Wednesday, March 01, 2006

(Have I said that before?)

you can click if you want to see my menu!

Oh my gosh! Donovan’s Mom told me that I should make up a monthly menu and it sounded like a good idea. BUT IT”S BEEN SUCH A PAIN IN THE BUTT! The philosophy behind it, she says, is to have the ingredients on hand prior to the day of the meal (yeah, right) and…you know, it just makes things easier. I totally think she’s right but it has not been easy going for me to figure out a twenty-six day menu. And realistically, I know that a lot of these nights I will be caught in traffic, or we will go out with friends, or whatever, but I decided that I would do twenty-six days anyway, just so I can have some flex room. And I am trying really hard to be fair about the distribution of meat. Me, I could eat veggies almost every day and be happy, not so for the husband. So I am trying to have one fish, one chicken, one veggie and one MEAT day each week and I figure on MEAT day I can have a veggie burger, or veggie bacon or whatever while he has a hamburger or some turkey sausage. And then, as I lay it out in a grid I realize that I have two fish days in a row, or no meat day on one week and 4 chickens…it’s all so confusing! I am also trying to add some new dishes to my repertoire AND have a little tofu once in a while because I just really like tofu. On top of it all there is the added complication of servings. If it’s a meat night and I don’t feel like eating meat, I am fine with eating say, the sweet potato and veggies but then what happens to the other meat portion? Because the husband is not terribly fond of leftovers and quite frankly, neither am I. Maybe it’s just as easy to freeze it and then he can eat the same dish again in a week or two. Perhaps that is what we will try…hmmm…look, I said I wouldn’t talk about the muffins anymore, ok? This is dinner. And by the way, hey, brother, I don’t put rich creamery butter on my vegan muffins because, much to my surprise THEY DON’T NEED IT! They are really good and moist all on their own.

Hey, yesterday was Fat Tuesday or as my husband kept saying as he pointed at the cat “Hey, it’s CAT Tuesday” yeah, he’s a clever one but he is the only one in the house with a Fat Tuesday tradition. If I had been thinking about it, I might have fried some shrimp for dinner or something but his family always eats doughnuts on Fat Tuesday. So while I made a non-deep fried dinner, he dashed out and bought us each a doughnut. We are not real traditionalists, ok, to be fair, I am not a real traditional sort of person he is, but this is one thing we have done for years now. It may well be our only tradition and I think it’s kind of sweet. Awwwww.

Finally, one small complaint. I was listening to Dicky Barrett this morning and what do I hear? The sweet, sweet voice of Dee Snyder screaming “I WANNA ROCK! I…WANT...TO…ROCK!” and I did that little dance of joy in my car and then…AND THEN…they cut it off. 30 seconds in…so cruel. They did redeem themselves about 15 minutes later with the Hoodoo Gurus played back to back with The Ramones but why tease a girl like that? Why?

WAIT! WAIT! ONE MORE THING! I am fairly giddy that I just found a recipe on line that is supposed to approximate the long long "Carnation Breakfast Bar". It's not nearly as healthy but man, I loved those things! I ate them for lunch every day in high school...sigh, if only menus were so simple now...


Brenda Griffith said...

My Mom always did the meal planning and full graocery shopping for it a week in advance. And that's really about all you can do. A month? Are you high?!? I tried to do the weekly planning thing (back when there was some illusion in our marriage that I might actually do the cooking) and it was a disaster. We NEVER felt like the thing that was planned for that night and always ended up eating out.

Now the way we do it (when we do it) is Dave has a three-column bullet list of the things he makes and he puts a new copy on the fridge on Sunday. The list begins: "Hey Dave, How About..." and on the bottom after the list is: "for dinner this week?" I am to pick 3-4 entrees (meat/chicken/fish), with appropriate though not linked starches and vegetables. He gets the ingredients for those 3-4 dishes, makes each one on the night he/we feel like it, and then we have take-out the rest. This is a really cool method and actually works for us.

My mother managed to clean house and do the cooking. I can't do either, and as I am going to be 45 in a few months, I am pretty sure they are not skills I will pick up before I die. So I say, go your own way. Make your own methods. And figure out what works in this life now for you.

Chris said...

I can't see your menu pic (Flickr says it's private if I click on it).

Our meal planning usually boils down to "Where are we going to eat tonight" or "Stop by the store and get the stuff to make [whatever] on your way home".

Tonight we had a very good (but very non-vegan) home cooked meal - nice grilled 1.5" thick t-bone steaks, steamed asparagus with butter, caesar salad, and a fresh baguette with olive oil/balsamic vinegar/herbs to dip the bread in.

ren said...

oops, sorry chris, i fixed the clicky thing. it's not so private anymore, but to be fair, it's not that interesting either. dude, i would have totally come over for dinner last night and you could have just split my steak between the rest of ya'll. i love asparagus...and caesar salad...and that sounds good.

and to be honest, the menu is kind of engineered to be extremely flexible (like if i don't want chicken tonight, we can have something else from that week) and work week by week. many of the ingredients are staples in our house (chicken, beans, soymeat, tortillas) and the fresh stuff is picked up on the way home. there is no way i am doing shopping for the month! and to be even more honest, chances are it won't really work out. but i am willing to give it a try.

Chris said...

That's OK, I'm just nosy, I mean "curious".

I totally respect vegans and vegetarians and whatever reasons they have, from "I don't like meat much" to "I refuse to knowingly harm any other living creature" and I know you don't seem to be that strict about it with chicken and fish and stuff. We have a good friend, however, who, while she isn't too preachy/evangelical about converting others to vegetarianism, gets ill and grossed out by the sight and smell of meat and refuses to be around if any is being prepared or served (she let's her husband eat meat, but he has to grill or hotplate it outside using a separate set of cookware, plates, and utensiles.

We like her, but she's not the kind of person to invite over for a BBQ or Thanksgiving meal.

ren said...

oooh, don't mistake, i am NOT a vegetarian. i would like to be, i probably should be, i have briefly been...but i am not anymore. i just don't like meat that much. i do like seafood a lot though and despite what people seem to think, that's not vegetarian. i don't forbid any foods in my house except carl's jr , green peppers and i don't cook beef because i am just not very good at it and if i'm not going to eat it, why should i bother learning how to cook it? but i am fascinated with vegetarian and more specificially vegan cooking because...well, i don't know why. i think that it gets a bad rap and that we all could do with a little more veggie in our lives and a little more experimentation with food. but no, not a vegetarian.