Since our family increased in number about 2 months ago (how time flies!), meal planning has not really been on the radar. This is partly due to fantastic friends who provided us with meals nearly every night for the first couple of weeks, and then a couple of meals a week for the next few weeks. These meals, combined with our freezer stockpile and the occasional take away kept us going until we were able to contemplate evening food preparation again*.
The strategy that seems to be working for us at the moment is having a list of meal options for the week, rather than having particular meals assigned to specific nights. That way, I can decide what we're going to have in the morning once I know what kind of night we've had and how revolting everyone is likely to be by the end of the day (myself included). I've been including a few options that rely on me making it to the greengrocer or deli or fish shop, a couple of freezer stockpile options, a couple of meals that we can pull together from the pantry and garden, and if all else fails, there's always take away!
I've only been managing 3 or 4 options at a time up until now, but I'm hoping to start coming up with a week's worth of options soon (7 plus 2 extras in case the whole week is good, or we have more revolting days than expected!). This week, some friends brought us a very exciting box of fruit and veges from the market that we'll use as a starting point**. It was full of asparagus, basil, potatoes, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, several mangoes (yum!!), and other summer fruit that's just starting to appear. I'm thinking that one meal might be a thai basil stir fry with asparagus. Mmmm.
I'll try to get a list of options for the week into the sidebar over the next few days, though my ability to follow through on a thought at the moment is a bit pathetic, so it might take longer than anticipated!
I'm also very keen to give Vic's Random Recipe challenge a go, but I might wait a few weeks before adding that to the mix. It sounds like great fun, though, and a very good way to get more use out of some of my underused recipe books.
*I enjoy cooking, so contemplating cooking was one of the things that has been relatively easy to reintegrate into our new lives, once we worked out some of the logistics of dealing with two children during the craziness of the pre-dinner hour. It's the rest of the housework that's still suffering, and is likely to continue to suffer for weeks (if not months) to come!
**Very useful for limiting possibilities when your decision making ability is as impaired as mine is at the moment...