I love Sundays. I CHERISH Sundays. It’s the day my family takes it slow. I finish up laundry, the babies take long naps (hallelujah), and my husband and I menu plan. Shoot, sometimes even I take a nap. Sunday blues are a real thing, and nothing makes me happier than investing time with those people who fill my world with sunshine.
However, sometimes, our Sunday routine gets pushed off, and yesterday was one of those. I couldn’t get to all of those little things I do on a Sunday that ensure the week gets off to a smooth start.
Here’s the deal. I could let this make me feel all flustered and hectic and stressed and icky, or, I could choose to grab Monday by the horns and say “not today, not ever.”
So, yes, I didn’t get my laundry finished yesterday and I had no idea what the plan was for meals this week, but I’m not going to let that make me panicky or stress me out for the rest of the week. I worked an extra long day today, which also added to the hailstorm of stress as I walked through the door at 5.45. (Side note- dinner is at 6 PM at our house, every night. We’re big on a schedule.) When I got home, my husband and I looked through the fridge, pulled a meal together [really grateful I at least grocery shopped!], and got the littles to bed.
After David and Caroline were in bed, I started that last load of laundry, got the day care bag ready for tomorrow, and finally, finally, got to pull out my cookbooks to plan what my family was going to eat for the week.
A few notes on menu planning in our house:
Firstly, I’m not a short order cook. I don’t make separate meals for our children (even Caroline, at 10 months, is eating a lot of what we have for dinner.) If David doesn’t like it, he can eat all the other things on his plate that he does like. Every family is different, of course, and you have to do what works for you, but this method has been pretty successful for us thus far. (David eats curry, sushi and Thai food without blinking an eye. Just about the only thing he won’t eat is broccoli. I don’t get it either.)
Secondly, I don’t plan sides. I probably should, but that’s just not for me. We keep a ton of fresh veggies in the fridge to pull from, and cook with whatever we feel like from our selections. We have a gazillion herbs and spices <not exaggerating> so this keeps our side dish game feeling exciting, not bland. (A recent hit has been carrots with crushed garlic, Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s, and salt and pepper to taste. You’re welcome.)
Thirdly, I have a lot of cookbooks, so I make it a point to go use a different one each week to mix it up. Growing up, my family would play the “what do you want to eat for dinner” game, and that meant we ate the same 6 things all the time. That’s pretty dull, and I found Jensen and I getting into the same pattern. The cookbooks have been collected over the years, and all of them have been used. Okay, except for the 1976 cookbook I found at my grandmother’s. Hot dog aspic just does not sound appealing. This little gem of a cooking encyclopedia is best explored on another day, however.
So, here’s to those of us who are having a Monday that provides lots and lots of opportunities for growth. It’s going to be a great week.