Sunday, October 25, 2009
Over the past few weeks I've been trying to reorganize my home and my life. This is an ongoing project for me as my own children can testify. I am a firm believer in the idea "if I can just get more organized, I can accomplish more!" My current project is to obtain some control over my lack of planning in the dinner preparation department. I know that having regular and nutritious meals together is a good way to strengthen marriage and family, but I have always struggled with the decision of what to fix for dinner. It seems that every day about 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, I start worrying about dinner - and my mind goes blank or I decide that I want something and don't have enough time or the right ingredients. I thought about making a monthly schedule but couldn't decide how to do it. A month was just too long of a time to plan for food. I have a sister who apparently has a set day for the type of food to fix, such as soup is served on Wednesday. I'm not sure exactly what her system is, but I know that it works for her. My problem with having a fixed menu is that maybe I don't feel like soup on Wednesday or maybe Wednesday is too hot for soup or maybe the activities of the day interfere with making soup. I recently went to lunch with a group of friends and took advantage of the situation to discuss how they worked their dinner preparation plans. I obtained several good ideas that might work for me and will share my research with you. Some of my friends make a list of all the possible main dishes. Some of them divide their list into categories. When it is time to fix dinner, they simply go down the list and decide what they want to fix that particular day. My problem with this system is that I might want to fix something but not have the right ingredients or possible substitutes. Some friends use the advertisements in the newspapers for the sales at the grocery store to plan their meals for the week. My only problem with this system is that everything on the page looks so delicious that I want it all! A long-time friend shared an idea that she used years ago. Her suggestion is a way of combining all the ideas and is a plan that will probably work for me. She would make a list of meals that she wanted to fix that week and obtain all the ingredients necessary to fix those meals. (This could certainly be accomplished using the store advertisements). Then on a particular day, she would look at that weekly list and decide what she wanted to cook that particular day. I think that I can manage a weekly list, and I like the idea of being able to plan ahead to obtain the necessary ingredients. Maybe some of these ideas will work for you and make your task of preparing regular, nutritious meals for your family a little easier.