Friday, 12 October 2012

Parsley stew, anyone?

Until now we've been very lucky: both Father Badger and I have worked 8:00-4:30 and we've been home with Baby Badger soon after 5pm each day.

Father Badger started a new job this week. He seems to be enjoying himself, which is the main thing - I honestly believe that we spend far too much of our lives at work to be doing something we don't enjoy most of the time. The only downside is that they're insisting on standard hours, at least for the first few months, which combined with trains and our local bus service means he's home at 6:40 in the evening. That means it's all change in the Badger household.

It means that each day I'll do the childcare drop off and pick up; I'll do the cooking of the evening meal whilst entertaining Baby Badger. It's like 1960s role reversal, only that I'm also working a full time job. It's absolutely do-able, and I will manage, but it feels slightly daunting at the moment.

I've survived most of this week by using the crockpot - again, 1960s nostalgia anyone? Tonight's treat was beef and carrot stew with a shed-load of homegrown parsley. There's only so much stew I can eat though, even in this season.

Anyone got any tips?

Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut /


  1. I'm not working, but I do have to prepare lunch and tea for my toddler each day, and then a light supper for my husband (in line with his special dietary requirements, gah) in the evening.

    I plan my meals once a week, and shop all in one go. I do deviate, but the plan makes me feel in control and I can't recommend it enough.

    I batch cook when I have childcare and freeze portions to shove in the oven when I have a tinks playing at my feet. Just like homemade ready meals.

    Portions of cooked mince are useful because you can top it with savoury crumble, mash, sliced potatoes, cobbler etc etc.

    Pesto pasta is a lifesaver, and so are falafels (they freeze well) stuffed into pitta breads with raita and some houmus.

    Think ahead: can I make extra of something tonight so I can use it tomorrow (for example, cook a double quantity of potato: serve boiled with tonight's sausage cass and mash the rest to top tomorrow's cottage pie).

    Tinks-proof meal preparation. Cooking with a small child at your feet is an art. My experience has shown me these things. Do not grill. Do not do cook anything that requires split second timing. Do not think you can do a nappy change and be back before it all goes wrong.

    That's all I can think of now. MaryAnn over at Time to Cook did a good post recently about evening meals, though.

    1. I've gone with the planning tip and I now have a week's worth of meals planned and pinned to the fridge. It's definitely helping as I don't have to think about it when I get home.

      I've attempted the prepare double and finish the following night, but have failed miserably. I'll work on that...

  2. We survive with batch cooking - I don't get in until 7 on a good day and 8 on a bad day and so have lots of things in the freezer I cook up at weekends to throw in the oven to give a minimal input meal - pasta sauces, lasagne, cauli & mac & cheese, pizza bases, stews (sorry!), coq au vin and so on

    Also make up big batches of things like mash to eat later in the week

    1. I've a feeling we might have to invest in a bigger freezer to do batch cooking!


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