Making the Most of Too Little Time

My one day off a week is not spent lying in a hammock eating bon bons and sipping mint juleps. There’s laundry to do, garbage to be taken to the landfill, recycling, then grocery shopping and menu planning, gardening and cooking all have to get done. When all that is accomplished, I open my bookshop for the afternoon.

Today I returned from food shopping in 98 degree, humid sunshine. I quickly carried the groceries out of the hot car and got to work. 11:00 a.m. – First I cut 3 pounds of red potatoes and put them on to boil. Next to them on the stove went a dozen eggs to boil. Then I lit the gas grill.

While it heated, I chopped celery for 3 salads and parsley for one. Then I opened a can of tuna and made tuna salad sandwiches for lunch. One celery used. 3 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken breasts went on the now hot grill before I ate my sandwich.

The timer for the chicken was also the timer for the now-boiling potatoes & eggs. 7 minutes later, my sandwich eaten, I turned the chicken, drained & iced the potatoes and turned the eggs off. While the eggs coasted I made potato salad. Second celery (and only parsley) used. I trimmed, washed and chopped a bunch of green onions to add to my potato salad later (my partner is off spicy foods for now.)

The chicken came off the grill and cooled on the counter while I cleaned up the mess and washed the dishes. Third (and last) celery was set aside for the future chicken salad. Leftover cold roast pork from the other day was thinly sliced and put in the cold cuts section of the refrigerator, making room for the new dishes on the shelves.

4 slightly warm hard-boiled eggs got peeled and mashed into the potato salad which then went into the refrigerator. I put the still-warm grilled chicken on top of a cold-pac (from the freezer) in the remaining cleared shelf space. It will make great snacks, sliced, and whatever is left will be turned into a salad for later this week or weekend. Lastly, I put the 8 hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator egg tray. Tonight I’ll slice some chicken, refreeze the cold-pac and marinate the steaks we’re having tomorrow night. Then I’ll figure out what to do with the 1.6 lbs of fresh cod fillets I also bought today.

That’s right! We’re having fish for dinner. All that prep work so that there is a lot of (bland) protein for my partner to nibble on during the day, a complex starch for dinner, and less work for me when I get home after my usual 12 hour days. Because this is my “day-off” I’ll have time to make a “nice” cod dinner tonight that will leave us leftovers for a cold fish salad plate another day.

The laundry went in the dryer (rain threatened) and at 12:30 p.m. I came here, to my bookshop, to fill orders, pay bills (I stopped at the bank and made a deposit on my way in) and fulfill some of my freelance and contracted writing assignments. This blog is just me goofing off. I’m entitled. After all, today is my day off!

About richardfrisbie

I'm a professional baker, reader, bookseller, publisher, columnist, photographer, cook, hiker, kayaker, freelance writer, and workaholic who likes to garden
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