One of the many strategies we utilize for keeping things moving along at home without too much chaos is to spend time on weekends cooking batches of meal components to put together at a moment’s notice. We usually cook a big batch of a grain, a bean or lentil, and a variety of roasted or otherwise cooked vegetables, and – if we’re really on top of our game – a sauce or two, maybe a big batch of soup, and some breakfast and snack items for Aldo (like smoothies poured into reusable pouches, a batch of these mini muffins, or some homemade Lara bars).
This meal was one that worked into that routine – I had planned out the combination ahead of time, but doubled the batches of rice, lentils, and squash and used those in other meals throughout the week. Leftover rice became gallo pinto with fried eggs for breakfast, lentils were mixed into pasta and other dishes for Aldo’s lunches, etc. etc. Weekday lunches for Aldo and I are commonly portions of grains and beans and vegetables in various configurations, heated in pans on the stove (or incorporated into packaged macaroni and cheese or Indian food – lest you think I do everything from scratch). Read more
It comes as a surprise to no one, especially me, that Aldo starting to eat solid foods has been one of the most rewarding and fun parts of this whole ordeal. (Can you call having a baby and raising it for nearly eight months an “ordeal”? That seems simultaneously too negative and way too casual. Like I’d need at least 10,000 more words to describe what it’s like, but a decent percentage of them would be way more positive than “ordeal.”)
Also unsurprisingly, a lot of people ask me what he’s eating and what our general philosophy is on how and what he eats. Baby led weaning? Homemade? How quickly to introduce allergens? What to introduce and when? The way we’ve gone about it is a fairly good indicator for how we’ve done most things as parents – do some reading, pick and choose the elements we like to form a generalized plan, then see what works and what doesn’t, reformulating the plan nearly on a dime as needed. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that you can’t go into anything with too many expectations or being too rigid, because this fantastic little guy is actually a human, and he has plenty of his own thoughts and preferences.
And through everything (and we’re not just talking about food here, but also sleep, and play, and everything else he does), I get more and more of this sense that he’s going to be just fine. We can provide a general structure, but as long as we go with our intuition and take note of the signals he sends us, it’ll all work out okay. Read more
We’ve camped a lot this year. A lot a lot. We realized, in fact, that we have probably spent more nights in our tent over this past year than in any other place. It’s been fantastic, in part because we’ve camped in some amazing, jaw-dropping places (like the Canadian Rockies, the Boundary Waters, and Yosemite), but also because we spent most of our years in Southern California wishing we had more time to head into the wilderness, pitch a tent, and spend days doing not much of anything but hiking.
So these days I have pretty good footing on matters of camp cooking. I get a lot of questions both on this site and from friends and family about how to plan for camp meals, and this page from last year has been by far my most popular this summer, so soon I’ll put together a new site feature all about planning camp meals and menus.
But first, I want to talk about trail cooking, an entirely different beast. Read more
Just a quick check-in, and the first recipe in ages. It’s not really a recipe recipe, per se, but it’s still something.
We’re in the midst of our whirlwind three-week United States tour – San Diego, Los Angeles, Eugene, Davis, Minneapolis, Madison, New York, New Orleans, Portland, and finally back to Eugene for a week before we head out again. Right now we’re in the portion of the trip where we’re visiting (in rapid succession) and then choosing the city where we’ll be moving at the end of the summer, which might even involve us signing a lease for our new home. All in the next five days. Whoa.
This comes in the midst of a sort of vicious and sneaky exhaustion that crept up during our last week in Southeast Asia, only to be exacerbated by jet lag and all the rapid travel that’s happened since. It’s all taken a toll on our diets, especially as we’ve been getting together with friends and spending more time in airports than I would like to admit.
So during our brief 18-hour stay in Eugene, 18 hours that included going through our mail from the last five months, doing our taxes, going for our first run in five months (ouch), buying new phones and a new laptop for me (yay!), and reorienting ourselves with our belongings enough to pack for this part of the trip (oh, and sleeping, sort of), I took full advantage of my little window of opportunity to use a real kitchen and made myself exactly the sort of meal I’ve been craving for months.