Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wifely Duties

Let me start by clarifying that this is not a sex-ed talk. I am not referring to those kind of wifely duties. So you don't need to cover your childrens eyes or close the office door. This is more farm wife duties....and not really duties, but more like something that I choose to do.

Jay and his dad farm together. Jay has a good friend who started farming a few years ago, and during busy times of the year (like planting and harvest seasons) they work together and help each other out. Jay's friend also has another business and a couple of guys who work for him, and they help out during the busy seasons as well. On top of all of them, my dad loves to come help out and Jay loves having him here. My dad grew up on a farm and he enjoys any chance he can get to "get dirty" and ride in the tractors. So we have anywhere from 4-6 guys working every day.

I let Jay know constantly that I have read the fine print in our marriage vows and nowhere is it written that I promised to love honor and drive a tractor, so it's not happening. I have no desire to even ride in one, let alone drive one. They are big, noisy and it's a bumpy ride. Occasionally the a/c quits working and there's no where to plug in my ipod, and how can you text when you have to steer and shift? I've made it over 20 years without learning to drive a tractor, so I'm thinking I may have that one in the bag.

Even though I have no desire to be a farmer myself, I do appreciate and respect the very hard and dangerous work they do. They put in long physically demanding hours and it's exhausting work.My contribution to the farming operation is that I fix them lunches every day. I have gotten very good at having quite the little set up each day, and it makes me really love my 6' center island in my kitchen. I bought a big red cooler with lots of outside pocket room and it's big enough for 12 of the styrofoam containers I put their food in. That way the food is guaranteed to stay hot since it can take me at least 30 minutes some days to get all the food delivered if they are all scattered about in different fields. The invention of cell phones has made finding them all so much easier! Back in the "old days" I made up a map of all our different farm fields and laminated it. I had it hanging on our fridge and each morning before Jay left, he would put an X on whatever field or fields they would be in that day. Each night I'd wash it off so it'd be ready the next day. Occasionally, they'd switch to a completely different field instead, so I'd get to go on a farmer hunt. Ah, good times.

The guys prefer "finger foods" as opposed to something that requires silverware, so that they can take it and eat it while driving in the field. Things like hamburgers, pork burgers, maidrites, & different varieties of french fries are popular. Once in a while though I will pull out my handy dandy crockpot and cook up some pork loins, roasts or beef stew for something different.

Since everyone has different preferences on what they like on their sandwiches, I put together condiment cups with ketchup, mustard, pickles, and some days BBQ sauce. I love our local Sams Club. All their containers make my life so much easier.

I also have the old brown lunch bags (remember using those instead of lunch boxes?) that I put individually wrapped buns in (so the bun doesn't get soggy being in the styrofoam). I also put a "picnic pack" from Sams, which are individual packages of silverware, napkins, salt & pepper in each of the bags when necessary.

I do have to laugh when the guys complain that I serve them "healthy food" because I bake the french fries instead of deep fat fry them. I hate greasy tasting food, so I refuse to deep fat fry anything. I just tell them to keep on complaining and they'll find grilled veggies instead of fries. That usually quiets them down.

And, because there is nothing too good for these guys, each day they get a individually wrapped snack that also goes in their brown lunch bag. Some days it's a homemade treat, but on days when I want to be nice to them, I let them have a day off from my sad attempts at baking and I'll give them something store bought. They like me so much better when I do that. Keebler cookies and Little Debbie cakes are very loved by these men.

There is one thing I do differently and that is for my Father-in-law. He has Celiac Disease and therefore he has to eat a modified diet, which includes nothing with flour or any gluten in it, which means he doesn't get a bun with his burger. Therefore, he always get a picnic pack, so he can eat the meat. I always give him a double burger since he doesn't get a bun, but, ssshhh...the other guys don't know that. To make sure he gets the right one, I put his initial on his containers. Do you like the fancy schmancy "J"? LOL I also buy or make gluten free cookies or bars for him and he gets those instead for his snack.

It takes me about an hour to an hour and a half to make the meals, get everything ready to go, and deliver them all. They are always so appreciative no matter what I bring. It's not a big deal really, but for me it's my own little way to be June Cleaver on the farm. Minus the pearls...and the high heels...and a kid named Beaver.


Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Good grief! That's a lot of lunch making! I have it pretty easy: I make one, it's usually leftovers in a glad container, dessert if he's lucky, and wrapped in a WalMart bag.

Woo hoo. You're is MUCH more glamorous! And I would say that's the biggest hamburger I think I've ever seen! What is that, 2 pounds?

Becky said...

Wow. You ARE such a good wifeypoo :-D

Dena @ Green Acres said...

Looks are evidentally deceiving, because that double cheeseburger is about a quarter-pounder, not 2lbs. ROTFL

And as far as being a good wifeypoo...I'm printing that out and taping it to my shirt so hubby always sees it. :-P