Many of you have heard me rant about my carpool madness, my bi-weekly rush hour drive down New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway, to chauffeur my son and his friends to gymnastics practice. Since we load up the car and begin our ride at 4:30 pm, there’s no time to eat a traditional, in house, sit down meal before we leave. That means two out of five weekday dinners are literally eaten “on-the-go.” And, since I outright refuse to feed my kids fast food, this is by far the greatest meal time challenge I’ve faced as a mom. That’s why I’ve developed a well rounded assortment of quick, easy, non-messy meals. (Ok, so four kids eating beef burritos in one car isn’t exactly a clean experience — just don’t tell my neat freak husband.) I now rely, more than ever, on making these “quick foods” in advance with my friends.
This week, the kids in car dining experience included the Big Beef Burrito, which appears in our March newsletter as a “Homemade Takeout” recipe. Packed with rice, vegetables, meat and cheese, it’s a healthy and well rounded meal. Since it can be made in bulk, with a friend, frozen and reheated in just 3-minutes, it’s ideal!
My kids and their friends have also enjoyed homemade chicken tenders, empanadas, buffalo pizza, steamed Edamame and quesadillas on their all-you-can eat ride down the parkway.
The other day, my friend Lynn revealed that her son Nick told her that he didn’t have to eat before he left his own house, since there’s always great food in my car. Evidently, this caused Lynn to prohibit Nick from accepting food in my car when offered, which of course explains the polite yet somber “no” he gave my daughter Sofia this week. But when a 9 year-old sits there licking his lips, eyes tracking the assortment of foods being passed about the vehicle, something has got to give! So, when I discovered this tidbit of news, I had words with Lynn, explaining that everyone is welcome to be part of the dining experience in my car and it makes me prouder than ever that he looks forward to some chicken tenders, pizza or whatever else is part of the mobile buffet that day.
Who knows, maybe I’ll broaden his repertoire and Lynn will have me to thank!