10.25.2016

A Plan Comes Together

I have a new hobby. It's not very entertaining, unless you're obsessed with food, looking to get back in the kitchen after a summer of convenience foods and eating out, and/or looking to spur conversations about dinner in your household. If any of those things appeal to you, maybe you need to get this hobby in your life.

It's called meal planning. How unsexy is that? It sounds so boring, throw-back, like something the poor housewives of the 1950s were forced to do. It sounds like a chore your grandmother wrestled with, all, "WhatEVER am I going to feed the family this week?"


I've never been one to plan out an entire week of meals. Instead, I would go to the store and buy what looked good, then fly by the seat of my pants each evening, making whatever I felt like eating in the moment. But I'm older and wiser now. Oh, and I'm also older and marginally more exhausted at the end of the day. That means knowing exactly what I'm going to make when I get home is comforting. Not having to call a play while I'm already on the field, cold and hungry, is a good thing.

The other perk is spending an hour or two over the weekend combing Pinterest, magazines, and cookbooks for recipe ideas. As I said before, I'm obsessed with food, so luxuriating in the process of selecting our dinners for the week, mixing cuisines and proteins, is kind of cool. Oh, and then I get to fantasize all week about whatever I'm making Thursday night. Is that weird?


I almost forgot the other bonus: Shawn, heretofore an unwilling participant in dinner decisions, has, in the fridge-posting of my weekly plan, become suddenly much more active in the supper story. Our fridge is stainless steel, and basically acts as the white board for our house. We keep shopping lists and to do lists there, and now, our meal plan. This has let him in on the process in a way that me texting him at work, "what do you want for dinner?" never quite accomplished. The first week I posted a plan, he asked me every night if it was time for kielbasa vegetable bake yet.


In days past, I would buy a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts without a plan of how to use them, then get lazy on a Tuesday night, too hungry and tired to think straight, and sauté them up with dried spices, served with a boxed rice mix and frozen vegetables. That's a fine meal, but doesn't chicken pot pie ragu with egg noodles sound better? Yup!


I'd love to hear your take on this new hobby of mine. Do you meal plan? For you, what are the advantages of this seemingly unglamorous chore? If you're a member of the Big Hungry Shelby group on Facebook, you've seen my meal plans the last few weeks. Have you tried any of the recipes for yourself? Sound off in the comments and let us know your tips and tricks! My hunger is big; my personality is bigger!

3 comments:

  1. I meal plan and love it. I'm adrift on weeks that I don't do it, like this week before vacation.

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  2. AS the oldest of 8 kids my wife learned meal planning EARLY.She still does it to this day even though there are just two of us. If we go to Wegies together I kind of mess things up by grabbing random items. She works them in somehow. Tofu Pies anyone?

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