Learning to feed a farmer takes a bit of a talent. My farmer hubby can come in for lunch from anywhere between 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. I often get little to no notice on what time it will be. I have learned to cook and what I call “half cook” as a means of feeding him. He works long hours often from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm or even later. He typically works about 10 hour days. When he does come in, he wants to eat as quick as possible so he can squeeze in a power nap before he is out and it again. Over the course of being married, almost 26 years I have a knack to “who knows when”, short notice meal prep.
Our daughter Kelli has been with her farmer boy for a few years now and still struggles with the meal prep for farmers so she requested a few ideas. I thought lots of you juggling your busy schedules might benefit from this as well so I thought I would just post some of the ideas as I am cooking. Mind you, none of these meals are fru-fru or fancy. This is farmer food.
Today’s idea is grill cheese sandwiches….yes I know most of you don’t need a recipe for grill cheese sandwiches, but what you might need is the strategy.
Today I knew hubby would be in early but had no idea if early meant 8:30 or 10:30 so at 8:15 I sprayed my frying pan and make up three grill cheese sandwiches. I didn’t turn the burner on. I just had them prepped and in the pan. Then I grabbed a can of peaches from the canning cellar and pulled out some beans and put a portion on his plate and set it in the microwave. I am really lucky that he loves beans because he eats lots of them. I had a pan of banana bars and that was his lunch plan. I set the table and went to work on my things not worrying about lunch.
When he walked in the door, I was working on the computer. He turned the burner on, pushed start on the microwave and washed up. By then I was in the kitchen and in under 10 minutes, his lunch was served.
Some of you may fret that the bread for the grill cheese will dry out…honestly, it’s grill cheese…the bread ends up toasted. I’ve been doing it for years and years and it works. Hubby has never complained….not even when I hide the bread crust ends in the grill cheese.
Like I said, this is not by any means a fancy meal but if you’re fixing farmer food lunches that can only take minutes of time, it’s worth it….so what was my lunch, Salsa Tortilla Soup. I always have a batch of that in the refrigerator for me to eat for those days when he is in to eat lunch so early.
Great ideas. Sometimes I put something in the crock pot right before bed for my dh’s lunch. He usually comes in around the same time but sometimes he gets to chatting with the seed guy or loses track of time while spraying (like yesterday) and is later than normal. Mostly, he lives on leftovers at lunch time. I make extra at supper and he’s very good about reheating his own lunch. Also, I sometimes keep boiled eggs in the fridge (I figured out a method so that even our just-laid eggs are easy to peel) and those make a nice quick lunch.
Yep, our days are like that too. Just never can tell. Our ‘lunch’ is actually ‘dinner’ around here and it’s our big meal. I generally plan to have it ready early. Tortillas are a food group around here because if he needs to eat on the run I can put all kinds of things in them and have a ‘to go’ meal. DH is a power napper too. Wonder if that’s a farmer/rancher thing. Now that the days are getting longer, so are our working hours. It makes me laugh when I hear people talk about a 40-hr week. What’s that?! Still, it’s a good…blessed life and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I know exactly what you mean, I never know when hubby is coming in for lunch either so you have to be ready. Grilled cheese is a regular around here too. I’m always trying to plan out something quick and good for his lunch. Yesterday, he was working pretty close to home so I heard him turn the tractor off and looked out and he was walking this way, so I ran to the kitchen and got things started. Yesterday, he had 4 hotdogs. I usually make up a large batch of homemade hotdog sauce and freeze it in small bags, enough to use on 3-4 hotdogs so that works great for him and the samething with the hotdogs, I buy in bulk and freeze in small bags. Everything was thawed out because I took it out of the freezer right after breakfast and then just microwaved the hotdogs, he didn’t mind at all.
Have a wonderful and Blessed day
Great ideas! I too like the crock pot and it is ready for whenever they are. Hearty soups are great for lunches with a big hunk of bread.
I appreciate your efforts to have meals in a few moments notice. But, your daughter is a home-ec teacher, and I hope she gives you a big lecture! You need a lesson in food safety. I’m not trying to be mean, just want to keep your DH and family safe.
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Awesome! I’ll be keeping an eye on this series, too … my husband isn’t a farmer, but he does have unpredictable lunch breaks, during which he often gets to come home for a quick lunch. Great to have some more quick hearty ideas! Thanks!