Monday, October 13, 2008

Family Eating Plan

Scored some fresh basil this weekend, so I can make more
of this oven-roasted tomato, pepper, onion and basil
that works so nicely for pasta and sandwiches.

The four of us have been talking about how we want to eat this fall. Eating from storage requires more planning and practice. We decided we will work from this plan:
  • Everyone will generally get their own breakfast during the week.
  • Revive the weekly family brunch on a weekend day. We used to eat brunch and watch a movie together on Sunday afternoons.
  • Have more stuff on hand for informal eating - muffins, soup, sandwich fillings, spreads.
  • Get more consistent about making bread and yogurt. I want to get started learning to make biscuits, too.
  • DH, DD15, and I will try to have heartier lunches together when DD12 is at school, since we eat more variety than she.
  • DD12 has lunch at school, but wants to start packing some days.
  • Plan lighter weeknight dinners around the interruptions of soccer and DD15's job.
  • Go back to taking turns cooking, including DD12, who has an expanding repertoire. I am the primary food shopper and planner, and I produce ingredients like stock and pesto, but I am not always the actual meal-time cook.
Basically, we are switching the functions of our lunch and dinner times, making the midday meal the largest. Our schedule was pushing us into a pattern of eating too heavy a meal late in the evening. Light dinner means that DD12 can cook without trying to produce several courses.

We tentatively outlined a pasta night, a rice night, a bean night, and a potato night. I am considering trying homemade pizza night, if I can produce decent dough, and the other night is likely to be "Fend For Yourself Night," which uses up leftovers nicely.

This is a departure for us, the focus on grain. Previously, the nights were labeled chicken, pork, beef, seafood, sandwich, and takeout. Now we are planning from the grain component, not the meat. We will never be vegetarian, but we are reducing our overall meat consumption. There will still be favorites like meatloaf, roast chicken, and pot roast - as long as we can afford to get them.

We set some ground rules for DD12, who is our picky eater. She knows she will slowly have to start eating differently, too. She is not allowed to open more than one box of cereal per week, nor more than one can of Spaghetti-O's or chicken noodle soup. That will encourage her to find other food, as will taking a turn at cooking. She should like pizza night.

When my mom comes to stay with us this winter, we will adjust again, to let her have a hand in the kitchen, and make sure we include her favorite foods. I'm going to ask her to empty her fridge and cabinets into our pantry, so we can get rid of the old stuff. I know that her baking cabinet has the same little McCormick spice cans I used as a kid - and I'm 47 now! She also has a juicer, and I know she likes to make carrot juice, so we can start keeping some in the fridge for her. Theoretically.


amanda said...

sounds great! a friend just gave me a great, easy and quick biscuit rec:
we do not have food allregies...but it is great and more like depression-style biscuits were...when folks could not afford milk abd butter.
also, been meaning to mention i have a great laundry soap rec. if you need one.

Matriarchy said...

Thanks for the biscuit recipe!

I do plan to try making laundry soap, once I finish some of these other projects (like the giant box of black walnuts on the back porch). Feel free to send me your instuctions.