Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor Day Labor (Food Edition)

When I was a kid, my mother loved Labor Day. Or at least that's the way it seemed to my four siblings and me.

"It's Labor Day!" she would call merrily at the crack of dawn. "Let's LABOR!"

So we would crawl out of bed and work like stevedores all day, mucking out our rooms and cleaning the garage and polishing silverware and ironing sheets and whatever else she had kept on the never-ending list of Labor Day jobs. I now suspect she was just trying to keep the five of us from devolving into a whining cesspool of whininess. Ironing sheets? Who does that?

Anyway, I blame her for my inexplicable industriousness yesterday. On a day off of work, when Husband was nose-to-the-grindstoning on extended tax returns, I decided I was going to fill the freezer with pre-assembled meals. 

This isn't as outlandish as it sounds. During the winter I tend to have cool things to do in the evening (Bible study, accompany children's choir, women's group, Netflix, knitting, sitting in a stupor in the recliner and watching snow fall) and those cool things do not include cooking. This article, complete with printable shopping list and recipes, promised I would not have to cook for 31 EVENINGS! Or worry my pretty little head about what to put on the table for lunch, because leftovers. Count me in.

So off to the store, bright and early. Did you know there's almost no one in WalMart at 9 a.m. on Labor Day? Also, did you know that if an article promises you can cook 31 meals for $150, your own total will actually look more like this?

I did try to pick up only generic brands but I threw a couple of things into the cart with my 31-meal ingredients; a girl has to have her priorities.

I mean, what good is eating if you haven't had your coffee and the toilet isn't clean?

I was home and chopping onions and garlic by 10:30 a.m., and had a dozen meals in the freezer by the time Husband got home for lunch. He was mightily impressed by the chaos I had created in only three hours, which is a good thing because that gave me some emotional capital to draw on when I tripped on my way to the freezer, ran my middle finger into a piece of metal and sliced it niftily from stem to stern. (All those knives, and I injure myself walking? Of course.) He brought me gauze, propped my feet higher than my head when I began to feel woozy, and dialed the phone so I could check on the updated-ness of my tetanus shot.

And then he went back to work, and I was back to work, and we LABORED. By 6 p.m. I had 24 meals in the freezer and definite Opinions about how this process had gone. Since this post is almost as long as the process itself, though, I'll save those opinions until tomorrow.


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