ignore the fact that i was still wearing my EBN-snot-stained halloween costume – i didn’t want to tempt fate by stopping at home to change clothes after a family costume party.
i’ve made a new rule. from now on, saturday night the kitchen at our house is closed. we’ll go out to early family dinners, every now and then we’ll treat ourselves to a real date – including a babysitter and once in a blue-moon i’ll agree to open the kitchen for a booze infused recipe night.
i’m already yelping restaurants with full bars and high chairs in our area – gotta menu plan for next weekRead More