Every week or so, it is time to come up with a menu plan. Oh boy, am I *really* bad at this. Menu planning has been something I have struggled with since the first week of my marriage. I would, and oftentimes continue to, sit at the table with three or four cookbooks around me, searching through them to see what I could make that week. This process usually takes minimum of one hour, and I usually want to cry at least once while doing it. FOOD! Food. We all need food. Everyone has to eat, and the crazy thing is that it's usually 3 times a day.
The semester following my marriage gave me lots of opportunities to learn about food. I graduated with a B.A. in Geography and couldn't help coming out of it a little more aware about sustainability, food-sources, GMO's, etc. Top that with a little Food, Inc., and a couple other documentaries and articles (I also learned that margarine is a couple of molecules away from plastic), and you have a newly-wed who has basically only cooked boxed meals for most of her life who has a new-found desire to cook more whole foods. The desire to do so, but not really the know-how or the time.
Throw a precious little baby Henry into the mix, and you have a homemaker who freaks out about food every time she has to menu plan. Healthy and natural vs. cheap and easy, I feel like those things are definitely at odds. It costs money to eat well, and it takes diligence and patience in the kitchen. I know that none of us make it out of here alive (sorry to be morbid) but I want to teach my children to love food, to be okay with taking the time to prepare it, and to enjoy the whole process of food: growing it, preparing it, enjoying the delicious fruits of our labor. For me to teach the children that, I have to be doing it first. Right now I kind of hate food. I hate it insofar as it causes me stress, I don't know how to prepare it very well (as far as more fresh, whole food meals go), and cooking is not something I currently enjoy doing.
I really do want to love food and everything that comes along with it. Can I teach myself that? I don't know. I want to step up to the weekly menu plan with joy and excitement about the ways I get to serve my family and friends. Cooking isn't easy for me, but the result of it -- eating -- brings people together on a regular basis, it is important and worth it.
I believe that food is medicine. What we put into our body matters. The fact of the matter is one person has to prepare food for a family. Being a stay-at-home mom gives me the time and ability to be that person. So, here we go!