So when I was planning out my posts for this week, I had grand ideas of documenting every aspect of my Sunday meal prep extravaganza: The pile of carrots and zucchini, the separate container of stir fry vegetables all ready to go, an artistic shot of artisan bread dough rising on the counter.
Um, as I have already established, I am always optimistic about all the wrong things.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I generally plan dinner for the week on Friday night, sketching out a general plan and writing out all ingredients needed to make whatever it is I’ve come up with. (Sometimes I get help by yelling, hey family, what do you want for dinners this week? Johanna always says, hot dogs. Spoiler alert: We never get hot dogs. And yet, she still asks. You gotta admire her perseverance.) Then I work out a quick prep plan because I am easily distracted, plus I like crossing stuff off my list.
Grocery shopping generally happens Saturday afternoon (usually by myself), but this Saturday, we all went. Shopping with the family is kind of exhausting, FYI. But! Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday (which is apparently second on the list of American holidays when people consume the most food, the first being Thanksgiving. I don’t want to get political or anything, but Super Bowl Sunday ISN’T EVEN A REAL HOLIDAY. And I’m not just saying that because I think football is dumb). (Okay, maybe I am.) The girls picked homemade fish and chips for dinner to celebrate, and I brought a container for the fish … but I wasn’t sure how that would work. Because I’ve never tried it. Anyway, Eric comes up to me in the bulk aisle and is like, have you gotten the fish yet? And I was all, nope, but I want it in this container, and he takes it and is all, on it.
And then brings back a container of cod like it wasn’t even a big deal. I was all, TELL ME THE STORY RIGHT NOW because I was terribly excited and proud, and he was like, I asked the kid and he tared the container and got me the fish, and I was like, THAT IS AMAZING.
Uh, that’s got nothing to do with meal prep. I just thought it was a good sidebar.
Anyway, so I had all of my groceries purchased and ready to go for my typical Sunday meal prep day. I had my list, I had my plan, and I had nothing better to do because it was snowing. Again.
But it turns out Eric also did not have anything better to do also because of the snow — he usually has “work” to do “outside” in all weather — so he took over prepping the veggies.
And yeah, he forgot to cut up the zucchini, and he didn’t prep any stir fry veggies, but you know what? Who cares, he saved me an hour. He’s way more precise than I am, so you should see the carrots and the peppers.
Because I didn’t have to worry about prepping fruit and veggies like I usually do (although I guess we didn’t have any fruit to prep this time), I got to concentrate on fun stuff, like baking.
This is where I tell you that I didn’t check my flour supply and didn’t figure out until I had everything on the counter that I didn’t have enough to make all the bread on my list (artisan, banana and corn). I also thought I’d make some cookies — I did have enough flour for that — but then decided I’d rather read.
So I made banana bread — because I had frozen overripe bananas already defrosted on the counter — and cornbread (except I must have forgotten some ingredient because it turned out really flat. Ah, well).
Then I made the last of the quinoa (for Monday’s stir fry, cross that off the pantry list) and my weekly no bake energy bar (or Mom’s Weird Granola Bar, a la Abby), and … read through most of the Super Bowl. (Atlanta! Why do you make me cry?!) And then Eric and I made dinner.
It was very much not a typical Sunday so I’m not even sure this post counts. Well, I mean, it was typical in that a few things went wrong and I made a mess of my kitchen. But I generally have more to prep and/or cook. It was only a couple of hours of work this time around. Not that I’m complaining.
P.S. I’ve decided it’s perfectly acceptable to make one adventurous recipe on the weekend and then rely on meals I could make in my sleep, i.e. pasta or pizza or tacos, during the week. It keeps thing sane.
P.P.S. I also don’t believe that to be zero waste, you have to make everything from scratch. I’m okay with buying a loaf of bread at my favorite bakery, for example. (I also regularly buy dried fruit, nut butter, pasta and the occasional chocolate or cookie.) My time is worth something, and I get really bitter if I’m chained to the kitchen all the time, which doesn’t do anyone any good. So I pick what’s important to us and let go of the rest (and by “letting go,” I mean purchase it as responsibly as I can, or do without).
Meal planners out there: Do you prep beforehand? How long does it usually take you? Any tips? Thoughts and feelings?
* Have I mentioned that my kitchen, dining room and living room are all one room? And not even a big room. That’s just how we roll.
Next up: Hey, we finally watched “Minimalism” on Netflix! But I kept getting distracted by all the disposable coffee cups.