As you may have guessed from my last post, life is killing me. All the wonderful rewarding people and activities that fill my time are sucking the life out of me. I am always doing dishes; they are never done. There is always a load of laundry running and a pile in my bedroom that I lovingly refer to as the laundry monster. Sometimes I can't remember the last time I vacuumed. I make it to the gym once out of every three times I plan to go. You get the picture. Whatever.
And then it got worse. I kept burning things on the stove because there was so much going on around me and I am the world's worst multi-tasker. Most recently I burned beans, but not long before that I actually burned beef stock. Stop and think about that! The liquid that results from slowly simmering water with bones! Yes, I burnt it. I forgot the flame on high overnight and woke up to a crematorium. There is something about the smell of burnt bones that is so visceral, like smelling your own death...
While I am also making efforts to streamline other areas of my life, this ultimately brought me to a summer menu plan. A few dishes that I can make without following a recipe on weeknights, dishes that I will faithfully rotate until I can't stand it anymore. A certain someone in my life has been suggesting it for years, but I am finally desperate enough to give in and try something sensible. All the random vegetables I accumulate in the garden go on the side or are able to be incorporated into the dish itself. So far this has worked so well that all my laundry is done, but don't worry. If I get bored I can always return to the chaos.
I confess that I have only just completed one full rotation of this menu, but it has worked really well for us. I was afraid that eating things like grilled cheese for dinner would be the death of us, but it's been fun.
To keep breakfasts simple, we came up with another list. Obviously my list will not look like your list, but here's what we eat on weekdays. I write it all down in advance and the kids really like knowing what they're getting in advance. Raw eggs and rice is something I will post about another time, but it is a staple breakfast in our family due to some bizarre cultural influences.
For lunch we usually eat leftovers, but my life is much easier if I make sure I have the following things prepared at the beginning of the week:
I hope this helps someone or gives them some ideas. It's been a good tool for me and I will stick with it until I can't stand the boredom anymore. I find this much structure a little suffocating, but then trying complicated dishes every evening can become pretty suffocating too. It's ok, eventually the weekend will come.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!