Some days just blow all of your best laid plans out of the water. Like when you come home to find out your hyper, bored, unemployed husband has eaten half the fridge and thrown the other half away. And “fixed” the printer so it doesn’t work any more. And shrunk half your clothes in the laundry. And…and….so many other things.
Our budget is very tight some weeks, and this week was one of them. I was trying to use up what we had in the fridge and planned my meals around it. But between the hubby and the ravenous teenager, I’ve had to improvise quite a bit lately.
I got home last night with a pounding headache, after troubleshooting Cisco routers all day with no breaks and no lunch. I had planned to make five-way chili and post it sometime soon, but realized we no longer had all the “stuff” to make that. Sigh.
My teenager and preschooler were eating leftover cubed watermelon from the cookout at Grandpa’s house as I was trying to think of something to make. The preschooler said something about smoothies but ran off to build Lego monster trucks. I looked at the leftover watermelon and thought a smoothie sounded pretty good. My head pounded. Maybe a smoothie with vodka. And mint on top. And ice. That sounded real good!
I don’t drink often at all. I need all my wits about me to keep up with five boys. Six, if you count the husband. So I took the last dribbles of my ten year old bottle of vodka and added it to the smoothie. Pretty good! Here’s the recipe. It’s so simple, you really don’t need one, but I wrote it up anyhow (mostly so I can find it again and don’t have to think!)
- 2 cups watermelon chunks
- ⅛ cup vodka (or less, your preference on amount)
- 1 cup of ice
- mint to garnish
- Whirl first three ingredients in blender. Add mint to the mix if you want a minty cooler.
- Pour in a fancy glass and garnish with mint.
After a few sips, I relaxed enough to start thinking about dinner.
It had to be easy. I didn’t have the energy to do anything elaborate.
It had to be quick. Because I was starving.
And it had to be good.
And there wasn’t much in the fridge.
I remembered picking up some quinoa and brown rice pasta on clearance from Aldi for about $1. I could put that with some Hunt’s Pasta Sauce. That was easy. And good.
I glanced at the bare fridge. Had my husband eaten or thrown out the leftover sausage I cooked up from making Breakfast Pizza last weekend? It should still be good. Nope, there it was. I would throw that in the sauce too.
I opened the freezer. There was one loaf of marked down organic multi grain bread from Kroger left in there. I could make garlic bread. I didn’t have butter, but I could make it with olive oil and fresh herbs from the garden.
I sipped my watermelon cooler, put on some soothing music and pulled dinner together. For some reason, everyone was off playing and no one was fighting, which was a miracle. I relaxed into the familiar rhythms of mixing and chopping and stirring, smelling and tasting for good measure. Ahhhh. That was better.
A half hour later, we had a nice dinner gathered from remnants of the fridge, pantry and garden. Sometimes you just have to work with what you got. It doesn’t hurt to have a watermelon vodka cooler to soothe you along the way!
This is what we ended up with…