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Yesterday, we had a field trip. Field trips can be loads of fun, if you prepare properly and get the most out of your trips. But, you know, I’ve noticed something about field trips. When we get home, the last thing I want to do is cook! I’ve been up since early morning, organized a small group of people, probably done tons of walking, and more than likely sat in traffic to get home. The idea of trekking into my kitchen and having to do even more, is overwhelming.
If I was going to add one additional step to ‘getting the most of our your field trips‘, it would be thus: plan your dinner meal in advance! (laughing) If you can eat out, wonderful. However, this is not always an option; especially if you are working within a tight budget. What is your alternative? Plan for something quick and easy; something which could be cooking while you’re away or which can be whipped up in a jiffy.
6 carrots (finely chopped)
4 celery stalks (finely chopped)
2 potatoes (peeled, diced, and soaked to remove excess starch)
1 small onion (diced)
garlic (to taste, minced)
1 bag lentils
1 beef bone or ham hock (optional)
4 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
pepper to taste
1. The day before your field trip, dice your potatoes and place them in water; removing excess starch. Drain potatoes after twenty minutes, place into plastic container. Dice remaining vegetables; place in same plastic container.
2. On the morning of your field trip, place all ingredients into a crock pot. Add enough water to cover the mixture by 2″; put crock pot on low heat and cover.
3. Upon returning home, remove bone. Your meal is done! Serve the lentil soup with toasted bread or rolls. Enjoy!
Should your field trip only be half day, this recipe is still a winner! If your trip is in the morning, cover Step 1 as written, but don’t move on to Step 2 until lunchtime the day of your trip; setting your crock pot on high. Dinner can be cooking while you’re recovering from all the fun. If your trip is in the afternoon, cover Step 1 as written or on the morning of your trip; continue with Step 2 right before you walk out the door, placing the crock pot on high.
Nothing makes a field trip morning more stressful than a long list of to-do’s before you can walk out the door. If possible, remove items from your checklist by doing them the night before. Field trips are meant to be fun and memorable, not stressful. By taking the anxiety of dinner out-of-the-way, I look forward to returning home and a enjoying a hot cooked meal.
Time to Chime In: Did you know lentils come in more than one variety? I didn’t until very recently. Which type do you buy and why are they your favorite?