On microhistory and meal planning, part 10

baby with cups

These meal planning posts, though.

Big changes are coming to our house. Changes I can’t talk about yet because they aren’t mine to talk about. But exciting changes nonetheless. Maybe in a few months you’ll find out.

Here’s one change we can talk about: the small one got into daycare. Not the one at my work, which is highly sought-after and thus ridiculously hard to get into (she’s still on the waitlist there, though, just in case), but one close to us, which will likely be more convenient anyway because sometimes Justin will need to pick her up and my work isn’t on his way home. So when I go back to work in May, I’ll have somewhere to leave her. Which is good since having her stay home with the cat would be frowned upon, I think.

I’m not happy happy about it, but it needs to happen, so.

Microhistorian friends of the future: the thing about Canadian childcare in 2016 is that it is enormously expensive and awfully scarce. I’m neurotic about doing things in advance, so I started looking months ago, and it’s a relief to know we’ll have a space given the horror stories I’ve heard. That said, it’s going to take up a substantial chunk of my salary, and although we’ll be okay, I can see why people choose to stay home once they have two kids. Also, a lot of parents don’t make as much as we do (I’d say we’re pretty middle-of-the-road, income-wise), and I have no idea how they manage. It makes me wonder if this is going to end up happening. Campaign promises. Sigh.

The other thing about childcare in Canada in 2016 is that most of the centres aren’t just daycares. Oh no – they are Early Learning Programs. Because heaven forbid we should send our children somewhere to be looked after and play and have fun. Perish the thought! They must be educated. Between Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Emergent Curriculum, Forest School, and even something called Frog Street (which sounds made up but is apparently A Real Thing), my head was spinning by the end of each tour. At this rate, the small one will most likely have her PhD before kindergarten even begins and as the holder of but a lowly MA, I’ll never get any respect in this house. Dr. Small One.

Upshot: changes. Daycare. All good things.

And we ate, and we planned, and we laughed, and had a really really really good time. Here’s what we’ll be noshing on:

Sunday: Gnocchi with kielbasa and caramelized corn from well fed, flat broke. I found Emily’s blog at exactly the right time, as our carefully-socked-away funds dwindle and the mat leave belt-tightening continues. I have this thing I do when I find a cooking blog I like, where I spend hours scrolling further and further back into the archives, bookmarking things, so this is likely the first of many recipes I’ll be trying from there.

Monday: Steak tacos. To make us feel better about not being in Mexico when EVERYONE ELSE IS IN MEXICO. (note: this is not true; everyone is not in Mexico, but I still wish we were in Mexico. MEXICO.)

Tuesday: Bucatini with tomato sauce with onion and butter. We didn’t have this last week because our lovely friends came over and brought lovely pizza and lovely ice cream and did I mention it was lovely? So we still have many pounds of bucatini to eat. Starting Tuesday.

Wednesday: Pancakes with bacon. Last time we had pancakes was almost exactly a year ago, and just before I took my first bite I got a call from the clinic informing me that I had gestational diabetes. On a Sunday morning! The indignity! I was so upset, and so worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything good ever again, that I did what any reasonable person would do and immediately ate as many pancakes as I could muster with my reduced stomach space. Anyway, we’re having them again on Wednesday. Justin’s making them, because pancakes are the one thing I can’t seem to avoid burning. Seriously – who doesn’t know how to make pancakes?! (Me.)

Thursday: Date, feta, and red cabbage salad from smitten kitchen, and probably some sausages. Maybe medister. I do love medister. Medister from my mister. Wait, does that sound gross? I’m going to leave it anyway. If you think it sounds gross then that’s your problem because it’s just the name of a sausage and I’m married to a butcher so it’s a totally legit sentence.

Friday: I’m going to make Leslie Durso’s quinoa-stuffed sweet potatoes, but I’ll be substituting the butter substitute with butter (which I guess makes the butter a substitute butter substitute. HA.), because I don’t believe in fake butter. And maybe some brussels sprouts. Those will be real too. No brussels sprout substitutes for this family.

Saturday: Pumpkin, sage, and ricotta lasagna from taste.com.au. I’m making this with gluten-free lasagna noodles. Because in a bizarre turn of events, I won a MAJOR AWARD in another blog’s giveaway right before Christmas (which is, incidentally, the best time to win a major award). And that award was 12 boxes of gluten-free lasagna noodles. So between that and the free bucatini, we’re all set for pasta, possibly forever. Which is wonderful because dwindling bank accounts and all. Plus, pasta is the best. Even the gluten-free kind.

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