18 October 2011

Rhythm: Meal Planning


I'm a stay at home mom. That's five days a week full-time at home with two kiddos and all the joys, diapers, naps, spills, breaks, laughs, quite moments, hugs, and nursing that go with it. Rhythm – reading about it, learning about it, and finally trying to practice it – become a guiding principle for planning our days. We are slowly building more rhythm into our family life. One way we've done that is with a weekly dinner plan.

Actually implementing a dinner plan in our house came about after realizing that dinner planning could be loose, a pasta day, a Mexican day, and so forth. This approach limits my options just enough to inspire creativity. Within a set of parameters (it must work on a pizza crust), I get to find an interesting way to feed our family. This is the plan we are using now:

Monday: one pot meal
Tuesday: soup
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: pasta
Friday: pizza
Saturday: Chinese
Sunday: chicken

Within this framework, I plan a menu for the week, in pencil of course because there is a lot of readjusting! Friday pizza is a hit. We have crust and sauce recipes that are great. Making both has gotten easier every week. I made a quadruple sauce recipe to freeze for future use. Soup night has just moved to Tuesday because that's my new bakery day (German bakery around the corner – yum). Sunday chicken in the oven is always good. We usually have two days of leftovers instead of one. Recently leftovers has meant either a savory pie or ribollita.

It's a work in progress, our dinner rhythm. But even at this early stage, I find it simplifies my life and helps keep cooking more pleasure than pain. Since Papa started his new job, we start cooking when Pumpkin goes down for her afternoon nap. It's a nice part of our day together and Peanut looks forward to it. It's really something when he asks me what we're going to make for dinner. These are special moments – and learning moments for Mama. We have to eat, we love too cook, and we can enjoy it together, too. What are your tricks for feeding your family?

Wash, Rinse,

In other news: we should be getting a replacement dishwasher on Wednesday - hooray!


  1. oh, I love weekly menu planning!!!!
    We do groceries once a week, and planning the week ahead helps to reduce waste.
    I include in the weekly menu the lunches which are spent at home (wednesday, saturday and sunday). I really like saturday lunch: it's pic-nic style! the sunday meals have exotic names ("trattoria italiana" for lunch and "japanese gourmet" for dinner...it just means I cook lunch and my husband does the dinner). we have two fish-nights (wednesday and saturday, which are also market days!). Leftovers are brought to work in convenient lunch-boxes, while for some meals I just double the amounts and freeze in batches: no point making one lasagna only, right? Hurray for Frazer the freezer!

  2. The exotic name are fantastic! I haven't gotten to planning lunches yet, and must - too much bread makes me an unhappy girl. We've got a microwave on the way now, and that's going to make me so much happier!


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