An hour ago I put an ‘easy carve leg of lamb’ in the oven at 180C. A few minutes ago I took it out, rested it for 15 minutes, then carved off about a 1cm-thick slice, only to discover it was bloody in the middle. Meaning, it was bleeding like a recently butchered animal. I love pink lamb. I hate bloody lamb. So I have put it back in the oven and I’m on the verge of throwing a tantrum and turning vegetarian because dinner isn’t going according to plan.
Sometimes, the responsibility to put dinner on the table seven nights a week is exhausting and overwhelming. This is never more evident to me than when something I’m cooking doesn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I don’t think I’ve had a complete disaster since the Artichoke Heart & Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle Disaster of 2002, but I have come close. And I’ve dished up a lot of Pantry Pasta (pasta + jar of pasta sauce + tin of tuna) on nights when I simply couldn’t be bothered. And sometimes, the plethora of options completely brings me undone.
I’ve been buying the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s delicious. magazine since the very first issue (Nov/Dec 2001) and have been tearing recipes out of it since then and filing them away in what has become 3 enormous lever-arch folders of Culinary Intimidation. So many recipes, so little… energy.
The other day I read somewhere that you should try to do 14-day Meal Plans and that if you do this, your life will be wonderful and easy and free from stress and leftovers. You can create seasonal meal plans, obviously, so you end up eating the same 14 meals for three months before switching to the next season’s menu. I think I could do that… if I could possibly decide which 56 of the one million delicious magazine recipes I should use.
For me, it’s not necessarily about narrowing it down to a handful of easy-to-make meals that I can prepare over and over again so I always know what we’re having. I would actually love to cook 365 different meals throughout the year – I just need to organise them into seasonal, weekly meal plans with shopping lists!
Piece of cake!
Perhaps that’s the challenge I should set myself with the ‘eat’ part of this blog? Write menu plans, construct shopping lists around those, and follow them to the letter throughout the year and see if I can relieve myself of some of the stress (and boredom) of preparing the nightly meal. I’ve dabbled in menu planning before, but I didn’t really, properly take it on as a project for myself that might also be useful to my readers.
Mmm… food for thought.