Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Time and the Lunchin' is Easy

We have three Little Lunchers in our house. The youngest luncher is just over seven months old so his lunches are pretty straight-forward. The oldest luncher is three and a half and has grown quite particular in her old age. The middle one is two and will eat pretty much anything unless she hears her sister say it's yucky. I get into a rut easily, if they are willing to eat something...we have it often until one of them suddenly dislikes it.

Fortunately summer brings lots of easy meals. The best two things about summer eating - not everything has to be a hot meal and there are lots of delicious fruits and vegetables to try out. I have been trolling the farmers market and friends with orchards to stock up on great summer items like plums, apricots, zucchini and strawberries.

The plums and apricots get a quick eight minute boil to shed the skins then are pitted and pureed. Puree goes into ice cube trays and frozen into individual serving for feeding the baby or adding to muffins on Saturday mornings. The strawberries get eaten quickly but I chopped up a half flat of them and stuck in them in individual baggies in the freezer for making smoothies when the season is over.

Zucchinis - boiled, pureed and frozen as well - good for adding to muffins, spaghetti sauce, mac 'n cheese and for baby food.

While I have the water going, I like to hard-boil a dozen eggs. I stick them in salads, pasta dishes and honestly, I grab one for myself when I am running around trying to get everyone else fed.

Getting back to the muffins - we have been enjoying, perhaps experiencing is a better word, "June Gloom" here despite the calendar reading mid-July. The coolness has encouraged me to get back to muffin baking. I like to do a double or triple batch of mini muffins and freeze most of them...they make great additions to lunch boxes, snacks for on the go or a nice substitute for waffles on a school morning.