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Another Day, Another Dinner

Ahhh. I feel better after having vented yesterday. After I finished that post, I was in the mood for a pick-me-up, so I listened to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” a couple of times (yes, Neil can be a pick-me-up sometimes) and put together the ingredients for a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. And, as if that weren’t enough, we had five whole minutes of rain today that is supposed to at least cut the humidity down, so there’s hope. Much better. 

Thursday is usually a good day in my book. For one thing, we have a standing playdate that is great for the kids but, really, it’s all about the mamas. Such a sanity saver! Then, on a much more mundane note, it’s also garbage day, or, as I like to think of it, the day on which the fridge shall give up its dead.  [What? You don’t celebrate garbage day in your home?] It used to be that I had some sort of aversion to seeing any hint of free space in my refrigerator. I can only guess that was the case, because it was always packed full, even though there wasn’t really anything to eat. Truth be told, I hate throwing away food. Even when I was single—probably especially when I was single—I’d start every week by carefully compiling a grocery list, shopping for sensible foods, and then lovingly put them in the fridge for a long winter’s nap. The wasting of the food didn’t really register with me until I had to finally throw it in the trash, so I put that off as long as possible. After I got married, it was the same thing, except the raw ingredients were making it to the next level: full-fledged meals. It was the plastic containers of leftovers, left long into the petri dish stage, that became the problem. [Well, and there were still forgotten meal fixings, but I’ll get to that in a minute.]

Now I seem to be getting a better handle on the whole situation. Know what helped? Here is Tip #1 in a new series which I will refer to as Tips for the Seriously Scattered:

Write the meals for the week on a whiteboard.

Now, I know that I’m not breaking any new ground here with this idea. The thing is that I always wrote my meals for the week in the margins of my grocery list. Once the shopping was completed, said list ended up in a wad in my purse or stuffed into one of my pockets. You would think that the sight of the ingredients themselves would have been enough to remind me of what I’d planned to make, but oh no. And…there may have been times when I “forgot”. You know, initially forgot, and then remembered later but decided that the emergency pizza delivery option was more palatable. There’s been a lot of those times. The whiteboard staring down at you from the refrigerator, reminding you of the groceries that are waiting like little ticking time-bombs, ready to expire and blow up your hard-earned money, well, that’s tough to ignore. OK, tougher to ignore. Trust me, it helps.

So now I kind of enjoy cleaning out the refrigerator each week. There are the odd bags of weepy greens and a few containers with a couple of bites left in them, sure, but it’s nothing like the shame-fest of yesteryear. Thank you, Whiteboard.

(For the record, I’d prefer not to discuss the state of the condiment purgatory that passes for door-shelving. Yikes.)


5 responses »

  1. I need to start doing something like this so that the other four people in this house won’t ask me daily (and separately, of course) “What’s for supper??” My husband doesn’t understand why this drives me crazy and I don’t fully understand it myself but – it does!

  2. If it weren’t for condiment purgatory my fridge would be empty!

  3. I’ve got similar issues. One thing that has helped me use leftovers is writing the date on them – I think part of what kept me from eating them in the first place was the uneasy feeling that they may have already been in the fridge for too long. Dating them lets me know for sure how long they’ve been hanging around. I now use a Sharpie to put a date on the lid of just about everything I open. The cream cheese container says to use within 10 days of opening, but who can remember exactly what morning you cracked that puppy open??

  4. Thats a great song to be inspired by. I wish I were more organized with my meal planning.

  5. ‘long winters nap” – snort! That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week!


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