Dearest Families: Listen friends, you are really making dinnertime much too stressful and difficult. I know this because I get many a 5:30 phone call from not only my children (the youngest being 32!) but from friends in desperate dinner straights asking "What can I make for dinner tonight?!!" I generally reply by inquiring about the contents of the fridge or pantry and take it from there. But I am not being honest at that moment. What I want to say is: If you made menus ahead of time and shopped to the menus, you would not be putting yourself and the screaming hungry, home-worked out children through such torment. It is the worst thing to come in the door after a long day at work, open your ice box and declare that you are stumped as to what clever, tasty and well regarded meal you might concoct at the most hideous hours that a family generally endures. Look, write about 7-8 menus. Just jot them, don't even assign a day to each meal or do if you so desire. It is insane how much this helps! You can shop to the menus anytime. Shop for 3 days worth or wait until you know it is market day or shop right after work but when you walk in that door, stroll through the threshold, you are ALL POWERFUL! Kiss the kids, build a lego motorcycle and then to the kitchen. No opening cabinets, fridge and freezer over and over wondering what the hell the hordes might consume, you KNOW! Because, you are ALL POWERFUL! Here’s a sample meal plan to get you thinking (keep in mind, I raised my brood as vegetarians):
*Tofu Caccitore with Brown rice Green Beans with caramelized onion and red pepper plus a Simple salad - just vinegar and oil
*Hot Sandwiches (cheesy, pepper, mushroom, onion, mustard, whatever works but you must call them Hot Sammies!) with Oven Fries & a Carrot Salad
*Chickpea and Spinach Soup wtih a Baguette & a Salad with cucumber, tomato, carrot, red cabbage and herb buttermilk dressing
*Tacos Baby!!! ‘nuf said
*Curry Burry (Mauritian dish...so yummy!) with Basmati Rice and cucumber & yogurt salad
*Veggie Burgers with Apple Slaw
*Nut loaf (for sure you would have to make this one ahead of time) with Veggie Gravy, Mashed Taters, and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
*Big bowl of Spiraled goodies: Zucchini, Carrot, daikon, then cilantro, peanuts, ...you get the picture. Well, they get nothing else this night...I guess dessert?
I know this seems ridiculous. I know this seems common sense. I cannot express enough how this little effort has a huge pay off.
That is enough of a lecture for today. Now, carry on!