I have finally figured out the key to family dinners, and me helping to prepare it (or preparing it entirely).
(“Duh!” you are saying. I know.)
Apparently, all it took was me printing out a calendar and writing in dinner ideas. (I like the ones from Waterproof Paper, as they are full-page, free from ornamentation, and have spaces big enough to write in.) That way, if I know Thursday is “Stir Fry Night,” I can start the rice and chop veggies before Daniel gets home, so when he arrives all he has to do is throw the veggies in the wok for a few minutes.
It has revolutionized my life. For realz.
My problem was that it would get to be 5:15pm and I would start asking myself what I/we should make for dinner. If you are not already aware, this is a horrible time to plan dinner. I’m at least kind of hungry by then (I eat lunch at noon, usually) if not flat-out starving, I have no energy after taking care of Wesley all day, and I’m really bad at coming up with ideas for what to eat.
The meal plan solves all this! If I know what dinner will be, I can mentally prepare for prepping it instead of running out of steam by then, it makes Daniel less grouchy because he doesn’t have to come home from a long day of work and then spend forever making dinner, and we all sit around the table like a Real Family instead of scattering about the house with TV or the computer or a book.
I only plan about two weeks at a time, and stuff does get shifted around due to plans changing or too many leftovers or whatever, but it’s been a good system so far and I’m very pleased with it.
So! If you are like me and have trouble thinking of things to make at dinnertime, spend about 15-20 minutes every two weeks to write down some dinner ideas, and you too can have a revolutionized life!