Monday, May 30, 2011

On OCD, Being a Capricorn and Menu Planning

Posted by MANDI at 2:04 PM
My fridge, or more specifically my fridge door, has been a source of great mirth amongst my friends of late. They have recently discovered the extent of my weekly menu planning and, for reasons that totally escape me, think they are hilarious. I'm not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda girl. My husband jokes that I can only be spontaneous if I'm given two weeks warning and some sort of hint as to what direction the spontaneity might be heading in. I laugh right along with him on that because, yeah, he's pretty much right. I'm heaps better now that we have the kids than I used to be. But still not great. Part of my need to know what's happening, have a routine and be super organised comes from sheer genetics (hi Dad!!). Part is from being a Capricorn - look it up, it's me to a T. All list making and routine oriented. And some is from the OCD too - when things aren't 'under control' I don't cope so well, so being organised helps me keep it all under control.

So why the menu planning? First off it does help me get organised. I use the plan to write up my shopping list then I know that I have everything I need in order to make the week's meals, it reduces waste and helps cut down on unscheduled trips to the shop where I end up spending another fifty bucks of stuff I didn't actually need at all.

Also, by jotting down what else is going on for each day I have a better idea of what I need to work around. For example, #1's football practise is on Friday afternoons and he and his Dad rarely get in before 6.45pm. #2 can't wait that late for dinner so I need something that can either be reheated easily or served an hour apart and still be edible for both parties (the slow cooker comes in super-handy here).

And finally, by sticking it on the front of the fridge I live in hope that if Hubby gets home before me he might start dinner. Or that the kids (okay, only the older one can actually read it) will see it and stop asking me "What's for dinner?" all the time. Wishful thinking on both parts but worth a try!

I also tack on the plan whatever I'm planning to bake for the week. For this week I'm hoping to whip up some min-quiches for the kids lunchboxes and I found an apple cake that I'd like to try.

The thing that really made everyone laugh is that I also note where the recipe is from. As far as I'm concerned this makes perfect sense. I have close on 80 cookbooks and about the same number of foodie mags. If I don't write down where the recipe came from I'd have to spend hours searching for the darn thing!

Amid the laughing at my menu-planning and then generally picking on me for my anal-retentive, OCD, crazy ways a couple of friends did agree that the menu-pan was in fact a good idea and few even went so far as to ask me to post up my plans so they can get some meal ideas too. So, here's this week's menu-plan.

Monday: Cottage Pie
Tuesday: Herb Crusted Fish with Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday: Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Casserole
Thursday: Fish Pot Pies
Friday: Sausage Sizzle
Saturday: out (or if we get home and need dinner, leftovers from the freezer)
Sunday: Slow Cooked Beef Hotpot

Do you menu plan? If you do, do you just jot down a bunch a meals to make in the week or do you plan what day you'll be having them? C'mon people, I need to feel not so alone in the crazy here!


Melody on May 30, 2011 at 4:12 PM said...

I write down what we are having during the week - I need a menu to shop by so then I will only need to go to the supermarket only once or twice during the week and not everyday. I have a vague idea what we'll have each day, but I usually make up my mind when I return from the supermarket in terms of 'freshness'. =)

Anonymous said...

From one control freak to another...I do exactly what you do! Daily activity, dinner meal and the location of the recipe! Plus a 'baking' list to be completed on the weekend or on my day off! Rest assured, you are in good company, Mands. Love Kaz x

Anonymous said...

We have a menu plan on the fridge, what book and what page the recipe is on and also a baking / cooking list. Don't worry I also do a menu plan when we go away caravanning. All written out before we leave home so I know that I have the correct ingredients while we are away. May not always cook the menu on the correct day - been out and forgot to put the slow cooker on, but is is really close. I must be related to your dad as well. How did we get 2 capricorns in the house, who are OCD, control freaks. mp

Jennifer said...

I'm with you Mandy. I do exactly the same - it makes for an easier life, especially if you work full time. I have even gone through every single foodie mag and written down all the recipes I want to try and where to find each of them. There are many like us out there and I bet those friends who laughed do not work or think that it is a good idea how organised you are.

The Cookbook Junkie on June 2, 2011 at 3:01 AM said...

I used to menu plan and I will again when I am living normally (which I hope is soon). As someone who has lived the life of planning menus and has also lived the life of not planning, I can definitely say planning is
better and less stressful.

I love that you have an ugly binder too.

Your old friend Lea said...

Freak, I am also a Capricorn and that is where the similarity ends. I very seldom have any idea as to what we are having for dinner until an hour before I cook it. I usually see what I have in and make something with that. If need be there is always "Lea's Cookbook" a binder full of local restuarant menus, arranged according to cuisine and whether they deliver to my door (that maybe the Capricorn bit).

I will say that this is not the most economical strategy in the world and my kids do seem to get a lot of steamed vegies with rice or pasta and some form of protein which I can whip up in 10 minutes. While hubby and I often eat something much more elaborate long after the kids have gone to bed as it wasn't cooked by 6 o'clock when they were ready to eat the leg off a chair.

Maybe I will just steal your menu plan each week then I won't need to think for myself.

MANDI on June 18, 2011 at 7:19 PM said...

LOL - hello my sweet! And you're the freak not me. You're so laid back I'm surprised people don't check to see if you're still breathing!!! I think that secretly you were born under a completely different starsign??? Yeah, feel free to pinch the meu plan :)


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