08 August, 2014

Behind-the-scenes: food management

Shifting a family between countries (or even moving house within a country) requires a lot of work, as many of you know. In the crucible of the change, many take-away meals are bought. But on a missionary budget that can't continue very long. Very quickly after we arrived in Australia, I needed to move into cooking and baking mode.

One of the things I enjoy about being a household manager is not the housework, but the management of the food going through the place. That includes planning meals (don't get me wrong, it isn't a complex meal plan, merely what simple main course we'll eat for dinner), making grocery lists, buying the groceries, and cooking the food.

Potato soup: a favourite recipe
(at least for some of the family)
Over the years like most people, I've collected a bundle of recipes that are easy enough (don't take too long and don't have too many ingredients), and liked by most family members. This time, instead of carting all my recipe books back to Australia with me, I scanned them. Now I'm printing out the scans and making up my "new" Australian recipe books made up of mostly familiar recipes. Intermingled with those are meals that the boys aren't so familiar with, because I can get different meat here at a reasonable price, like lamb chops and corned beef. That's been fun!

One of the big challenges of the year, though is providing mobile meals, as I mentioned here on Monday. Often we're not going to be home at meal-times, especially on weekends. Already that is the case on Monday nights and Saturday lunches, due to wrestling training. But as we start to travel around more visiting groups for deputation, that need for mobile meals is going to increase. So far we've had meat on bread rolls, hot dogs, wraps and salads. I'm working on a plan to give them rice balls or meat on rice.

Providing food for the family goes past main meals, of course. So providing home baked snacks is also something I pay a reasonable amount of attention too. It is something I enjoy, so that's a nice combination. It cheaper and healthier to eat snacks made at home too, so these add to my motivation to bake.

Soon after we arrived back in Australia I picked up a magazine that had a small "free" chocolate recipe book attached to it. So I've made it a personal fun challenge to see how many of the recipes in that book that I can make over the year, seeing as most of the ingredients are easily available here (something I struggle with in Australia).

So, that's just a little bit of a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in this missionary family's life on home assignment.

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