Friday, March 2, 2012

Buy Something Weird

I am the queen of menu planning. I am also the queen of visiting the grocery store only once a week. To stay organized, I have a magnetic pad of paper on the refrigerator. Every time I notice I am low on a pantry staple (and I am aware I am in a very small minority of people who considers both Nutritional Yeast and Jack Daniels to be pantry staples), I immediately put it on the list, so I never run out of anything important. Once a week, I sit down and spend about 30 minutes planning all of the meals for the week (which is usually 5 dinners, plus 1 lunch or brunch, for my husband and I, as well as 3 large meals I get paid to cook for a friend, who hired me years ago to be his personal chef), carefully considering seasonal produce, and ensuring I will be presenting a proper variety of vegetables, proteins, grains and foods from various ethnic backgrounds. My husband and I go food shopping together on Saturdays, often hitting up the Farmer's Market, as well as a health food store and / or Trader Joe's. I almost never buy anything that is not on my shopping list. My method works very well for me. I save time and money. I always know what the plan for dinner is several days in advance. I *seriously* cannot understand people who have no idea what they are going to eat for dinner until they get home after work at 7 PM. But I guess someone has to be buying all of those Lean Pockets and frequenting Taco Bell. In my 14 years in West Hollywood, I have had a delivery man bring me take out food a total of *1* time. I am confident I am the only woman in the entire state of California who can make that claim!

So, yeah. The clothes in my dresser drawers are a rumpled mess. I throw the Tupperware willy nilly into the cabinet. Chances are high that you will encounter a Tupperware avalanche by opening my kitchen cabinet. I can be pretty lackadaisical about some things, but when it comes to my menu planning, I am The Most Organized Girl in the World.

So far in this experiment, I have encountered some Hated Foods only because they have randomly been thrust upon me. But now is the time I take control, and employ my next new rule, Buy Something Weird.

Each week, I will be taking a two pronged approach to this. First, I will make sure that every meal plan involves a couple of foods that I either hate, or that I am undecided about. I can promise you, parsnips and daikon have NEVER appeared on my shopping list before, but they are on it at this very moment! Second, I will go against my very nature and..... get ready, because this is a real shocker..... Buy Something Weird That Is Not On My List! I'll see what crazy crap Mother Nature has for me at the Farmer's Market, then figure out what the heck to do with it. I mean, do YOU know what one would do with kohlrabi?!? I shall also keep my eyes open at Trader Joe's, and make a point of picking up something I think I don't like. By incorporating at least 4 or 5 questionable foods into my weekly shopping excursion, I will have ample opportunity to chip away at that big list of things I hate.

Finally, my husband and I go out to eat about once a week. He asked me if I had any ideas about where I may like to go this week, and I became the First Person in History to reply that I didn't know where I wanted to eat, except that it had to be a place where I can order something I hate! :-D

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