“Ugh,” is my gut reaction to the term meal planning. It’s a pain. It requires a lot of time. It’s not very French (and aren’t we all supposed to be, so, so, French?). It is usually accompanied by pictures of tater tot casserole and “freezer meals” that are very beige.
But of course, if you are a person who does not leisurely stroll through the markets in the evening, picking the freshest produce and fromage, you probably need to meal plan.
(Also, hello! I have not blogged in over two years. I have been working, had a baby, moved to Florida. I spent about 13 months primarily subsisting on meals I could make from Trader Joe’s frozen and prepared section.)
I tragically do not have the same levels of time I used to, where meal planning meant a few hours leisurely reading Food and Wine magazine and stopping to make a snack because the pictures made me hungry. Now it’s a meal planning race.
I considered a subscription to a meal planning website that promised me for $10 a month my life would “look like instragram.” That did not sell me. I would like my life to look like Instragram. But I want it to do it organically, casually. I want to have just happened to put a fried egg on my seasonal veggies, roasted in the wood stove in my remodeled farmhouse and served in the middle of a moss tablescape with whimsical string lights that appeared in the trees, probably hung by fairies. There are gourds. The “this old thing?” of dinner parties. Paying for my life to look like Instragram is too much pressure. “Is my life Instagram now?”
Also, the website in question’s idea of making your life “instagram” was a morning smoothie and homemade granola. Really! A smoothie and granola! What’s next, scrambled eggs and muffins?
My current meal planning system is a very boring, so-not-Instagram spreadsheet. This way I can copy and paste recipe links into a days of the week chart. My “Baking” tab has the most recipes, which is not practical. I recently bought the Rifle Paper Company Meal Planning Notepad because I assumed if my meal planning felt more whimsical I would be inclined to do it. This turned out to be correct. But now I meal plan on my spreadsheet and my notebook. At least one of those things looks better on Instagram.