Tag Archives: Lunch

Warm in Winter

The weather recently has been a bit of a deterrent to long periods of outdoor play.  Even when bundled up in warm clothing the littlest ones can get chilly crawling around in the snow.  The heavy clothing and deep snow can cause a lot of frustration yet we have still managed to be outside for at least some time every day.  After all, long periods of being stuck indoors is very frustrating too.

One perk to having my husband home from work during winter break means I have an extra set of hands.  So, for an extra special treat we had an outdoor fun day complete with lunch cooked on the fire. I did most of the food prep before the children arrived and hubby had the fire good and hot before the children and I headed outside.

The foil baked potatoes had been cooked first – I thought I had a taken a picture of them cooking but I guess not – it was funny because the fire nearly melted the metal colander I stored them in 😉  The bannock went on second – I chose to make them biscuit style instead of cooking on sticks because few in this group would have the attention span to stand still long enough to cook them.

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The children were much more interested in mostly playing on the hills and just occasionally stopping by to check on the food and warm up by the fire.

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Of course the tipi on the far side of the yard is another favourite place too;

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The wieners were the last thing left to cook.  Some of the children helped briefly but were a little too far away to get much heat.  It probably would have been better if we had more flames like we did at the beginning but the low fire worked eventually;

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It was a learning experience for all of us – not our first fire but our first entire meal cooked on the fire in the winter. Oh so yummy;

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Everyone just devoured their lunch – and two fell asleep at the table – after all, it was a long morning full of outdoor play.

Taco Pie

Today I want to highlight one of our lunch menu items.  A long time ago I used to have chili buns on the menu – they were popular but any meal items that need to be assembled on the individual plates I find are too time consuming.  I much prefer to prepare ‘all-in-one’ meals like Layered French Toast that can be prepared in advance and are easier to serve to a group.

Taco Pie is like that – essentially a chili bun casserole type meal – perfect.  In the morning I start by making chili;

  • 1 796 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 540 ml can of black beans
  • 1 284 ml can of tomato soup
  • 1 lb ground beef, scramble fried
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning (approximately – maybe more – I don’t measure it, I just dump some in until it looks/smells right).
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes, paprika, (to taste)
  • Salsa (optional – sometimes I add some, sometimes I don’t, never measure)

These all simmer for an hour or so while I grate cheese, prepare the crust and do any other necessary tasks before the children arrive.  This is the biscuit crust recipe – this I measure;

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Make a well in center and pour in milk and mayonnaise.  Mix to moisten and then press into bottom of a greased 9×13 baking pan.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle crust with grated cheese, pour chili over top, cover with crushed corn chips and some more grated cheese.

At this point I suppose you could just bake it a little longer to melt the cheese and then serve it but because I prepare it very early in the morning I cover it with foil and put it in a 175 degree oven until lunch – it is ready for us whenever we are done playing.

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Lunchtime Democracy

I have a short story from lunch time today.  I don’t usually write blog posts when the children are here but they are all napping so I have a few ‘spare’ minutes.

The scene begins as we come inside after spending the morning playing out in the yard.  There are three children here – two are nearly two years old, the other is three.  Coats and shoes are put away, diapers are changed and hands are washed.  They sit down for lunch.  I am getting the food ready.

The 3 year old asks “What are we having for lunch today?”

I answer “Ham sandwiches and salad with cucumbers and tomatoes”

The 3 year old sighs, leans across the table and whispers to the nearly 2 year old “Do you like spaghetti?”

“Yes!” he replies

The 3 year old repeats the question for the other toddler and gets another affirmative answer.

Then the 3 year old asks the other two “Do you like meatballs?”

Both of them giggle and yell “YES!”

The three year old looks at me and says “WE would like spaghetti and meatballs.”

I reply “I don’t have any spaghetti.  I have ham sandwiches and salad.”

She leans across the table and whispers “Do you like sandwiches?”

“Yes!” he answers

She looks at the other toddler “Do you like sandwiches?”

“Yes.” the answer is muffled as the toddler takes a bite of her sandwich.

I place the plate in front of the three year old.  She looks at her ham sandwich and salad.  She sighs, picks up a sandwich triangle and says “Fine then, I guess I will eat my sandwich.”

🙂