Our college student has the greatest summer job any parent could ask for. He’s building fences. He rises at 6 a.m. to arrive, ready for work. Sometimes, he works ten hour days. Honestly, It pains me to see him working so hard; to see this little boy as a man, struggling under the yoke of hard labor. But, I’m his mom.
Yet, the lessons he is learning are invaluable. How quickly he’s changing. He says things like, “Six o’clock is so early,” and “Mom, for some guys, this job is all they have. It’s their life, and they’re lucky to have it.” And, “I need to get to bed.”
Suddenly, the idea of spending an afternoon in an air-conditioned university library sounds appealing. A privilege. He can’t wait to get back to the classroom. The value of an education means much more to him than anything I could have explained.
My biggest challenge? He’s hungry. He needs a big breakfast, a big lunch, and a massive dinner. I suddenly feel as if I have a newborn that needs to be fed round-the-clock. It seems all I get done is cook, clean-up and get ready for the next meal. And, add to the fact that he hates “dorm” food, and the nurturer in me wants to give him some good, home-cooked food while he’s home.
The pressure is intense.
So, I came up with a pretty hearty meal that he can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a rice casserole, loaded with protein and vegetables. I made a big batch, and cut the casserole in squares and stuck them in the freezer.
The 3 cups of rice were cooked in a thick bone broth that I already had simmering in the crockpot. Next, I added 6 eggs, already cooked and shredded ground beef, frozen vegetables from the freezer, including carrots, corn, along with fresh chopped orange peppers. I added a cup of flax seed, just for good measure. Next, I mixed in some shredded Pepper Jack cheese, and fresh herbs like Cilantro, Chives and Parsley from the garden. Baked at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this again, with anything, and every leftovers we have in the fridge. I could have even added salsa. But, maybe next time, I’ll do an Italian version.