As summer approaches, I’m realizing that I need to shift my work schedule around. Rather than spending 30-60 minutes working out at the gym a few times a week, I’ve been biking to work with Dan in the morning (about 8 miles one way) and continuing on for another 5-10 miles before turning around and coming home. It is a much more enjoyable workout, but by the time I get home, shower and eat, it is often nearly 11a.m. when I am sitting down to work.
Plus, two of my closest local friends are teachers, and another is a vet who only works a few days a week. They’re often calling me up in the summer to go to the U-Pick farms, to teach them how to can, to experiment with recipes, to play tennis or to go hiking. I don’t want to turn down these experiences, so I often join them unless I have a particularly tight deadline. (And I’m lucky enough that some of them, like the canning and cooking, technically help my work anyways, giving me recipes for my blog and freelance.)
Because of this, the work that I’d usually do during the day just isn’t getting done. So I’m learning to work in the evenings and weekends more, something I’m usually loathe to do in the name of work-life balance. I don’t want to end up every night and weekend — I’d miss out on time with Dan and my non-teacher friends who aren’t free during the day. But in the evenings when Dan’s gone for baseball practice or we’re just staying in to read or watch a movie, I’ll be catching up on work. And that’s fine…it will be worth it!
One thing that will make my work schedule shift easier is slow-cooker meals. On the days when I'm out all day and working at night, it will be nice to have a ready-to-go hot meal. Plus, the slow-cooker won't heat up the kitchen, a bonus in our non-air-conditioned house in the summer!
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 pounds beef short ribs
- Sliced green onions, for garnishing (optional)
- Cilantro, for garnishing (optional)
- Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, water, red pepper flakes, paprika, ginger and garlic.
- Arrange the short ribs in a single layer on the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the ribs and cover.
- Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is nearly falling off the bones.
- Serve on a bed of rice or lentils, spooning the sauce over the meat. Garnish with green onions and/or cilantro, if using.