So, I've come to accept that if it doesn't happen on the weekend, it doesn't happen.
While that is not 100% true (I was home sick one day this week and made chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot, corn muffins, and cooked up some beans), it's mostly true.
When big boy was a little one, I did a lot of cooking and prep after he went to bed. Now with two, bedtime is pushed off to closer to 8:30 or 8:45 for the big boy - so I'm too tired mid week to do anything.
This has resulted in a lot more wasted food. I'm not beating myself up too much about it, but I AM trying a lot harder to prep everything on the weekend. I realize that in this phase of full-time job and two kids, one a baby, I simply have to adjust. This means, generally, that all of our CSA and "fresh" veggies are eaten between Saturday and Wednesday (we get them Thursday night, and we generally run out by Tuesday or Wednesday). Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are frozen vegetable nights. I try to avoid wasting food by using my freezer and not cooking too much - and by eating what I've already made. That means we are all sick and tired of things eventually - today's lunch should be the 4th and final episode of the tortilla soup.
I'm still recovering from a cold and now my husband has it. I've had a couple of nights of insomnia (I'm thinking it's cyclical). So last night, I just decided to prep as much as possible.
After the baby was in bed, during our movie for movie night ("Daddy Day Care"), I washed, destemmed, and roasted 2 baskets of cherry tomatoes. I just cannot stomach raw cherry tomatoes unless they are chopped in a salsa like thing.
After the big boy was in bed, I went to town - about 40 mins of washing and prepping a bag of small sweet Italian peppers, fennel, a bunch of baby carrots (they are tasty but I would MUCH rather wash, peel, and cut 5 large carrots instead of 20 baby carrots), a zucchini, and three tiny kohlrabi. I froze the beans I cooked on Wednesday.
OH, but that's not all - today I took the baby grocery shopping and found a killer deal on pluots - from the discount rack at Fresh and Easy - 2.2 lbs for $1.13. They were very ripe, so I spent some time peeling and slicing - they are freezing in a single layer in the freezer right now. I don't know what I will do with them, but some blog somewhere this week featured frozen peaches - and the writer said that she liked to throw a few slices in her oatmeal while it cooks. Yum. That, or pluot crisp!
I've also got beets steaming, and then I should be almost done with the prep, except for washing lettuce.
My freezer is so packed, I have to make an effort to eat it down. I am officially done buying meat until I eat everything that is already there. I also have a lot of veggies (but we eat those), some homemade popsicles (it's the hot season now), various bread products (I do NOT need tortillas). In order to really be efficient in the freezer use, you have to have the time to go through the freezer, see what you have, and plan around that. I used to love doing that, but I find that I am too pressed for time.
Thus, I am going to make a renewed effort to plan at least 2 meals a week (weekends of course) based on stuff that's in the freezer. Today, I am going to make mac & cheese with leftover ham (from the freezer) and some frozen spinach - and the roasted cherry tomatoes. Tomorrow, I am going to use up some meatballs and frozen stir-fry vegetables. I will make an Asian sauce with some apricot jam and soy sauce and other items, and serve over brown rice.
To give you an idea of how bad my freezers are, here are some pictures of the top-of-the fridge freezer, and the mini-freezer in the laundry room. Yes, there are corn dogs in my freezer. My "no processed food" lifestyle took a back seat when I had the second child. It's generally the early years - 0 to 3 - that make it really hard to cook everything from scratch. Oh, and there is a jar of plum freezer jam that I think I canned 5 years ago. I should probably toss that.