Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Planning a Menu: The Explanation of How it Works...

The photos are completely unrelated to the post. I just saw them on my card and thought they were a good memory of a good time at my in-laws over Thanksgiving.

I thought I was clear, but apparently, I rambled.

And there was confusion.

And loss of focus...

Like the 30 second story I told yesterday at work that was actually a 5 minute story, but it should have been 30 seconds, and the person I was talking to stopped me and said, "Oh, is that where this is going?"

Embarrassing...(the preceding word is said in a sing-song voice. Pretend you're at a bad opera and that's the sound we're goin' for.)

But, guess what?! My coworker is not the only one who is baffled by my ramblings.

So, here's a secret, and I'll try to make it as concise as I can:

The menu is just a guideline. If you decide to cook a ham on Sunday, then by all means do it then instead of Wednesday! Nobody cares. There are no grades of pass/fail here. The point is to have food on hand to cook and have several meals in your arsenal to offer to your family.

Okay, the second thing is, family not being in the mood for what you're cooking. First of all, I cooked it. They better sit down, shut up, and be happy that I just prepared this highly nutritious meal with them in mind (barring the frozen pizzas, of course.) But, considering that may be my dream, and not reality, I try to plan things that most everyone likes. And, frankly, my kids are scared to say they "hate" what I cooked. That has resulted in being dismissed from the table and sent to bed. NO JOKE. And not by me. I know, I know, you all think it's me because I'm bossy and loud. But it wasn't me, and that's all we'll say about that.

Now, my husband has never said he's not in the mood for what I cooked. Never. Of course, I usually have it cooked before he gets here. My goal is to have the table set and dinner ready to come off the stove when he walks in the door. Don't go thinking I'm all the good wife here. I'm the hungry wife, and this hungry wife gets very cranky. I need food. Therefore, I try to feed us as soon as we get home. Lucky for me, my husband has never said he didn't want what I cooked.

That being said, he always gets a say in the menu. The whole family does. I ask everyone what they would like for dinner over the next few weeks, and I try to include everyone's requests. I also like to have the girls be in charge of a meal a week. This greatly ups the overall satisfaction in the meal.
Oliver is settling in well, as you can see. His wound doesn't seem to bother him at all, and he is becoming quite domesticated!

Okay, this has not been a succinct post. Sorry. But the point is to have the basic ingredients on hand. The fact that I know that I know that I know that I have food planned for 14 different meals gives me comfort. Kind of like planning a budget down to the penny. Yes, the budget may go up in smoke. (Like an unexpected large vet bill.) Yes, I may deviate big time from the menu. But, I still try to plan both, and I'm just weird enough to find it fun.


Jaime Kubik said...

I hope I didn't make you irriated by my comment. I just thought your last post was helpful for those of us who don't plan well. I also liked a couple of your cooking suggestions and though others might too. Loved the pictures today. Glad to see Oliver is growing his hair back! As for Chuck-E-Cheese, that's all we have up here in Nebraska...we don't have the other restaraunt you mentioned. (I would be all over it if it were cheaper!!) We have my oldest 5th birthday this Saturday and this is the place he so desired to go! Pray for me this weekend!

Anonymous said...

That sounds great! I kind of do the same thing,but I don't do 14. I am not that "with-it!" I have about 5 meals in my head that I can make and then I make what sounds good that day.

Hey-how is the job situation?

Dawn said...

My children just go and make something else they would rather have (well, one of my children)so that's why I hate to stick with the menu. And my husband will eat what I make as long as I don't ask him. I'm just copping out because next year we can eat popcorn or nachos every night and no nutrition for growing bodies will be necessary. Well for young growing bodies. We won't talk about the older ones....

And you and L may not be blood related but he shares your ability to 'make a short story loong!'

Marilyn said...

Hey, I just wandered why you didn't just do a post about the Family Thanksgiving with all of those great pictures? You dad always says, "Just make something simple for supper", and I do.