Saturday, October 19, 2013

Field Meal #2

Last night, I tried my hand again at cooking a second field meal for the farmers. I went with fajitas, my idea from last week’s post. Fajitas, chips and salsa, and mexican cheese bread was on the menu. I now know why I should have stuck with not cooking on a weeknight because by the time I drove out to the farm to prepare the meals at my mother-in-law’s house, I was exhausted! While farmers may be tired of late nights and longs days of harvest, now that we’re over a month into the season, I’m tired from the demands of my full-time job outside the house AND being a single-parent when I’m home. I say it every planting and harvest season, and I’m saying it once again, I don’t know how single-parents do it (or anyone that finds themselves as a single-parent due to their spouse being away from home for an extended amount of time).

Since I knew I’d be on a time crunch, I made sure to prepare for the meal starting on Wednesday night so that last night, as soon as I got home from work, I could put everything together in my “magic pot” (a Pampered Chef famous stone pot), and put it in the microwave for 15 minutes. At the same time, I made mexican cheese bread (using PC’s Beer Bread mix (so yummy!) and my new PC stone loaf pan) so that it would be fresh and warm when it got to the field. After cooking two pots of fajitas and getting the warm bread out of the oven, I loaded the car up with the food and kids, and headed to the farm.  When I arrived, my mother- and sister-in-law helped to put everything together in the Styrofoam boxes, and then we headed out to the field for dinner.

Last night, our dinner in the field was spent differently with every farmer: 
  • Alex (hired-man) was waiting in the semi-truck at a corner for us so he could grab his meal to go (total break time= 30 seconds). 
  • Kent (hired-man) got out of the other semi that was in the field waiting to be filled, sat down on a chair (that my sister-in-law conveniently keeps in the back of her van), and enjoyed his meal (total break time= 15 minutes)
  • Jeff (brother-in-law) got out of the combine and also sat down for a few minutes to eat and spend time with his wife and kids before jumping back into the combine to continue to pick beans (total break time= 10 minutes)
  • Grant (my hubby) jumped out of a tractor, gave us each a hug (since we haven’t seen him for a few days), grabbed his meal and his dad’s meal (who was in the other combine on the other side of the field), and hopped back in the tractor (total break time= less than 5 minutes).
  • Doug (father-in-law) was farming on the other side of the field and would eventually get his meal from Grant to eat as he drove the combine (total break time= no time)

The meal was once again tasty but a bit too messy to call it a perfect field meal (the fajitas were a bit too drippy to make it an easy meal for guys-on-the-go to eat without a mess). But hey, at least it tasted good, my mother-in-law got the night off from cooking, and we got to spend a few minutes with the guys. My sis-in-law and I ate our meals standing alongside the van as our kiddos played in the van with Grandma. After getting antsy, the kids got out to run around the van and watch the tractors fill the semi with beans in the dark, which is always a cool sight. (Total time for us in the field = 1 hour). 
Oh, and don’t worry, I didn’t forget to bring dessert. A club fundraiser at school was selling white chocolate covered popcorn, so I bought 10 baggies of it (the student’s looked at me like I was crazy). It’s one of my favorite fundraisers at school because the popcorn is delicious. However, I didn’t think that since there is now a popcorn machine in the grain bin facility for the guys to snack on throughout the day, that they’d be sick of popcorn by dinner time. Our kids loved it, but the guys, not so much. (Total assessment of last night’s field meal = acceptable, but not perfect.) Here’s to trying again sometime soon, but definitely not on a weeknight. 

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