As it turns out Thursday’s is my busiest day, so a slow cooker dinner has been a life saver. It starts at 6am (unless I sleep through the alarm after being up half the night with Miss One), involves an insanely rushed morning of trying to get washing hung out, kids dressed, making a breakfast I can take in the car with me, lunch for Mr Good and myself and dinner going. I’ve learnt my lesson with the slow cooker and have everything ready the night before so it’s usually just a matter of putting whatever it is I’m cooking into the pot and turning on the machine. Alternatively I cook the meal overnight, turn it off in the morning and put it in the fridge ready to reheat when I get home. Then we have the childcare drop off which, of course, is in the opposite direction from work and over the railway line. In all it takes me 45 mins to get the girls there, signed in, settled and then me to work. Thursday’s schedule at work is full-on, morning briefing, form assembly and then six periods of Geography, including three periods of the SAME Year 10 class! After school I correct any work I’ve collected, plan my classes for Monday and do my photocopying or other administrative tasks, finally walking out the door around 5pm. Then it’s the half hour drive back to the childcare centre, pick up the girls both of whom have a tendency to burst into tears when I arrive, drive home and attempt to get dinner on the table before 6pm. It’s a BIG day, but it sort of just works. I think when you have that much on you do just get on with things don’t you and it certainly helps that I have dinner mostly done.
Tonight it was spaghetti bolognese, a all-time classic and one of the very few dishes that Miss Three happily, even delightedly, eats. All I had to do when I walked in the door was cook the pasta and reheat the sauce, in all it took fifteen minutes to get dinner on the table. This was my first attempt at bolognese in the slow cooker and it was only because of the this appliance that I would ever consider serving this dish on a day where I’m out of the house for most of it. In my opinion bolognese is only worth doing when you can give it lots of cooking time to allow the flavours to develop. I used my usual recipe – I’m sure everyone has their own tried and true recipes – with a little bit less liquid (though I could cut that down even more for next time) and cooked it overnight for eight hours (on low). Thankfully it was as tasty as always and lapped up by the two girls as well as Mr Good and myself.
Today was the first day I’ve felt like I’m in the right headspace at work, I enjoyed all my classes even the tricky one, and the juggling act worked better than it has been. Days like today make me think that I have done the right thing going back to work and finishing the day with happy kids and a peaceful family dinner just capped it off beautifully. The one thing missing was a full night’s sleep – perhaps that will come next week.