There are some new followers of “What’s for Dinner Moms?” and I haven’t updated my About Us in quite awhile. I started this blog just over 8 years ago now. My children were young and I was struggling with a son with Autism who was on the path to eating only beige and fried foods. I myself wasn’t much of an adventurous eater and knew I was setting a bad example for my kids. Growing up my mom was a cook for the local high school and when she came home from work she would make 4 different meals each night. One for each of us – pretty much whatever we wanted. I never really had to taste anything that was different. The only vegetable I ate was French cut green beans. I never even tasted broccoli until I was in college! My kids were NOT going to be like me.
I decided that if my children were going to eat differently I needed to cook differently. I needed to get out of my rut of hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and tacos. I challenged myself to start eating more vegetables (I am or rather was a non-veggie lover) and cook a different meal each night for one year. My family loved the theme nights I started with. If we had Italian night my son would make flags for the table and act as an Italian waiter. Or we had formal nights were everyone would dress up and use best table manners. It was fun. But, as the best laid plans often do they went awry. We were suddenly moving 550 miles away from all our friends and family in 10 weeks. We had to sell our house, get it packed, cleaned, and get the kids mentally prepared to move and oh, my wife was moving 6 weeks before we were. Yikes!
The blog was set aside and began again when we moved. I made some tweaks that made my family happier. They complained if they really liked something and wanted to have it again they couldn’t and that was frustrating to them. We started with birthdays were any meal of their choice and I would try to cook mostly normal foods on holidays. Then to make things easier on myself I made it meals Monday through Friday had to be “different” and then we could remake all the things we love on the weekends. Sometimes I would make the meals just as I had before or sometimes with a “twist.”
Here we are 8 years later with an almost empty nest. My daughter has been living at home while commuting 100 miles a day round trip to Community College where she also assists teaching Irish dance and works at our local library. Unfortunately, with the world as it is right now she is not doing either. She is supposed to move to Kalamazoo later this year to start college but we shall see where that goes. My son is a junior in high school and is super busy with school activities and life. For a long time I was driving the 100 miles a week round trip with him to take Gifted and Talented classes at a local college and then 200 miles round trip to another college so he could take 4 years of a language in 2 years with Gifted and Talented. I felt very fortunate that I could do that for him. So, I understand the having not time for dinner or as we did for several years – Dinners to Go. I had divided dishes and simple meals they could eat in the car to avoid the dreaded Drive Thru three to four times a week. Secret tip: Always keep a change or two of clothes in your car no matter how old they are and at least one beach towel. Someone is always spilling something or sits in something and needs to change or sit on a towel. My best lesson after years of the Mom Taxi.
During this “Stay Safe. Stay Home” time my wife is working from home (except for the furlough) and I have been fortunate enough to work from home as a tax preparer for a CPA firm in New York for years. My travel business is extremely slow right now but have had a few people looking to cruise to the fjords and Russia, a Universal trip for a large family, and a first Disney trip for another. But, I am using this time to update certifications and doing lots of cooking.
So, this is us in a nutshell. Tell me about you and your family!