Dinner Planning 2013, January Summary

Most people I know plan their dinner menus weekly or monthly, if they plan at all. For the past three years, I’ve been planning annually. That’s January through December, every single day of the year. I prefer doing something once and forgetting about it. Life is too crammed with other things to do, that dinner just cannot get in the way anymore.

Besides, the alternative is worse: my partner is cranky because he’s hungry and isn’t sure he’ll like what I make for dinner. I’m hungry, not knowing how I’ll make  dinner from limp broccoli, left over rice, and canned corn. I would have forgotten to go shopping. At our house, dinner is the true measure of an enjoyable evening.

Because planning is in the pursuit of variety, my only rule is: no repeats in the same month (except fend and leftovers).*

Life happens, and dinner plans have to work around them. We had surprise meeting schedules, out-of-towners visiting, and other deviations. All told, we only deviated 8 times. Our dinners out were to the Vermont Thrush (a new restaurant I hadn’t been to yet) and The Royal Orchid (our stand by).

Colin came for a visit and we played Settlers of Catan while eating black bean soup.

Colin came for a visit and we played Settlers of Catan while eating black bean soup.

Fend nights look a little like this:

“DB ended up ordering from Julio’s. I gnawed on sopressata and cheese while doing the dishes.” [Jan 10]

“I had to work late, so DB fended on leftover soup and pistachios.” [Jan 22]

“DB is at a Marilyn Manson concert, so I’m doing Lao food all day.” [Jan 26]

January 2013 Menu

  1. Hopping John
  2. Dinner Out
  3. Tacos
  4. Leftovers
  5. Lasagna and Salad
  6. Baked Squash and Pilaf
  7. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
  8. Leftovers
  9. Salad
  10. Fend for yourself
  11. Brown Rice and Steamed Veggies
  12. Black Bean Soup
  13. Red Cabbage Risotto**
  14. Shepherd’s Pie
  15. Fend for yourself
  16. Pizza, homemade
  17. Dinner Out
  18. Leftovers
  19. DB Choice
  20. Dosas, filled with Brussels Sprouts in Coconut Milk
  21. Chick Pea and Tahini Soup
  22. Skewers, Roasted Veggies
  23. Leftovers
  24. Couscous & Fish
  25. Stir Fry or Curry
  26. Macaroni & Cheese
  27. BLT’s
  28. Leftovers
  29. Fried Rice
  30. Chicken Soup
  31. Tacos

*Looks like I scheduled tacos twice—oops! It was a long month!

** This is a new recipe I tried, from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I brought leftovers to Book Group, and the ladies loved it. Making it in advance really allowed the caraway seeds to infuse the dish.

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