Though I have slowing started loving cooking, when Darth Husband and I first got married he was the “King of the Kitchen”. Ok, he pretty much stayed “King of the Kitchen” but I did cook more. I had been used to either cooking for one or cooking for a group so cooking for two ended up not quite enough or way too much in the leftovers neighborhood.
Over the years, I’ve gotten a better handle of cooking for us as well as having the proper amount of leftovers. We are a leftovers house and every time I hear about others that refuse I always make the “Whaaaa?” face. Somethings work really well the next day like chili.
For the last few months, there has been a shift in weekly dinners with me making them instead of Darth Husband. This means I’d be making the dinner when I’d usually be changing into comfy clothes and feeding the furrball herd while Darth Husband was finishing up the cooking. At first, I thought jumping into full throttle mode would work. Oh silly me! It didn’t which I should have known ahead of time. The excitement of cooking slowly wore off with me staring at the fridge with disdain and considering microwave popcorn for dinner. It never got to actually having popcorn for dinner since we needed leftovers for the next day lunches. It did make me rethink food shopping, meal planning, and exactly how much effort it will take cooking on certain nights.
Food shopping before was done several times a week. We shop at three or four places, both local and chain, depending on what kind of food items we need. Darth Husband would stop somewhere a few times during the week and I would go places during the weekend with an occasional weekday trip. It was working well before but not as well now. This was especially annoying if I was missing one basic thing like an onion and I really wasn’t going out for one thing. The obnoxiously ridiculous winter weather didn’t help either.
Food shopping became weekend only and list heavy. We’ve always shopped with some sort of a list. I prefer a paper list and though I often would forget it somewhere in the kitchen. I’ve switched it to post-its so now I can stick it to the shopping cart as well. Darth Husband likes phone based lists but I’ve learned that if I’m in a grocery store and starting at the phone I shop more slowly. I know it is partially due to my fear that the phone will get knocked out of my hand and that multi-tasking while moving with the phone in my hand just slows me down overall. I am one of those people who will step to the side and stop. As long as I’m not blocking people or lured by items in an end cap, it is fine.
So my lists got modified too since I became more serious with four to five day meal planning. Before, we would plan a day or two ahead. If things changed, it wasn’t a big deal. Now with longer spans, I can just stick with the plan rather than being sleepy, frazzled and hungry. I’ve been using a combination of our general meal ideas, recipes from books, and recipes from online. The general meal idea are default ones that I don’t really fully include on the lists. They are often shorthand since it includes the items we keep as staples. It is the cookbook or online recipes that I really need to write down. One thing can make something fall short and fail quickly like the time I forgot cottage cheese for a lasagna, and make me scramble to think of something else.
The ingredients of the cookbook and online based meals also makes me plot out the week in general. I hate wasting food and especially produce. It makes no sense to buy something that is only used in part for one recipe and so one week might be a bit heavy of something like spinach and another of zucchini. It makes me look up item specific recipes too on Pinterest. I’ve used Pinterest for quite some time now and now I’m actually using some ideas I pinned.
My goal is to make at least one new recipe a week that is not my own creation. I do like winging it in the kitchen but I’m keeping that to the weekends. I most likely won’t be posting photos anywhere but Instagram of what I make since my food photography needs serious work and the IG filters kill the blah lighting we have in our kitchen. However, I do plan to share some hits and misses here starting next month.
If I forget, you can always remind me on Twitter.