In the time since we last spoke, I did not make black bean soup; Tim and I took a look at our remaining refrigerator loot on Friday and, supplemented by his work lunch and a homemade weekend dinner from friends, spent the next three days eating sumptuously from its contents instead. Sunday, we did not go grocery shopping with the masses; we decided we hate grocery shopping with the masses (so instead we went to Indian food and took advantage of a free museum deal and pushed our weekly shopping routine to Monday afternoons).
But here’s something we did do: Sunday night, lazy and happy and on a mission to clean out our refrigerator shelves before the next day’s shop, we made this large, filling, easy, simple salad—we’re calling it a Sunday salad, because it’s the kind of salad you make at the end of a long week of good eating, merging together all the remnants of the seven days past.
Last Saturday night, at a time when most people our age were out with friends or stretched out on sofas, unwinding in front of TV screens, Tim and I sat across from each other at our dining room table, a laptop and a weekly planner before us, and discussed our menu for the next six days. I’d read Natalie’s blog post on meal planning the day before and, inspired, had told Tim maybe meal planning was something we ought to try. My husband, who, to his credit, is always much quicker to jump on board with my random ideas than I am with his, said okay. We would try meal planning, this concept people say simplifies your work weeks and lowers your family food budget. And while the idea of scheduling a week’s worth of meals is nothing new or revolutionary, and while there’s certainly nothing I write here that you wouldn’t find in a simple Google search, I’m chronicling our first week’s efforts here in this post anyway for two reasons:
1) Whatever the future holds for us, at least in terms of planning meals, I want to remember what the beginning felt like, much the way married people want to remember the newlywed years or moms, their babies’ first steps, and also,
2) While of course, when you begin anything new—whether it’s a job or a treatment or a hobby—it’s nice to hear from the experts, sometimes the ones you most want to hear from are the ones who were also new like you, not so long ago. So for any of you out there who have likewise not known about or personally tried meal planning, I hope this is of some interest to you.
(Plus, bonus reason, 3) Who doesn’t like to peek in someone else’s shopping cart? Here’s a figurative look at ours, last week, as well as some meals and methods we used.)