I mentioned in an earlier post that money is tight this week, so my cooking habits have to change.
That's when I realized how much money I must be wasting every month, and how much processed food my boys eat. Of course, they prefer the processed food, but that's another story.
Especially on Mondays and Wednesdays, when I work in the mornings and then work again in the evenings, I'm often loathe to cook dinner. I might let the boys fend for themselves with cereal.
Their crazy schedule also adds to the mayhem.
Spencer has basketball practice after school and doesn't get home until around 6.
Tucker has musical practice (he's in the chorus of Oklahoma!) until 5:30 then goes to swim practice at 6:30 til 8:45. He can't eat too close to swim practice because he's gotten sick before.
Truthfully, there's no time during the week when we can all sit down and eat dinner together. It's easier to set out a salad and put something in the slow cooker so everyone can eat on their own time.
This week, the boys quickly ate the granola bars and peanut butter crackers that I had planned to add to their lunches. Then they stood in front of the cabinet complaining there's nothing to eat. Spencer will grab apples and clementine oranges to eat, but fruit doesn't seem to fill that gnawing in their stomaches.
I've increased my cooking and baking. Luckily, even though finances are tight, I have plenty of flour.
I used to bake homemade bread all the time. I felt like even if I fed the family spaghetti with jarred sauce, a homemade loaf of bread made it a real meal. Then the boys got to a point where they wouldn't eat my homemade bread and I started working longer hours. I baked less and less frequently.
This week, I've made up for it. So far I've baked two loaves of banana bread, chili and French bread, brownies, chocolate peanut butter cookies and a loaf of Italian bread.
Tuesday I rolled out a homemade pizza and Wednesday, before I left for work again, I pulled a quiche from the oven. When I got home from work a little after 9, Tucker was climbing out of the shower after swim practice.
"Did you eat some quiche?" I asked.
"No," he said. "I don't want any."
"I'll warm it up for you," I said.
"Okay," he agreed. Did I mention that laziness, or perhaps pure exhaustion keeps teenage boys from eating homemade food?
In spite of all that baking, the boys still walk in the house and complain that there's nothing to eat. It's a good thing that we don't eat gluten-free, because I have no idea how I would fill my boys up if they didn't eat gluten.
The loaf of Italian Herb bread on Monday was a hit and made my house smell so good that I've included the recipe here.
1 cup + 2 Tbl water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbl oil
3 Tbl sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl dry milk
3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
Mix up the dough and knead it. (I don't do a lot of kneading). Let it rise then knead again and shape into a loaf. Let it rise one more time. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
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