Sunday, November 11, 2012
"HOW RUDE" and also I Like Food
And then there are the people who think they are funny. "Don't you know what causes that? Heheh" or "Don't you guys have a tv in your bedroom?" One of my friends who also has a large family has a perfect response for that one. She always says, "Nope. No tv in our bedroom! There's too much sex on tv!". There are so many wise guys with snappy comments out there and they all seem to think it is the first time we've heard it when they let those comments rip. I am too polite to tell them what I think of their humor. There are also people who ask me questions I wouldn't ask even my closest friends. Complete strangers have asked me if I planned to get my tubes tied. Really? Are you an ob/gyn? "Are you done yet?" is a common question. Give me your number and I'll be sure to give you a call when we decide! For some reason, having a large family makes others feel that it's okay to become over familiar.
I try to extend some grace to everyone who comments on our family. For the most part, people seem to think positively about us. There are a few who like to point out the size of our "carbon footprint", but they are rare. I have only had a few unpleasant confrontations, but that's a whole other blog post.
Many friends and family folks, as well as strangers, are concerned about the financial aspects of raising a large family. Admittedly, it is hard. People want "stuff" and "stuff" costs money. I like to think we are raising our kids to be thrifty and considerate. Needs come WAY before wants. In this throw away society, we have to try to fix things before we replace them. Or we do without. Maybe our kids will grow up being more careful of their things. Maybe they will grow up seeing the value of people, family and experiences over "things".
One of the ways we try to keep a handle on the financial situation is to try to stick to a household budget. I think I am pretty good at stretching the grocery budget, but I know I could do better. We cook mostly from scratch because convenience foods are more expensive than staples. Keeping staples supplied and the menu interesting is a challenge. I know my kids get tired of the same rotating menu, but certain things are just more large family friendly than others. (Spaghetti day....again!) There is one dish I make a lot and no one seems to tire of it. I kind of made it up, basing it on a few dishes I've had and recipes I've seen. It is so easy to make and versitile. You could make it for two or twenty people. We call it Italian Chicken, but I told the kids we should give it a cool name since we kind of invented it. Anna said we could call it That Good Chicken Mom Makes, but for now I'll stick with Italian Chicken. Here it is; give it a try!
boneless/skinless chicken thighs; enough for your family. (for our family of 8, I cook about 16 thighs) You can use breasts, but they tend to dry out faster.
Good Seasons Italian Dressing (dry mix)
Preheat oven to 350.
In a baking dish, place enough boneless/skinless chicken thighs for your family. If you use breasts, you won't need as many and the cooking time is shorter. Toss the chicken in just enough olive oil to cover each piece. Spread the chicken evenly in the dish. Pour a packet of the dry seasoning mix over the chicken. For 8 or more pieces, add another packet. I use 2 packets. Pour some water over the seasoned chicken. About 1/4 cup for up to 8 pieces, 1/2 cup for more. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and stick it in the oven. Bake for 2 hours.
That's it! It is simple and tastes like you slaved for hours. Best yet, if you use thighs, you can accidentally over cook the meat and it will still be good and moist. Breasts are trickier. They dry out quickly, so I rarely use them in this recipe. I always serve this dish with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli or brussel sprouts and a salad.
"MAKE IT." -Clare Basso, age 14 (1/2), Certified FEWD CRITIC
(Clare edited this post and found that it needed a snappy ending)