Whatever the reason, I find myself utilizing a series of, not Life Hacks, but rather Wife Hacks, that get me through the day and continue to keep me semi-sane as a Homesteading Optimist. On social media Life Hacks are quick 12-second clips on how to organize your pantry and send your kids to college in 6 easy steps. Life Hacks demonstrate 2-ingredient Thanksgiving meals in 15 minutes or less.
Much the same, I have found my Wife Hacks to be simple, creative ways to save time and sanity around the farm and home.
Kitchen Wife Hacks:
Dinner time can be a point of tension in our home. Cody has a taste palate that is complete opposite of mine. I actually enjoy kale and beans. He favors Velveeta and tacos.
The few ingredients we agree on:
- Rocky road ice cream
That's quite limiting when leafing through cookbooks and making out a grocery list. However, I've learned that a little bit of marketing can go a long way when preparing meals.
For instance, if I simply put a friend's name in front of the particular dish I'm making, it sounds more appealing to him. I mean, it's weird, but somehow it works.
Last week we had Tyler Cates Chicken
John McCurry Parmesan Pork Chops and
Jeremy Haag Beef Stew
You can find full recipes at the end of this blog.
Also, for whatever reason Cody doesn't trust any recipe I find off of Pinterest; probably because he understands that 70% of the things seen on the site are unachievable. He does - however - love the butter-enriched cowboy food that comes from the Pioneer Woman. So even if I'm cleaning out the refrigerator and creating some kind of Chef's Surprise casserole, I set out one of my Pioneer Woman cookbooks and prop it open so that it appears that I'm getting my direction from some fiery red head in Oklahoma.
He never seems to offer suggestions when it is a Pioneer Woman recipe.
Farm Wife Hacks:
I have an album in my phone of barn cats doing stupid barn cat things. So when Cody is on a 5-day run out west and asks how the barn cats are, I just pull a random picture from the album on my phone and send it his way to give him a little peace of mind that they're doing great.
The trick here is to remember to delete all photos of certain cats once they hit life #9. Nothing confuses Cody more than sending him a picture of Sunny in the mud when Sunny was actually found frozen to a scoop shovel back in January. Not that I speak from experience.
House Wife Hacks:
Cody is great about letting me know when he's an hour from returning home and then asking if he needs to pick up anything before reaching the homestead. Even though I know he is incredibly ready to just be home, this gesture is so helpful to me. Mostly because we're usually short on diapers or bananas, but also because it sends me into a series of Wife Hack actions:
1. Turn on all wax burners and ensure they're burning something that smells clean. Never - ever - burn something that smells like a food, because then there will be an expectation that a pan of sticky cinnamon buns/loaf of banana bread/warm sugar cookies are waiting on the counter. This breeds false hopes and dreams.
2. Run (I use the term loosely) outside and feed the barn cats so they don't act like starving idiots and attack his truck when he pulls into the driveway. Our barn cats don't talk, but they are quite the story tellers.
I'm not particularly proud of my Wife Hacks but they've gotten me through 3.5 years of marriage and 9 months of motherhood so I'd like to think they're worth something. Although my mother - a solid cross between June Cleaver and Judge Judy - would be absolutely mortified that I make meals with fewer than 17 ingredients.
This is one of those weeks where I wrote strategically. Meaning, I know Momma and Dad are calving out cows like crazy at Bowman Superior Genetics and her chances of getting on the computer and reading this entry are slim.