Inspired by my time with my brother over the last two weeks, I came home with a renewed passion for a deeper Food Practice with Jon. I shared with him that the structure of the day opened up such a lovely rhythm to the day, and it also lent itself to more face to face time with my brother.
Being that both of us (Jon and I) work from home, we have both been challenged by how to best manage our time and fit in all the things that are important to us. So after some dialogue we came up with the idea of creating weekly menus together for each meal of the week.
I want to say that this is something that we feel will work for us. Remember that we live together and work from home, so we are usually together 24 hours a day (we really like each other). This means that we are together for most of our meals, whereas other couples, where one or both partners work outside of the home, are usually only together for dinner.
A lot of this for us depends on having a normal sleeping schedule, which we have finally gotten back on track with. So with that in mind, we have committed to sitting down together once a week, preferably over a yummy breakfast and come up with the menu for the entire week. This means that we pick recipes, or old favorites and decide when we will eat them that week (breakfast, lunch and dinner) so that the groceries for that week can be purchased.
Being that there are 21 meals in a week, and if we eat three times a day, we had to have a very real conversation about how realistic or even desirable 21 meals would be. The reality is that Jon eats breakfast and lunch at Cafe Aroma about twice a week, and together we go on a date night to eat out about once a week. On occasion we both go to Cafe Aroma to work which puts us both there for 1 or 2 meals that day. The other thing that came up for our consideration is that often there are left overs from dinners we’ve made, so I will usually be the one to eat them for lunch the next day or they are used to create another meal entirely.
All of these factors came up, and I must say that it was a wonderful conversation to have and it cultivated our Food Practice tremendously. It really made us conscious of what exactly we have been doing with our meals and we were able to really identify how much we miss out on each other when we eat on different schedules. In discussing the idea of having a regular structure to our days, the pleasure in choosing meals together, and choosing date nights with places we could go, became really juicy.
So our Menu planning looks like this:
1. Sunday Morning: Over breakfast we go over recipes and ideas as to what we want to eat for this week.
2. A date night or two is chosen and we consciously choose where we want to go and why, thus eliminating any last minute “I want to eat out, don’t know where to go, lets just go to the first place we come to” type choices.
3. Meals which we will be apart for, we each handle separately.
4. Room is left on the weeks menu for cooking leftovers that are either eaten as they were originally made, or reconfigured in some way.
5. Write up the menu on a lovely graph.
6. Organize shopping list on a lovely pad of paper.
7. Finish breakfast and go shopping.
8. Special note: All of this can change and is subject to the flow of our lives. I believe its important to make commitments to action, but allowances for the spontaneous occurrences of life are important to remaining present and thriving with any practice.
This is just a brief (!) outline of part of our Food Practice. There is much more that comes with this and I’ll be sharing it as time passes and this is in fact a brief jumping off point for a chapter of the book I’m writing for couples and their Food Practice. I really want to hear from single couples out there (couples with no children).
How many meals do you eat together?
Who cooks most of the meals?
How did you decide this?
Do you plan the menu together?
Share, share, share.