Drat this Amazingly Gorgeous Weather!

24 Aug

So it begins….

 

…..Summer has officially arrived in Washington State. And, of course, school is in session for some kiddos next week. This week there is a possibility that we could reach the upper 80s and, who knows, maybe (GASP!) into the 90s! Most of our “Summer” has sat comfortably in the 60s and 70s and we hardly broke 80 last month. About this time of year I am ready for the nice, cool chill of Fall and anticipating the changing leaves, scarves, and grasping a warm, pumpkin spice latte (non fat…no whip). But, alas, I suppose I must endure until at least Summer is officially over.

I’ll admit, I would looooove to have a cold rainy day. Just one…maybe two. What the heck…how about a week? Then I would have an excuse to keep indoors and meal plan for next month. As I have quickly discovered, meal planning is a skill that takes time to master. I have not mastered this which is why meal planning (for me) takes up a good chunk of the day. It takes imagination….patience….and organization. All three of these key “ingredients” I don’t really have…well…I have imagination but not the type where I can just throw any edible item into a pot and make a meal worth remembering. I hardly have any patience and organization is a dream of mine that has not yet become a reality.

Meal planning means me diving through a stack of cookbooks and online recipes that I’ve saved to my favorites. I take a calendar that I printed off and fill it up. I always make sure to include meals that are large enough to mean leftovers for a few days. I create my shopping list for the first two weeks based on the ingredients in the recipes I jotted on the calendar. At the end of this month, we will do our major shopping run: Costco and Trader Joes. I’ll pick up what I can there and then I do an additional shopping trip to Freddie’s or QFC…occasionally PCC to pick up some bulk flour for bread. I make another shopping trip in the middle of the month for the next two or so weeks of meals. And there we have it.

Some people, like my mother-in-law, can do without a meal plan. She has that creativity that I hope to have someday. She is like those people who can just throw random things in a pot and make a “meal worth remembering”.  Me? Well, if I don’t plan my meals I am literally like a lost puppy and sweat about what the heck I am going to make. In the end, I just take out a couple chicken thighs to thaw and we have the “usual” grilled chicken, potatoes and steamed veggies. Not that that isn’t good. But, c’mon, it’s kinda boring. Meal planning gives me an opportunity to be creative and surprise my family with new dinners. I always consider my husband when it comes to thinking about dinner. I have an idea about what he likes and he mostly likes anything I make. But there is something fulfilling about making something different and creating some delight around the dinner table.

But today, the meal planning will have to be put on hold. With this gorgeous weather…it can’t be ignored. I’ll have to take the kids out somewhere. Maybe to the lake for swimming…or to a nice shady park for a picnic. No cooped up kids today.

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