"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Empty Fridge Syndrome

Kyran over at Planting Dandelions has written a very timely post for me. In it she talks about trying to set priorities in her home, family, work and the outside world. As a SAHM who works two days a week I find it very hard to prioritize these days. Especially since the number one thing at the top of my To Do List every day is grocery shop. As some of you may know I have three boys and while only the eldest has entered teendom recently he is already eating us out of the proverbial house and home. My days are spent worrying about what to feed him as he is an athlete in training and very concerned about the quality of the fuel he puts in his body - no junk food or other fast fill-me-ups, he expects meat or fish, vegetables and all in vast quantities. I buy carrots and potatoes in ten pound bags, pasta is the over-sized no name brand, multiple bags of milk (it is sold packaged in three one litre bags here in Ontario) and I have started to look more closely at the half-off meat section (I know, but I figure if it's good until two days later than I can freeze it right away and it will keep)

And this is only with one eating like a teenage boy. Because my Other Half and I were so regular in the reproductive cycle, our boys are exactly each two years apart from one another which mean when Number Three is 13, his brothers are 15 and 17 and all will still be at home. The eldest won't be off to university until he's 18 which means I have at minimum two years when I will be feeding them all and if any of them decide to apply a fabulous programme they offer at our high school which I sincerely hope they do, they could be home for a fifth year of high school.

Now math was never my strong suit but here is my attempt at the calculations (Beth, you can let me know if I am being overly optimistic)

3 boys - ages 13 to 18
5 years x 3 boys = 15 years of teenage boy appetites

I can't even begin to calculate the sheer volume of milk drunk, bread toasted, cereal bowls filled, steaks consumed, carrots and potatoes peeled. It staggers the mind.

So, as for the list of priorities?

  1. Re-join Costco
  2. Make friends with an egg and beef farmer
  3. Invest in a new bread machine
  4. Encourage the boys to go fishing after school (the salmon are running as I type in the river right at our doorstep)
  5. Teach them all to make scrambled eggs, spaghetti and grilled cheese to start

I have often said that I don't want to be the mother-in-law who my daughters-in-law hate so now is as good a time as any to start them in the kitchen, Number One Son has already mastered the BBQ and is learning to follow a recipe. Next stop? The laundry room. After all, it's all about priorities, right?


  1. I think you’ve got it - but you left out the possibility (a very real one) that they just might return home for a while after university. Factor in a few more years of big spending for big appetites!
    Interesting – I was just at Cosco today - was never a member but while wandering around the place in awe, thought I certainly should have been during their teen years.
    And # 5 on your list is excellent. They’re definitely capable of preparing food for themselves – but they usually consider the results of such culinary efforts to simply be snacks!
    Good luck! ;)

  2. I hear you. I have 2 teens but my daughter is an athlete so eats almost as much as her big brother. Best thing to do is teach them how to cook. My daughter has asked for a panini machine for X-mas.

  3. Thanks Beth, you are right about them coming home. It seems to be the only way they can get ahead in this very expensive world we live in.
    And Sarah, that's so great. A friend of mine's 12 year old daughter was given a bread maker and now makes all the family bread. I just ordered "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and can't wait to teach the boys how to pummel something other than each other ;-)

  4. You're on the right path! Remember to also teach them how to sew on a button & iron a shirt! I taught my 2 children how to sew on buttons (& my husband, too!) & I haven't been asked to sew on a button since! About the ironing: I must say I like to iron, & altho most clothes today are so-called "iron-free", they still might need a good pressing. Good luck to you & yours!!


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