by far the biggest game changer for me this year…besides getting over the postpartum hump + getting more sleep…has been freezer cooking. by the end of the homeschool day, i am dragging. i’ve given my attention + creativity + patience all day long, and now these crazy people want to eat again!
for a while i used dinner prep to listen to podcasts. Sarah has a great list of homeschooling audios. i just recently found this collection of lectures from L’Abri and have started listening to Susan Schaeffer Macaulay talk about Charlotte Mason. but even better than the podcast + dinner prep pairing is not really having any dinner prep!
using the excellent book Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead & Freeze Cookbook by Jessica Fisher, i have really streamlined what needs to happen at 5:30. usually the main course is finished and i just need to steam some veggies, cook the pasta or start the rice cooker. Jessica’s system has simplified menu planning for me. she offers 5 or 6 detailed plans to get you going. these include shopping lists, step-by-step instructions, and helpful hints…which are very helpful! for example she recommends shopping + prepping veggies on the day before you plan to cook. this means that you get to jump right into the cooking and can be finished with lots of meals in as little as an hour or so. huge!
if dinner is a bump in the road at your place, i recommend starting with Jessica’s blog Good Cheap Eats. it will give you a taste of her wonderful voice + style.