It is January, time for re-organization, change and lists...right?
I don't know if anyone else struggles with getting a good breakfast on the table in the mornings but I have found that there are some days, even though I LOVE to cook, I seem to be trying to play catch up with everyone. Let's face it we have kids who are up before us, maybe not all of you are like that but I am and then kids who want to sleep the day away. (Ah... the joy of my teenage daughter)
Anyway, since the fraction of members awake alarmingly early outweighs those of us in the adult population in the morning I am bombarded with requests for breakfast when I come down the stairs. And all before my morning coffee... isn't there a rule about that?
Well.. actually there is in my house, once I get my hubby out, my quiet time comes next and all are instructed that should I miss my quiet time.... mom may not be the sweetest banana in the barrel. :) ha!
So, in an effort to give me grace and keep the smiles all around I have instituted that lovely thing called a calendar and a list and the most wonderful invention... THE DRY ERASE BOARD (affectionately DEB). Can I really have not used this for the majority of my homeschooling journey?
There is a list on the DEB which designates what and who should be doing what, when they should be doing, and hopefully doing it with a smile... though it is not a requirement.
Well, I know they can all read (check that off my to do list) so I know they can adequately ascertain what they should be doing. I have yet to figure out how to incorporate an understanding of priority. I was told yesterday that the order I have considered and the order that the said child had considered were not exactly the same and if it was being completed wasn't that ok? Well debated argument I suppose, and my goal this year is to be a blessing to my children.... you know the smiling happy loving and joy-filled homeschooling mother who can respond with wisdom to any and all situations.
On a side note my devotion this morning stated that a victorious life is one whose mistakes, multudinous as they are, become life lessons. A life with victory is not a life which meets all goals perfectly the first time, but the victory is a result of a journey of trials lived in humble admission of our need for mercy and the direction of Omnipotent Grace. (My paraphrase) I was taken to Psalm 34 and reminded of His grace to those who seek him with humbled hearts. Oh, that I would not allow pride to take me away from each lesson He allows me to learn from.
Back to the point of my post!.... Breakfast.
While I love to cook, being bombarded in the morning with a myriad of requests, as if I lived in a restaurant and could fulfill any order submitted, it just does not bless me. While structure and organization are not my main love language, I can see the necessity it boasts.
Our DEB :) lists the days I cook breakfast and lunch and the days the children are to make(help make) breakfast and lunch, because it is all about teaching and training right? This training thing is just as much for me as it is for them and I am confident that because Psalm 34:4-6 confirms that When we seek the Lord he hears us, delivers us out of all our troubles and we will not be ashamed, then I can know that it isn't perfection that we should be continually seeking but the broken, contrite heart of the thoroughly penitent.
I should add to this topic that the days I cook breakfast, I ususally make something that can be easily reheated the following day or can be made into another meal again. I love challenge of taking left-overs and creating a new dish with them. It is my only valid attempt at frugality, I fall far below the realm of being a frugal woman otherwise... much to my dismay the conquest of finding good deals often alludes me. So, I work with what I have.
The DEB also lists the requirements for school that day so I don't have to consistently vocalize the need for them to be on track. When they finish their list they have free time, when they don't they are in school all day. Does that hamper my own schedule, at times yes... but I have constructed my own special corner in the school room where I can sit in my comfy chair and enjoy the sunshine. It's all about perspective right? If not then I fear the opportunity to choose less than joy becomes a consistent plight on my day.
I am sure I'll rework the DEB often, and even my schedule (what sort of looks like one anyway) will have holes that need to be filled. I will need the trip to the Library on my days I want to fly away. (My other valid attempt at frugality... I can drive to the Library let them roam freely to the book-land of their choosing and fulfill my own bookworm desires at the same time. Win/Win and I haven't spent any money or wasted time) and the heart will need to be brought back to that place of seeking and inquiring of the Lord based on the necessity and authority of His Word... to deliver me from all my fears and the painting of His radiance upon my face once again. ( Ps 34:4-5).
I have come to believe that teaching my son to cook is an invaluable blessing I can give to my future daughter-in-law, yes I am praying for her! I am convinced I am raising a modern day knight who will never tell her, "My mom does it this way!" And my girls will know how to cook; whether or not they choose to do it is really theirs to decide.
Ok.. on to the helpful (hopefully quick) breakfast recipes!
If you have left over sausage or ham you can quickly and easily cut it all up with some potatoes and fry it in a pan to make a yummy, warm and filling breakfast.
Slather bread with butter and place it in the oven to toast and your kids will think you are a chef extraordinaire.
Use this excuse to make use of the left over veggies, rice, potatoes, etc. in your fridge. I think I can mix just about anything with an egg, some milk and even a little bread... add some cheese, salt and spices ... voila! Yum!
Seriously I can make this once or twice a week and breakfast is set for the rest of the week. I am not a bulk food baker, because we just don't eat it. However, this is so much cheaper than Eggo Waffles and Pancakes in the store. I have the best recipes that my kids say even IHOP can't beat. They freeze well.
1 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
Add dry ingredients. Cook on waffle iron.
I put the oven on warm and place the waffles in a pan to keep warm. They stay crispy.
I make my own maple syrup as we all love it. It is not healthy by any means but it saves me when I don't have it.
1-2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 - 2 c. water
2 tbsp. Dark Karo Syrup
Mix together in a pan and bring to a boil till sugars dissolve. Add 1-2 Tbsp. of maple syrup extract.
Frozen Hash Browns and Sausage or Biscuits:
Love those Frozen Hash browns in the morning. Everyone thinks they went to McDonald's for Breakfast. And biscuits with sausage patties. They are a great investment in coffee time for me. The kids can make them and everyone is fed which leads to a better day.
I love to make oatmeal and add dried cranberries, apples and walnuts with a little maple syrup and milk. Most everyone else enjoys it. For those that don't they eat Cheerios. It's ok! I promise.
Left over oatmeal goes into this YUMMY cake that prompted me to create this prose of reflection today. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
My daughter lovingly calls this Oaple Cake. :)
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick of melted butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. cooked oatmeal (or whatever you have left over.)
1 c. (make add more or less depending on the consistency) buttermilk
1tbsp maple syrup (That’s what I added today because I was out of vanilla.) or 1 tsp. vanilla in its place.
3-4 apples diced.
Mix well in your blender.
Grease a 9 x 13 pan with shortening. ( Tip I read: Shortening is better than butter or oil and your cake will not stick)
Pour and back for 45 min till done at 350.
I made Cream Cheese Frosting for the cake, but it doesn't need it. Only a few individuals in my house prefer that. You could use whipped honey butter spread or just eat it as is. It is so yummy. Almost like getting a bowl of oatmeal in those kids.
This morning I made with Strawberry smoothies, while I had my coffee and quiet time. They were sent up to their rooms for quiet time.
Making breakfast isn't so bad! :)
Blessings to you!