So, I Didn't Follow The Plan... Again - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 242928

Put the Kettle on....

So, I didn't follow the plan... again 
Jul. 11, 2011 6:20 am 
Updated: Jul. 14, 2011 5:34 am
One of our fellow AR gals, Sarah Jo, has inspired me to make a weekly meal plan.  She posts hers weekly and it always seems so organized, and yummy.  I always think, "I can do that! I'm a well-organized person, should be a piece of cake."   Finally two weeks ago I decided to give it a try. I'm off work all summer and figure I could do this.   Well, I think I've discovered I'm a failure at this concept.

First week I make up a great sounding menu.  I make my grocery list and hit the store.  So far so good.  Get everything home and put away.  Then get a text from hubby - he's going out of town for 2 days for work.  That means it'll just be me and my son.  I can still follow the plan, right?  Wrong.  Son decides to go out with friends, so now it's just me for dinner.  No sense cooking for one.  Hubby comes home.  I make one of the planned meals.  Not necessarily the one planned for that day, but hey... it was planned for that week.  Then we get invited out with friends.  Then we head out to look at trucks with son after hubby & son get home from work, so who has time to cook and eat at home?  And so it goes....   Week One over - two meals were made from the plan.  Two out of seven is a failing grade.

Week Two.  I decide to take the 5 unused meals from last week and just add 2 nights.  Luck would have it we had a day planned to go to Put-In-Bay (a hopping island town on S.Bass Island in Lake Erie) with friends so I only had to come up with one more meal.  I pick homemade pizza for Friday night. 

Day One (Saturday) - I wake up and head to the kitchen, only to find a horrible bloody mess all over the floor.  Missy (the 12-1/2 yr. old lab) had hemorraged and was bleeding profusely.  Son and I take her to the vet where it is determined she has pyometra and requires an emergency hysterectomy (aka spay).  I'm very happy to say Missy did well, is recovering nicely, and when they sent out for a biopsy there is no cancer.  She's one lucky lab.  But -that threw too big a wrench into my life for the day - hot dogs is what we had for dinner and that's not what I had planned. 

Days Two and Three are filled with caring for a post-op old lady lab.  She seems to only be comfortable by my side, outside lying in the grass.  So, that's where I spend my days.  Dinners are not what I had planned.

Day Four I finally make something that was planned; a nice Italian Penne Bake casserole.  It's good and we all enjoy it.  I found the recipe in one of my neglected, but very loved, cookbooks.

Day Five is the Put-In-Bay day.  Missy is doing well and son will be home with her after work so we decide we can leave her and go on our day trip with our friends who own the Mexican Restaurant. This is a "planned meal" on my list.  We have a blast.  We rent a golf cart and go all over the island.  Lunch is the best lobster bisque on the Boardwalk overlooking the lake.  We visit the 2 wineries and play some cornhole at the one.  We find an out of the way bar who's sign proclaims "YOU'VE FOUND IT!!  JOE'S BAR!!!"  How could we resist not going in there?  Frozen rum drinks all around and our friend strikes up a conversation with the worker and learns a lot about the island life and how they get along in the winter.  Sounds like a very interesting life and very quiet after the summer season; only 320 year-round residents on the island.

Day Six I meet a friend for lunch and I'm still too full to cook at dinner.  We scrounge around the fridge and eat left-overs.  Hmmm....   Right now I'm 2 for 6 - that's a failing grade.

Day Seven.  This is the planned pizza night.  So I head to the store in the morning to buy the cheese and pepperoni I'll need.  As I stroll by the seafood counter I see Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon... on sale for $9.99/lb.!  I've paid $16.99/lb. for that before, so I know a deal when I see one!  Menu for tonight is changed - it's now going to be salmon on the grill with the yummy pineapple, coconut, mango basting/marinade sauce I bought at Chesapeake Gourmet when we were on vacation.  The guy behind the counter, who has never steered me wrong yet with his tips and suggestions, pointed out the crab stuffed portabellas that he had just made up and put in the case.  So, I grabbed one of those for hubby and I to share.   Later that afternoon I met a friend at the new winery that just opened up less than 15 minutes from my house.  It's in an old farmhouse and they make very good wines, growing most of their own grapes.  We spent several hours sipping on wine and munching on a cheese platter.  I knew I had plenty of time as hubby and son were working at a side job after their regular work so dinner was going to be late.  Then I get a text from son "We're on our way home!"  Holy Cow! It was 7:30; we'd been at the winery for 3-1/2 hours.  I guess time flies when you have a lot to say!  We say our good-byes and I head for home.  I get home in time to set the table and make the salad.  It's a good thing hubby enjoys cooking or we would have eaten really late that night.

So, what I learned from this is:  I'm a failure at menu planning, and it makes me feel guilty.  I think I'll go back to my old ways - it's better on my conscience.
Jul. 11, 2011 7:52 am
ha ha, planing is fun sticking to it is the chore. When the boys were young, I could plan for meals a little better. I have realized that my morning thought of what's for dinner is part of my life. I purchase foods, when I do get to the city to do a large shop, that are easy to change up. Frozen meats, veggies and canning in the cold room help with my nonplanning. Staples are huge to keep on hand. I can make a plan that.....we have not had A B and C for a long time, need to make that soon. Go with that organization and I can stick with a plan. Sounds like you had a busy week
Jul. 11, 2011 7:58 am
RNG - I do my planning the same as you. I just keep all staples on hand and have lots in the freezer. Any fresh veggies or fruit I would need I pick up on my way home from work. Many times I decide what's for dinner while I'm at work.
Jul. 11, 2011 8:38 am
I thank the cooking Gods for the invention of the micro wave, I have thawed burger in that thing so often:D
Jul. 11, 2011 9:14 am
Ya know, Im just thankful that on occasion, I actually end up thinking about what were gonna have more than 20 minutes before I should actually be serving it. Really. Planning a week ahead...???? Boohahahahhahahahahahhaha*(&^*&^& har deharharhar waaaaaaaah Oh man, you kill me.
Jul. 11, 2011 10:13 am
I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone on this!! The only meals I plan ahead are holiday and special occasion meals. And even they get changed up once in a while.
Jul. 11, 2011 3:54 pm
Sorry I skimmed. Too much weeding and too much heat here make for one really tired me. I've always admired Sarah Jo for her ability to do her menus. Wish I could but I don't see it happening. Maybe in perfect world where my garden is weedfree too :) Hope the dog is ok.
Jul. 11, 2011 6:28 pm
I admire Sarah Jo's ability to organize her meals. I'm awestruck that she can stick with it! Organization is a word that will never be used in the same sentence as my name.
Jul. 11, 2011 8:07 pm
Mother Ann, I think I've had some of that wonderful lobster bisque. We went to Put-in-Bay about 4 or 5 years ago. Also found a restaurant with the most amazing scallops. Sorry your trip messed up some of your meal planning, but no doubt worth it.
Jul. 12, 2011 3:59 am
This made me laugh! I was also inspired to try to 'plan' a weekly menu, and I got as far as writing it down... then my mother-in-law kept sending over food, and it just didn't work. There is only myself and my husband, and luckily he is pretty relaxed about dinner. Sarah Jo does an amazing job, and she's working and all now! I always get ideas for stuff to make from her weekly menus. Good on you for trying!
Jul. 12, 2011 4:00 am
Cat Hill - I discovered one summer that some of my weeds have really pretty flowers on them when they bloom! And the hummingbirds love them. I quite doing so much weeding and let the "weed" flowers do their thing. LOL Missy Dog is doing great!
Jul. 12, 2011 4:01 am
Mike, I'll bet Sarah Jo's household is one efficiently run place! And I really admire her for that. Mine was, too, until I had kids and that was that!
Jul. 12, 2011 4:02 am
Magnolia - Isn't that stuff awesome?? I really enjoy going there - there is so much to see and do.
Jul. 12, 2011 4:05 am
Rachmaree - I, too, have gotten a few great ideas from her menus. Of course they weren't made when I planned to make them, but I did eventually make them! I thought trying in the summer when I'm off work would make menu-planning a breeze. Ha! I just find more excuses to change it up since I have all day to do as I please. Maybe I'll try again in the Fall when I have a more structured day.
Jul. 12, 2011 8:18 am
Hey Mother Ann, I'm sorry to hear about Missy but I'm so glad she's doing much better. I usually plan our weekly meals but something always pops up and that days meal gets tossed! What can ya do? We just got back from vaca to an empty fridge so I planned the meals and off to the store I go, hi ho!!! Take care and give Missy an extra scratch behind the ear from me!
Jul. 12, 2011 10:46 am
Hope you had a good time on vaca! Did you go somewhere fun?? Missy is always willing to get an extra scratch or two...
Jul. 13, 2011 10:09 am
LOLOL! I can "plan" to cook every night, but like Raedwolf, I usually figure out the "what" to cook right before it's "time" to cook it:P You are not alone my dear; Sara Jo has a very special kind of tenacity and I applaud her for it, but "it ain't me!"
Jul. 13, 2011 11:34 am
Thanks for mentioning me. Most of the time my menu works out for me but I'm pretty rigid in my spending and I thrive on order. I make something new, my whole day is screwed up. That's ME, not anyone else.
Jul. 13, 2011 12:34 pm
Mangel - it does make me feel good to know I have plenty of company! Most people I know rarely even cook. Or at least their idea of cooking is pop the frozen, pre-made dish in the microwave, and that's not my idea of cooking at all.
Jul. 13, 2011 12:36 pm
Sarah Jo - Now that you say you are also rigid in your spending I really envy you. I "cave" rather quickly when I see something I like, and if it's on sale, too, well... wow! My biggest downfall is the seafood counter and the baking aisle.
Jul. 13, 2011 1:27 pm
@MotherAnn I coupon AND price match. Last shopping trip, I saved a little over 75 dollars.
Jul. 14, 2011 5:34 am
Sarah Jo - Very good! I used to coupon a lot, but as I got older and the kids left, I don't so much anymore.
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Mother Ann

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Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

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About Me
I've been married for 32 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have a black lab that gets to go duck hunting with dad, 2 cats, 2 cockatiels. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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