Despite 10+ years of having this blog, it is pretty obvious by now that I’m not a frequent poster. This is partly due to laziness, partly due to the fact that after a week of working on the computer I’m not inclined to then spend my downtime sitting in front of a computer, and partly because although I’m a naturally oversharing type of person (suspect I studied drama in university largely for reasons related to exactly this), the non-dog members of my family are not. Happily today I realized that we do have an aspect of our life that even the most private one of us doesn’t mind me sharing with the entire world (or even the 5 people that are likely to read this post).
That thing is our food. Neither my partner nor I work in the food industry* and I’d consider us to be a fairly average 2 income household in terms of work/hobby time limitations but over the last 10 years I’d say that family meals are one of the biggest things that has helped tie us together. During these months of pandemic lockdown and restriction that has become even more so. Prior to 2020, we’d been getting weekly local vegetable box deliveries for several years and were already trying to eat local foods in season where we could. This year of minimizing grocery trips, thinking more about supply chains and added time physically at home led to a number of food projects including the stereotypical sourdough along with my very first garden.
*In full disclosure, my engineering consulting work includes many food manufacturing clients, but my work in machine safeguarding has almost nothing to do with the actual food part of things.
The mainstay of our kitchen is the weekly meal plan. Not long after we moved into our current house I painted a wall with chalkboard paint and turned it into a giant message board. Every week we look at the vegetable delivery email, plan our dinner menus, and write it out on one side of the chalkwall. The other side keeps the shopping list. Planning and writing out each weeks menu rarely takes more than 10 minutes, but I was amazed by how much brainspace it freed up during the week not thinking about what to have for dinner each night. Instead of asking ourselves “What do we feel like eating?” we just look at the list and know what is coming. Because we usually know which days of the week are busy the plan usually will either put something super easy to make or even carry leftovers from the day before. On the rare occasion that we find ourselves not in the mood for what is on the plan we just change it – chalk is super handy that way.
And so without further ado, here is this week’s plan.
- Sunday: roast squash, brussels sprouts, sweet potatos, pork chops
- Monday: cod au gratin, fried green tomatos, leftover roast vegetable
- Tuesday: cod au gratin part II, green beans, more leftover roast veg or rice
- Wednesday: skirt steak on salad
- Thursday: apple fennel slaw, squash, miso beer can chicken
- Friday: chicken part II, kale
- Saturday: Poutine Project! (kid asked if we can make poutine from scratch)
- Sunday: takeout
I’ll let you know how it turns out! Has anyone else out there want to share pandemic food project or meal plan opinions?
This is what the full chalkwall looks like 🙂
The chart at the bottom is the current dog medication schedule. Our 14 year old Henry dog has a progressive heart condition and Beta dog (also 14) is on the tail end of a penicillin pack to clear up a gland infection.