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).