Saturday, August 15, 2009

What's for dinner?

Tim and I had a spirited discussion this morning about meal planning. I guess we're beginning to feel the pain of planning meals for six days a week. While he was out running errands with Delaney earlier, he had texted me, saying, "Start working on the meal plan for this week." I said, "OK," and I sat down with a scrap of paper. 'Hmm.. Monday will be chicken.. what kind?.. Chicken caesar salad. Can't serve that by itself, so we'll have bread with it.' Yummy, and good for our waistlines, as long as we don't go too heavy on the caesar dressing. Tuesday has to be a fish, so I wrote down salmon with rice and veggies. Wednesday has to be a pasta, and we still have plenty of chicken, so I wrote down penne with chicken and a salad. 'What to do Thursday.. I'll come back to that.' Friday is always pizza. Then I realized I'd forgotten Sunday, and I had to leave that blank as well. But I was satisfied that I was most of the way done with the menu.

Tim took a look at the menu and said it was no good. He said that this menu looked a lot like last week's menu, which looked a lot like the week before it. I said, "Don't you think a lot of the meals are going to look a lot alike after 6 days a week, all year long, for 20, 30, 40 years? This isn't the Food Network, there's going to be a lot of repetition."

Tim said, "You didn't rack your brain to come up with any of this stuff." I told him that I was not going to be racking my brain every week for the rest of my life, that takes way more mental energy than I have, and the priority for expending mental energy goes to the girls, first and foremost; then, trying to keep the house in some semblance of order, and keeping us in clean clothes. Eating is what you need to do to live. It doesn't require creativity.

I told him that growing up, a lot of the meals we had were similar, but so what? Protein, starch, veggy. That's what your bodies need. Tim said, "I bet you guys complained to your mom too. 'Chicken again?'" I said, "You're right, we did, and my mom persevered making healthy substantial meals for us ungrateful jerks, giving us the nutrients we needed for our growing bodies!" [I think anybody's dinner menu is going to include at least two or three nights of chicken, seeing as it's a healthy and inexpensive source of protein, right?]

Tim maintained that creativity needed to be exercised when coming up with a menu for the week in our household. I said, "I hereby name you head of creativity." "I veto that," said Tim. "Well, I veto your veto!"

In the end, we decided that we would fill the empty Folgers can with 31 different and distinct meals, and every week, we would randomly pick six. Tim came up with the number 31, so that not a single meal would be repeated all month long.

And that Folgers can is still sitting on the counter empty.

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