Oh boy do I love having my meals planned out a week in advance! Now planning those 21 meals is not my most favorite activity, and making the time to do it is sometimes a challenge, but it's definitely worth it in my book. So I'm asking myself (especially after a very pleasant week) why I don't do it more often.
To help me find the motivation to do it again...and again, I thought it would be useful to detail just what it is I love about having a menu.
1. I veer off the beaten path and go off exploring new ideas so our meals seem to be more interesting and we try new foods. This week our branching out included brussels sprouts, quinoa, tofu fried rice, and piquant romesco sauce.
Of course that means that I get a strike sometimes (like 3 times this week, but who's counting?) but when I get a home run...well, maybe the outs are forgotten.
My biggest strike this week was baked sweet potato. 5/5 Billingtons had a BIG problem with this. I'm pretty much able to dispose of anything, but I really had to concentrate to keep that sugary (albeit healthy) item down. What we noticed, however, was that everyone was able to eat half of one so we think the mutual understanding and encouragement went a long way.
2. I hate to answer the question, "What are we having for supper?" I don't know why, but it really irritates me to have to respond. Maybe it's the reaction I'm afraid of. Maybe it's take-it-for-granted-that-we-are eating-supper attitude that I don't like (dumb, I know). And when I don't know what we're having, it seems to emphasize my weaknesses, and I don't appreciate those being pointed out. Whatever it is, I'm not a fan of the question. When there is a menu on the refrigerator, I don't have to answer. I still get asked, but I just say, "Go look!" And I somehow like that a lot better.3. I sure save a lot of little grocery store runs for this or that. I still have to have Mark stop sometimes on the way home for an ingredient or two. But when that is necessary, I know what the thing is that I need in advance so stopping on the way home from somewhere or combining errands is feasible.
4. There is no what-are-we-having-for-supper headache at 4:00. The meat that I need gets removed from the freezer (usually) in time for it to be defrosted by then, and the preparations can proceed without angst. And sometimes (unbelievable even for me) a meal could be ready a day in advance!!
5. We just eat better. There is more variety in our fruits and vegetables, and our meals are a bit more balanced.
I guess I'm off to make this next week's menu.
Hope you have a great week! :) :) :)