The Power of Routine

When life is so busy that you don’t know which way is up, routines are key.  And in our life, midwinter is the busiest season both at work and at home, and our regular routines are always disrupted.

So, weekly farmer’s market visits, grocery shops with lists and coupons, menu planning, and nightly dinner preparations often fall to the bottom of the to-do list.  And while this often means take out and eat out meals, I have also found that some minimal prep work increases our ability to eat well when our (children’s) schedules make it hard to do so.  So, what has worked for us during this crazy-making season?

Make a turkey or ham or roast one weekend day. And then use the meat/carcass over the week to make meals.

Check your pantry. Because I tend to stockpile when I grocery shop regularly, my pantry is pretty well-supplied. It’s really great when the kids say, “Mom, there’s nothing for breakfast.” or when the man of the house exclaims, “We’re out of rice!”, and I can respond calmly, “Have you checked the pantry yet?”.  Usually the answer is no, and the food item being sought is found in the pantry…

Use the white board to remind yourself what’s in the pantry/fridge/freezer, and don’t worry if it’s not a full-fledged menu plan. Ours currently reads:

  • pie
  • beans
  • tacos
  • pizza
  • turkey soup
  • turkey enchiladas
  • meatloaf & mac-n-cheese
  • scallops & rice
  • ham
  • lemony lentils from The Electronic Intifada
  • butternut squash rustic tart from Womans Day
  • shrimp
  • fried rice

And,

Bless the slow cooker,

and the rice cooker,

and the freezer…

And remember that one day soon, the “regular routine” will return….

Dinner tonight included:

Lemony Lentil Soup & Rustic Butternut Squash Tart

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2 Comments to “The Power of Routine”

  1. On your kitchen whiteboard: what a great idea to list meals IN the fridge, rather than things one is out of! Keeping my shopping list there is just plain stressful (another thing to do…) Thanks, Liz!

  2. The photos and studies about food are interesting. Every once in a while I get into this. Mom

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