Every week, I sit down on Thursday evening and make a menu and grocery list for the upcoming week. Every week I try to come up with new recipes, new things to cook, new things to serve my family and nourish their bellies. Of course, I am also doing this all on a budget, so sometimes creativity takes a hit and cost is the motivating factor for a meal. I create the menu and hang it on the front of the refrigerator and those are the meals we eat the following week. It solves a lot of things. Not only does it give me a plan for cooking every evening so that I can come home from work and not have to sit and wonder, but it also keeps my family from asking a dozen times “What’s for dinner?” Plus, it saves us a lot of money!
Over the years, my family has sampled tofu, exotic vegetables, cheeses I would not normally purchase, rich pastas, odd cuts of meat and all manner of crazy, made-up soups. (By that, I mean I made up the recipe as I went and had no particular plan or idea what it would turn out like!) There have been times when a new recipe found on the internet or in a magazine went awry and my husband gets a call on his drive home to stop and pick up pizza or burgers because mom’s creation is going in the trash. Other times, those odd recipes are hits and we eat them for years to come. For example, how many of you have tried Dill Pickle Soup? It’s really very good!
Recently, we have gotten into a rhythm of eating old favorites, simple foods that don’t require costly ingredients or unusual amounts of cooking time. While these things seem a tad boring to me after years of adventurous eating, it is kind of fun to re-visit foods from my childhood. Not only are these meals tasty, they offer a sort of sentimental comfort as they stir up memories of my mom’s cooking.
As I made the menu last week and asked if anyone had any suggestions or requests, one of them said ‘meatloaf’. I cooked it several weeks ago and was surprised to hear a request for a repeat. The one making the request said it was the best meatloaf he’d ever eaten and the mashed potatoes I served with it were so good he kept checking the fridge for leftovers for days. And so, meatloaf with mashed potatoes went on the menu again this week! I hope it is enjoyed as much the second time around!
What are some family favorites at your house?