Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

We started watching Killing Eve this week. Has anyone seen it? It’s good, crazy, and insane AF. It was recommended on one of the podcasts I love and it was pretty much all the things they said it would be. I need to talk about it, so please leave a comment if you’ve watched it!

I was able to chaperone Jack’s school field trip this week. I honestly didn’t want to. That kind of stuff just isn’t my jam. But they were in a bind with a parent dropping out and I was able to make the daycare situation work.

Everything was really organized and the kids overall did super great. I will say I was struck by something I saw on the bus we were on. It was a school bus and the kids who normally rode that bus had assigned seats. And the seating was tiered based on what grade you were in. I can tell you that at Jack’s school they also eat lunch at assigned tables in the cafeteria.

I get all of these things are likely put in place to combat bullying. Now, I’m not child development expert. Shocking, I know. Me, the mom of a kid who got on red his third day of kindergarten. A kid who likely would be on parole right now if we hadn’t been blessed with the best first-grade teacher in the world.

But here’s the thing. It seems like bullying is getting worse across the board. It is terrifying to send kids to school these days in the US. And I can’t help but think that maybe all the things we think are helping…are actually making things so much worse. Could we be bubble-wrapping our kids so much that they have zero coping skills and no tools to handle their own shit?

I read an article years ago in The Atlantic called The Overprotected Kid (go have a pee first. It’s a loooooong read) and it was all about an abandoned area in England filled with junk where kids play unsupervised and do dangerous and dirty things. You know, the stuff we all did as kids.

Anyhoo, linked in the article are studies showing a correlation between safety on playgrounds and in school and an increase in injuries. Basically, kids don’t know how to test their own limits anymore and therefore they do stupid shit and get themselves into real trouble. There are also studies discussed how all the hovering that we do over our kids is leading to an increase in bullying.

So, I read an article a few years ago. I guess I am a child development expert!

It was so interesting seeing the differences between the four boys and two girls in my group. The boys spent most of the day flossing and dancing, and farting and the girls were sweet and polite. At the end of the day, the boys asked me for their lunch bags back and then made fart noises. The girls said “thank you, Mrs. Cook, for supervising us today”. Ha!

Play kitchen built by my grandpa and modernized by Troy and me.

We got a load of wood chips this week from church. They were offering free chips and we have a garden that needed free chips. It was a win win.

I’ve been mulching with straw for years. Troy hated it, but whatever, it worked. The wood chips though? They’re gorgeous! They make the garden look so great. I sigh a happy sigh anytime I look out of the kitchen window. It looks like a fancy garden and nothing like anything that belongs to me.

We’re getting a truckload this week for the blueberry beds and the chicken coop yard and calling it a day. Life’s good in my garden hood.

Do you think kids understand the actual term “roll down the window” in the car anymore? I mean, I can’t tell you the last time I was in a car with an actual crank window. Troy’s old truck had them but that was five years ago. Kids today.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Our Experience With the Whole30

meals that are whole30 compliant

Creamy Berry Party Drinks – Delicious, fruity, and patriotic, Whole 30 Creamy Berry Party Drinks that are the perfect sip for the 4th of July, BBQs, and parties. A tasty blend of berries and coconut milk create dairy-free and sugar-free goodness in a glass.

blue mason jar with a creamy berry drink and straw on a white board with flowers

Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles – Delicious and easy homemade takeout in under 20 minutes, this Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles will be your new favorite dish. Full of flavor and easily adaptable to any dietary needs, Basil Thai Chicken is also a make-ahead meal prep dream dish.Two bowls of Basil Thai Chicken with zoodles, basil, glasses, and chopsticks on a white board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Our Experience With the Whole30
  2. 10 Minute Instant Pot Bruschetta Chicken (and yes, this has non-Instant Pot instructions too!)
  3. Creamy Berry Party Drinks
  4. Real Food Healthy Sweet Tea
  5. DIY Insulated Blackout Curtains

Meal Plan

Monday:: Cabbage Roll in a Bowl, garlic bread on the side

Tuesday:: Pork tenderloin (trying this recipe), cauliflower mash, and roasted asparagus. Pork tenderloin was in our Butcher Box order this month and I have all the ingredients already for that recipe. Win/win.

Wednesday:: Dinner with my sis and nephew

Thursday:: Bahn Mi bowls (basically this, but over cauli rice and grilled veggies)

Friday:: Popcorn dinner, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Dinner with our friends/neighbors. She is the one who taught me to make Encurtido!

Sunday:: Family dinner/Father’s Day

What We Bought This Week

Costco: $54.02

Smith Brothers Farms: $15.47

I stupidly forgot to update our order before the cut off so we got our default order of milk and two dozen eggs. I wanted bacon and their asparagus ravioli. Instead, I got more eggs (which we don’t need but hey, there are always deviled eggs) and milk. Which I used to make ice cream. 🙂

Fred Meyer:$52.03

Have you tried that Giovanni Rana ravioli before? I had to buy some to supplement the asparagus ravioli I was supposed to order through our milkman. I thought it was good but the packaging was huge compared with the amount of ravioli.

Trader Joes: $20.42

What are you having this week?

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

27 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. This might be a silly question but I noticed you got “uncured” bacon….what does that mean?? Just less preservatives? Different flavor?

    Holy cow your view, btw. And I love seeing your boys with their books together (although Bennett’s looks a bit advanced for him, unless you’ve been beefing up his brain with the Baby Einstein and just haven’t mentioned it in the blog 😉 )

    • Cured bacon has artificial nitrates in it. Uncured has nitrates from naturally occurring products like celery powder or sea salt. Not huge differences!

      Yep, we’re crazy blessed to live where we do. I love it here.

      Bennett’s book is some random 300 page YA novel he pulled off the shelf at our library and insisted on checking out. He loves to grab and “read” it when Jack is looking at his own books.

  2. Our school has this as part of our counselor’s website: I think the first two parts are especially helpful in determining when/if bullying has taken place.

    I also see your point about independent play and finding one’s physical (and other) boundaries and how that plays a part in making future mature decisions. I grew up being able to roam the neighborhood with neighborhood peers. Now, that is often frowned upon, even in areas that are relatively safe. It even has a name: “Free-range parenting.” Not everyone is a fan. I think kids need to have enough free time to self-determine how they amuse/occupy themselves. I am in favor of limiting electronic/technology time since most children get plenty of that. I am happy that all of you are happy with the new mulch.

  3. We visited Edmonds, WA this summer- your view looks just like the view we had!!  Are you close?
    LOVE your blog- it’s one of my daily reads 🙂
    So, longtime reader, first time commenter.  Does that make me an internet creep?  IDK the rules!  😉

    • Yep, close(ish) to Edmonds. I do love our region here. It’s so special!

      If you’re an internet creep than I guess I love creeps. 🙂

      • It was so freakin gorgeous!  We went to Sequim and checked out the lavender farms and the Dungeness Spit and I almost died of geographical envy.  

        Also, we have made you Oven-Fried Gnocchi and veggies about 48 times and shared the recipe incessantly.  SO GOOD!

      • We loooooove Sequim! We used to go berry picking there until the farm closed last year. The Dungeness Spit is home to Dungeness crab. We used to go camping there as kids and catch/eat fresh crab. 🙂

        Yay! I’m so glad you like the gnocchi dish. It is one of our favorites and I love it even as leftovers.

  4. My 1999 pick up has crank windows and pull button locks. My niece can’t unlock the door and my nephew thinks the windows are the most fun thing ever. ????

  5. Can you tell me more about the wood chips and the chicken yard? I just got baby chicks and while they are inside now, they will be going out to the big wide world eventually. Unfortunately I live in a city with a teeny tiny lot, so they need to be in a coop. Soooo after all that, do you put the chips down in the coop area or should I let them at the grass?

    • Our chickens are in an enclosed yard and do not free range (tiny yard here too). Your chickens will very quickly destroy all the grass in their run and turn it to dust/mud. You can make/buy a chicken tractor and move them around the yard, or keep their enclosed yard clean by putting down dry bedding. I usually use straw and throw in scraps and weeds from the garden. During the rainy season here even with the straw, it can get kind of boggy. The idea is the wood chips will add something more substantial to the yard.

  6. We didn’t have school buses and I guess we did have assigned seating at primary (from 5 to 11) because we ate by class or whether you had a packed lunch. That changed at secondary school (11 to 16) and it was every man for themselves because everyone ate when we were free at sixth form college (16-18) but I don’t remember any of it being an issue. I generally ate lunch and headed for the library! I think that generally we’re not good at teaching our children resilience, I think we were left much more to our own devices as children. When I was about 10, my cousin who was about 3-4 ahead of me, stopped wanting to be around me when I stayed at my aunt’s (which was a lot). My aunt very sensibly explained that it would happen and that when I was 13/14, I’d understand and that when we were older we’d find our way back to each other. Meantime she found me something else to do and taught me a lesson about not being everyone’s cup of tea. My cousin was not allowed to be mean to or disparaging of me but we were all allowed not to ‘like’ one another. Sometimes, as much as we want to, we can’t make everything better for our children and we have to be honest about that. I’m not sure that we’re doing either right now.

    Woodchip on the berries is a good call but be warned, it’s given my raspberries a new lease of life and they are travelling all over the place! I use it for paths on the plot, it makes weeding much easier!

    For food this week, I’m keeping it really simple, lots of protein and veggies but there is a roasted beet, spinach and goats cheese salad in my future this week. So excited for the stripy beetroot!

  7. I use to be that over-protective, micromanaging, hopped up on the fear pumped out of the media, saw a pedophile kidnapper around every corner kinda mom. Then I found the book, Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. It was a life changer. I started doing research and stopped following the news. Our kids today live in a significantly safer world than those of us who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. Once I chilled the F out, I saw HUGE, and I mean seriously huge improvements in my kiddos self-confidence and her willingness to try new things.
    I am supper excited for my kiddo. This summer she gets to spend a few weeks with her cousins (and her aunt and uncle) at a lake and I can’t wait to hear about the adventers she and the youngest go on just the two of them!
    I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.

    We loved the cabbage roll in a bowl! No clue what we are eating this week. We leave for NH on Wednesday, so I’ll probably magic up some meals from what’s on hand.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation! I just requested a copy at my local library. Sounds exactly like a book I need to be reading.

      • Your welcome! She also has an older website and a newer site called

    • Hi Tina, I replied before I read your comment! I am glad Free Range Parenting worked for you. Now, if we could get back to neighborhoods where all the kids were home to hang out with….Part of the issue is two income homes since they need childcare, often out of the home environment.

  8. Ummmmmm……..
    Am I the only person drooling over that first picture? Do you REALLY have a water view or it that a bluish flat roof of a large building?

  9. I agree that we over protect children so that they don’t know how to cope when life gets hard. They have no real confidence in their ability to rise above a difficult situation. And there won’t always be someone there to protect them.

  10. RE-bus and cafeteria separation…
    I don’t believe its as much to do with bullying .. as controlled chaos… Bus wise… most years for us it has been K-5 on a bus and 6-12 on another route time… that is still a large spread.. 1 year due to finances they had to change 1 building start time and that meant 4-12 on same busing schedule.. you had better believe parents were in an uproar… kids were seated youngest in the front oldest in the back.. parents were not worried their 4th was getting bullied by a junior or a senior.. but worried about what language they would pick up, what conversations they would hear….
    SO they usually put youngest towards front.. behaviorally they need more attention.. older in the back.. but the front few seats are reserved.. for any age behavioral issues! So that older kids who is a PITA and won’t stop.. gets to sit with the littles up front where the bus driver can hear and see everything!

    As for Cafeteria.. ours in elementary are seated by specific tables.. each class gets X many tables.. so you just sit at those.. by whomever you want.. Helps the Cafeteria ladies know who goes to what teacher… helps with crowd control.. getting that stray lunch box back to the correct classroom… etc.

    In our middle school 6/7/8 lunch is broken by grade.. in highschool it is a free for all

    • I didn’t ride the bus until Junior High, so the elementary seating might be standard. I went to the elem school where my mom taught so she took us every day. I will say in jr high I learned about the pecking order in a positive way on the bus. I tried to sit in the back during the first week and learned my place. Not in a mean way, but in a “what was I thinking way”. I still think about that when I go into new situations and think I know the layout of the land.