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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kitchen Dragons

When it comes to cooking meals, I have plenty of experience. I can operate utensils and appliances, read a recipe, and whip out some [usually] yummy, good-for-you food. But when I started researching how to plan my menus, I felt like I was stepping past the known world into "Here there be dragons" territory.

I got a good deal of spontaneity from the genetics of my former generation...and you might not automatically think it, since I'm sort of introverted, and not always bouncing off this way and that way. I just find that for questions such as "What should I cook for dinner today?" or "What should I wear this morning?" I rely very heavily whatever mood I'm in, and I like to have a variety available.

So plans which assign every day of the week a certain meal which is repeated the next week on that day really don't appeal to me, because I get bored just thinking about repeating the same seven or eight meals all the time. (Plus wondering, "How do I know I'm going to want to eat that on that day?")

My husband loves variety even more than I do, so I knew that this way of menu planning wasn't going to end up being our cup of tea. I knew that if I wasn't careful, I'd fall into the slump of having a vague idea in my head and then scrambling every afternoon to make something which includes only the ingredients I have available without hours of preparation.

I also knew that to change the course of my natural habits, I had to do it now, before God sends children our way and makes changing extremely difficult.

It has had me baffled for a while, but I think I've got something promising, and I'm so excited to try it out. Instead of Minestrone-and-Meatball Monday, Chicken-and-Rice-with-corn-on-the-cob Tuesday, etc. I want to have something more like, "Soup on Monday, Rice dish on Tuesday, Pasta on Wednesday, and so on.

It gives me a weekly outline which focuses my choices, but each category is broad enough to fit many different moods, and give me endless variations and new recipes to learn.


Anonymous said...

are you familiar with allrecipes.com? this link - http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes-Advanced.aspx - takes you to the page where you can select ingredients you do or don't want to use, select a cooking method, select which course you are using, and a few other things. this is great for when you have a good idea of what you want, but need to tie it all together. also, for when you have limited ingredients and need a new idea for how to combine them. you will probably have to do a lot of substituting of "ingredients" for "food", but i what's new there, huh?

Ashlee said...

I've recently done something very similar! It's been great for variety without losing structure/organization. :)