Slow Food

Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.

Out of my 12 kids, nine are left at home. Some of my children are young adults holding down full time jobs and are liable to come home late but really hungry. This kind of limits the type of cuisine I serve to items that can take reheating. Still, if there's one thing all mothers encounter, no matter how many children they have, it's food boredom.

Forestalling food boredom

I try to forestall food boredom by making something they love that I don't often make. If I have a slower day than is usual, I will give in to my kids' cravings and make something that needs to be cooked a portion or two at a time. That would be grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper for the daring, or omelets in a pita with ketchup, which is a very fun lunch for kids. Like I said, it's a rare day my kids come home to food like this, because I can't be standing at the stove, ready to cook, whenever the next kid comes home.

The taste is out of this world

Along the same lines, I sometimes do pancakes. I'm not talking breakfast time, here, but it's a known fact that people love to eat in diners that serve breakfast all day long. I make buttermilk pancakes from scratch. I think that pancake batter is one of the easiest recipes to prepare, and I have never understood the appeal of the mixes. I think if you give it a try, you'll find I'm right. And, the taste is out of this world!

Something warm, sweet, and filling, and coming home

I pile a few serving plates high with the pancakes, keeping the plates covered with kitchen towels to keep them warm. My kids love coming home to pancakes. There's a link between something warm, sweet, and filling, and coming home. Making enough pancakes for my family means standing on my feet for a couple of hours, flipping flapjacks, but their faces show such pleasure when they see what I've made for them. What else do I do it for, anyway?

Pancakes reheat really well in the microwave, so it works out pretty well, even for the kids who come home late at night. An attractive fruit platter rounds things out and doesn't take long to create, or, give them fixings to make their own fruit skewers. Serve the pancake meal with maple syrup. Put out a pitcher of juice or hot chocolate with marshmallows!