Thursday, July 25, 2013

Meal Planning For Those Who Hate Meal Planning

I don't know if you have ever seen one of those blogs that manages to put out a meal plan for an entire month.  I hate those blogs.  Well, not really.  I just hate it when people are so confident in what they are making for dinner three weeks from now?  Who does that?  I sometimes have trouble deciding what to make for dinner the same day.

Since I an not a planner, but I still like to stay organized, I thought I would share with you my method of figuring out what I can make for dinner on any given day.  This might just change your life.  Or it might not.  If it helps make your dinner planning a little easier, I'll be satisfied.

1. Make a list of starter ingredients.  A starter ingredient is one that I base my meal around.  For me this usually involves some sort of frozen meat (frozen because I stock up when it's on sale).  If I buy a Bountiful Basket one week, it might involve fresh vegetables.

2. For each starter ingredient, plan a meal.  For example if I have ground beef as my starter ingredient I might put Shepard's Pie.  If I have green peppers, I might put stuffed peppers.  Cabbage might be Cabbage Burgers.  Chicken might be Crock Pot Massaman Curry.  You get the idea.

3.  For each meal, list the ingredients that you don't have on hand and will need to pick up at the store.

That's it!  I even made a handy printable so you can try my method.  Download it here.  You can see one of the printouts pictured above with sparkles because using it is so magical.  There is no guarantee, however, that the sparkles will appear when you use the printout.  In fact, they probably won't.  Please don't be disappointed.

I like to to tape my lists to my fridge so I can refer to it when I am trying to come up with dinner.  I can quickly decide what I have on hand, and make a grocery list for what I might want to make later.  I cross things out as I make them and replace the list when my adjustments and scribbles become bothersome.

If you try my method or my printout, please leave a comment and let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

There will be time . . .

One of my favorite poems is The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.  (The full poem can be found here.)  As I have thought about how to start blogging again the lines from this poem have come to mind:

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

One of the themes of the poems is hesitancy and indecision.  

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—        40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

I keep going back and forth in my head.  There are only so many hours in the day.  Is blogging about what I eat or how I discipline my kids or what food I choose to store the best use of my time?  I don't know.  But I am still here.

I am not sure how consistent I can be going forward. I now have three monkeys instead of two.  I also started running a non-profit out of my home, so I am working part time.  

And yet, blogging a few silly things for the world to read still draws me in. 


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