Sunday, January 30, 2011

Two Days to CSA sign up day

I am a huge advocate of meal planning. I think it makes all the difference to sit down at regular intervals, for me it’s once a week, and plan a menu. From there make the grocery list based on the menu.
The advantages for me are…
• I visit the grocery store only once a week
• I have what I need on hand
• I know what needs to come out of the freezer and when
• Each night’s dinner is planned around our family’s schedule

Planning the menu around our schedule helps on days like these…
• Soccer practice is at 5:45, I make something the kids can eat at 5pm, but will sit and wait on the stove for my husband and I to eat at 7pm
• If I’m going to be out of the house for the evening, I know to make something simple and that the kids will eat without argument, not the time to introduce new flavors or foods
• On the days I know we’ll be around the house most of the day are the days to braise or roast

Meal Planning was the biggest adjustment I had to make when I got a CSA. I plan the menu and go shopping over the weekend. Our CSA pick up is on Tuesday. I’m one of those folks a little bit rigid about schedules and lists, those of you like me understand it helps keep me calm and sane. So…not knowing what I will have to cook with during the week really gave me an opportunity to be flexible and adjust to the unknown. SCARY!!!
Okay, really it’s not so bad. Each week the farmers share a guesstimate of what we will get next week.
I will plan dinners based on that guesstimate. During CSA season I almost always have something grilled –chicken, steak, or shrimp on Tuesday (pick up day) with a salad. We almost always get salad greens and then it’s fun to put in the salad whatever else we got that week. W – F I evaluate what we actually got and make the meals planned for those ingredients. The vegetables that were surprises get planned for the weekend and early into the next week. I’ll admit it has been fun to be flexible and ease up on the schedules and lists.

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