I’ve hit a rut with my menu planning. My husband and I have been eating most meals together for more than 10 years, and we have fallen into a tired routine. Yawn! Ho hum. Sigh.
I’m an adventurer when it comes to food — my husband, not so much.
Now that our son is eating most solid foods, he’s a factor in mealtime decisions, too. We like to eat locally grown produce and proteins as much as possible from our CSA, and we go to the grocery store and butcher for grains and fish.
When we joined the CSA, I thought our menus would be much more varied than they are. Turns out, we just make the same things each summer over and over and over again. I know we’re bored with meals at home because our rate of eating out has started to increase.
So, for the month of August, I’ve decided to try a miniature experiment, similar to the one Julie takes on in Julie and Julia. Each night will be a new recipe — something I’ve never made or eaten — out of the cookbooks that are already on my bookshelves. This has two benefits: 1. My cookbooks will stop being wallpaper and actually become worth the space I dedicate to storing them, and 2. We will hopefully discover some new favorites to spice up mealtime. Worst case scenario, every single meal will be awful and I’ll lose the extra seven pounds I put on when I injured my foot.
I’m also hoping the experiment will help me to get rid of some cookbooks that aren’t pulling their weight. And, since most of my cookbooks are non-American fare, I’m looking forward to introducing my son to some exciting flavors. Each Monday night is recipe hunting and meal planning, and each Tuesday morning is grocery shopping (our grocery store is 24 hours and I can get in and out before work).
Is your cooking in a rut? Do you have cookbooks you own but haven’t used? Could an experiment like the one I’ve explained work for you and your family? Share your reactions in the comments.