Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Food is delicious when prepared well.  Unless you are a fat juicy summer peach tasting perfect just as you are.  It’s yummy to drink coffee at the bakery, biting in to a freshly made glazed donut or ruggulah.  Sirloin steak medium rare with garlicky mashed potatoes and asparagus, the thin kind with a squeeze of lemon, a pat of butter, and a dash of salt.  Oh my God.  This is best eaten when you are really hungry.  It is absolutely best when eaten during a diet when you take the time to really prepare it well and make it pretty on the plate with curls of parsley and carrots to brighten the plate.  Umm.  Everything tastes better when dieting.  You appreciate what you’re eating, fully conscious of the flavor, texture, smells and colors.

Food, yes, delicious.  And yet that isn’t the whole story.  There are moments that hang off the shrub of an hour perfectly ripened by the rays of time.  That precise juicy moment when you say YES.  YES, I’ll marry you.  YES, I’ll play with you.  YES I’ll accept your offer; your invitation; your generosity.  YES, I’ll pick up my roots and move to the other end of the country.  YES I’ll accept the job.  YES I’ll come to your poetry reading; take that photo; hold your little hand while you splash in the wading pool.  YES to walks in the park, laughing at the moon, the movies, at parties and picnics.  Fun time with you.   Spectacular moments savored in delicious memory sauce simmering on the back burner, ever changing flavors.  Made most delicious by making them with you.

From Viv’s Journal May 19, 2008

Meal Planning Made Easy

A household with two teenagers and their wacky parents can be hectic especially when it comes to planning and preparing meals.  I’ve come up with a solution that has served us well.  It requires about 2 hours of up front thinking, but then meal planning only takes 10 minutes a week from then on.  Here’s how we do it.

The Preliminaries

  1. Create a list of 21 meals you and your family enjoy.  Include the protein, vegetable, grain, beverage, and dessert.  Pull out a favorite cookbook or a few food magazines to get ideas.  Write down the page number of the recipe on your list and put a sticky note on the page for easy retrieval.
  2. Once you’ve made your list of meals, look at each recipe and jot down the staples you need to have on hand. (non-perishables like pasta, tomato sauce, rice). 
  3. Check your shelves for staple items you need to purchase and put them on your shopping list.  Once you have all the staples, you can choose any meal off your list and only need to pick up the fresh items when you’re ready to prepare the meal.

Planning the next few days’ dinners:

  1. Go down your meal list and choose the meals you’ll want to prepare.
  2. Make a list of the fresh ingredients you’ll need to buy.
  3. Buy the fresh ingredients. 

Since you already established an inventory of non-perishables, you don’t have to worry about them at this time.  It’s a good idea to check your inventory on a regular basis like once or twice a month.

Sample Plan for five meals


  • List the meals and ingredients
  1. hamburgers on buns with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles; Salad with dressing; milk, wine, beer, decaf coffee, cookies
  2. roast chicken with lemon and rosemary,  olive oil,  onion, garlic, white wine, Italian herbs, Cous Cous, green beans, frozen yogurt,
  3. baked salmon, dijon mustard, capers, lemon, chicken broth, red potatoes, dill, asparagus, angel food cake with strawberries
  4. beef stew with red potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, crushed canned tomatoes, beef broth, red wine, hot pepper flakes, red peppers, paprika, oregano, cookies and frozen yogurt
  5. turkey chile- ground turkey, onions, garlic, canned chiles, canned jalapenos, taco seasoning mix, black beans, corn tortillas, cheddar cheese, guacamole-(avocadoes, garlic, lime, salsa, cayenne), sour cream, black olives; lemon sherbet for dessrt.
  • Create the Staples list: ketsup, mustard, mayo, pickles, bottled salad dressing, wine, beer, coffee, cookies, olive oil, Italian herbs, cous cous, dijon mustard, capers,canned tomatoes, beef broth,canned chiles, canned jalapenos, taco seasoning, oregano, black beans, corn tortillas, canned black olives.

At this point I am now ready to prepare any of the meals I listed (plus a number of others I didn’t list).  All that is required on any given day is to choose the meal I want to prepare and buy the fresh ingredients.  I usuallydo this for 4 or 5 days at one time, including leftovers.  You can further steamline things by purchasing some of your fresh ingredients on a regular schedule like hamburger buns (freeze what you don’t use), Hamburger patties, chicken, and other meats to freeze.  In this way you can add them to the staples list.  You’ll always have the makings of a full meal in  your house.

Bon Appetit!