I’ve discovered that parenting and providing for adult children isn’t that easy. I no longer know when they will be home or where they are going. Not that I mind, as I’m happy they have plenty of friends and a busy social life. However, I still have to do the food shopping and prepare meals. Nowadays it’s not unusual for those meals to remain uneaten and, once their refrigerated life has ended, to be thrown out. Of course I do freeze portions and one of us takes them to work for lunch, but there is just so much sausage casserole or pasta bake that I can eat over and over again!
I hate waste and I especially hate seeing food that I’ve taken care in preparing later thrown into the garbage. So what do I do? My sons don’t live to any form of schedule or planned existence. Their friendships are based on impulsive meet ups and spur of the moment decisions. So when I ask them in the morning if they will be home for dinner they can’t give me a definitive answer. As my middle son has told me “I can’t tell you I’ll be home because if I decide to go out later you will be mad at me and I can’t tell you I’ll be out because if I stay home you won’t have enough dinner for me.”
The other day I called a family meeting to discuss this problem. We brainstormed for a few minutes, middle son suggested freezing all the meat in portions so that we can all take out what we want for dinner and cook it ourselves. It isn’t such a bad proposal, but it means I have to get out of the frame of mind of cooking for the family and that is difficult for me. Portions might be the way to go, but what if I’m cooking a casserole or pasta? Youngest son just suggested stocking the freezer with chicken schnitzels as they are his favorite right now.
Today, for example, it is nearly 3pm and I still haven’t taken anything out of the freezer for dinner tonight. I would like to have steak tonight, but the three steaks I have are all frozen together so I would have to take them all out if I want them for dinner. Yes, I know I should have frozen them separately, but I wasn’t thinking of solutions then. My youngest son is home at the moment but that could change at any time. My middle son is still not home after going to a 21st birthday party last night and I have no idea when he plans to return. So here I sit and wonder whether to take the meat out or leave it in the freezer. It’s a problem that will be on my mind until its time to cook and there is nothing defrosted.
Yes, I do have a microwave but I haven’t yet learnt how to defrost accurately. Nine times out of ten if I’m defrosting steak or chops they end up slightly cooked around the edges and I’m left unhappy. I do defrost some things, just not everything.
So what to do? I would be more than happy to listen to all solutions. Perhaps some of you have already been down this road and would like to share your experiences?