Although currently a “stay at home grandma” I was, until 6 months ago, a Human Resources Professional for a large Tier I automotive supplier. Unfortunately, do to restructuring, my position was eliminated.
While employed, I worked a lot of hours, crazy hours. Contrary to what many people think, HR is not an 8-5 position, at least it isn’t (or wasn’t) for me and my work ethic. The plant that I worked in was a 24 hour operation which in turn required me to be flexible with my schedule. Employees who work after 5:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m. have needs, questions and problems just like people who work 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. I feel they deserve the opportunity to have someone to talk to in person rather than by phone.
Walt, a Tech for one of the worlds largest logistics companies also works a very unusual schedule, dinner for us is usually around 9:30 p.m. Yes, it’s late, but right now for us, as long as I am unemployed, it means that we can have dinner together, watch a movie and stay awake together until 2:00 a.m. I know what you’re wondering, “do these people sleep till 1o:00 a.m.? No….no we don’t, we are awake no later than 8:00 a.m. each morning (that’s stretching it, it’s more like 7:00 a.m.), including weekends! If you think about it our schedule right now is really no different from someone who arrives home at 5:00 p.m.or 6:00 p.m., has dinner with the family and then heads off to bed at 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. so they can wake up at 6:00 a.m.
Dinner at 9:30 p.m. may not be the norm but right now I am not working which hasn’t, nor will, always be the case. Since Walt and I prefer eating at home rather than dinning out, our crazy schedules required that I become creative in menu planning and preparation so I always look for meals that are quick and easy or those that allowed for some preparation either the night before or before I left the house in the morning.
Being home has not changed how I plan and prepare meals. A lot goes on here during the day. I spend a lot of time job hunting, which, if you have never been unemployed, can be like going to work. So many job boards to check, resumes to tweak and submit, cover and thank you letters to author, interviews, phone interviews, pre-screen interviews, follow-up calls to be made.
On the upside, this little break has given me the opportunity to spend some extra time with our grandchildren. I am able to help my daughter Nikki and my former daughter-in-law Cindy with the kids when unexpected scheduling issues arise. One of the biggest thrills was going to school with Josh during his VIP week to help him with “one of his favorite things” which for Josh is making Creamy Oreo Pie. I have been able to attend after school programs with Josh that I wouldn’t have been able to do before.
Meal planning and grocery lists continue to be a “must have” not only for scheduling but finances as well. Having both written down eliminates impulse buying and unnecessary spending. Keeping that in mind, I am always on the look out for great meal ideas, that’s how I found last nights tasty family favorite….Creamy Spinach Alfredo Ravioli.
This dish tastes like you’ve hung out in the kitchen for hours, but this recipe has only four ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes. It is delicious!! I recently made this for my parents and my brother Greg with a Caesar salad and they loved it, it was a huge hit! Lots of going back for seconds on this dish. It also tastes wonderful when reheated which is a plus!
RAVIOLI IN CREAMY SPINACH ALFREDO SAUCE (Adapted from Pillsbury Recipes on-line)
- In a large pot bring water to a boil for ravioli
- While waiting for water to boil, cook spinach according to package directions (I use microwave method)
- While waiting for spinach – pour alfredo sauce into sauce pan
- When spinach is done, carefully add to the alfredo sauce (be careful – spinach will be hot)
- Heat alfredo/spinach mixture until bubbly, reduce heat and simmer – stirring occasionally
- Add ravioli to boiling water, cook according to package directions
- Drain ravioli and place in serving dish
- Mix with spinach/alfredo sauce
- Top with shredded Parmesan cheese