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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tending to Everyday Basics

My chemo brain is pretty profound. Just dealing with the everyday basics of managing a family has become a real challenge. Therefore, I have to find a new way of doing what used to come easily and naturally. Dealing with with groceries and meals is the first order of business.

The planning and executing of meals is challenging in ways it has never been before. I don't think to make meals until too late in the day. Organizing and executing a frugal shopping trip is my undoing. It's the "connect the dots" part that is such a challenge. It's like I'm in a brain fog. I can open a cupboard, look in, see food items, and see no way that those ingredients can come together to make a dish. To complicate matters, I also am unable to recall what is in the fridge or freezer. Looking at the weekly sale fliers used to mean something. I could see what could become of sale and loss leader items. Not so much any more.

I can't really explain it any more clearly. It's almost like my head is stuffed with cotton balls. Nothing "clicks."

So, I have decided that I must simplify the shopping. I shall mostly shop at Aldi. Can't get lost or distracted there. Six aisles. They rarely change. No decisions as to what is the best buy. I can flesh out what I can't get at Aldi at some other store.

Since I struggle to plan meals, I think I'm going to go with meal types. I used to, just based on my whim, come up with meals for lunch and dinner (back in the days when people were home for lunch) and shop. Now I stare at a piece of paper and think, "I have no clue what to have on Monday, let alone on Tuesday and I can't think of anything to how can I shop?"

Instead, I think if I were to know that I have to have a soup/stew meal, salad meal, casserole meal, etc...I should be able to look at sale fliers or the Aldi layout and figure out what to buy.

I hope.

So, what types of meals are out there? Here's what I've come up with off the top of my head today...what else can I toss into the rotation?

Breakfast for Dinner
Traditional (aka “grandma’s recipe box”)
“International” (aka pick an ethnicity)
Regional (aka pick a USA region)


MacBump said...

Have a crock pot? If not, oven will do. Easiest meal on the block. Boneless skinless chicken of some sort (depending on if your household prefers brown or white meat or a combo). Favourite salsa (mild or medium or spicy). Drench chicken in salsa. Cook on low in a crock pot all day, or in a 350 oven for probably 45-60 min. depending on the quantity of chicken (probably more like 60 min for a family your size). Serve on a bed of rice or noodles.

2 min. prep time, 2 ingredients for chicken. 5 min. prep time later for noodles or rice. Can be delegated to other members of the family easily (particularly the rice or noodles). :-)

Pancake Goddess said...

dawn, the way you now deal with meals is my baseline, without chemo brain. It's not that way for the rest of my life, but with food and meals I have never been able to cook on the fly.

I paste my meals into my google calendar (recipe link in the description or into a google docs document), so every week when I have to do a new meal plan, I can go back and see what I made in the past. I also have a system for making my grocery list but you didn't really ask for that.

Setting yourself up with categories like that is already one step more than I can handle, but I can list the specific meals we tend to use:

tuna casserole
baked macaroni
vegetable soup
smoothies and bacon
fish and rice