Wednesday, February 10, 2016

meal planning reality check

Yesterday I planned a super ambitious meal for T.J. and I. I was craving king cake for a Fat Tuesday treat and decided to continue the Mardi Gras theme and also make gumbo for the first time. After work I did a big shopping trip to get all the fixings for dinner and headed home to make the dough for the cake. I had this vision in my head of T.J. coming home to a relaxed wife, clean kitchen, with gumbo simmering on the stove-top and a beautiful iced cake waiting for dessert. Instead things got away from me a bit when the cinnamon filling in the caked oozed all over the baking sheet, and the roux for the gumbo burned while I was taking the cake out of the oven, forcing me to start that over again (you can not take your eyes off a roux for even a second). Every surface in the kitchen was covered in mixing bowls and cutting boards, and it was all a bit sticky from the cinnamon sugar.
  
When T.J. got home I was not ready, the rice was still cooking, I hadn't iced the cake, and it was nearly 8 o'clock. Not exactly the picture perfect meal I had envisioned. T.J. snacked on the un-iced cake while I finished up the gumbo and we were finally able to sit down together.  After dinner he moved to the couch to unwind and I set about the dishes because I can't relax when there are dishes in the sink. It's a good and bad trait. But last night it was bad because all I really wanted to do was snuggle with my husband on the couch before he passed out.

Why do I create these plans in my head that don't allow room for messes or hungry husbands? I should just leave the dishes for later. T.J. doesn't care about the presentation, he doesn't care if the cake is iced, he doesn't care if the dog is licking cinnamon sugar off the floor. Yes, of course, he likes to come home to calm, clean house, that makes him feel more relaxed after leaving the craziness of his job, but really he just wants to be with me. Isn't that what meal planning is supposed to do for me? Isn't it supposed to take away the pressure of cooking dinner every night and allow more time to just enjoy dinner together?

But I got the snapchat posted to my story, and I already had a bunch of likes on instagram....um, wait... Was I cooking dinner for T.J. because I knew he'd enjoy it after a long overnight shift or was I doing it for the blog post?
(I made the traditional cinnamon sugar filling and left out the nuts. Be sure to really seal your edges so it doesn't all ooze out while baking.)

I'm giving myself some grace and trying again. Tonight I have a slow cooker meal planned- less dishes, a lot smoother. Though last night's meal was pretty convicting, it wasn't all a wash. The food was still delicious, there's plenty of leftovers for lunches this week, and T.J. still fell asleep with his head on my shoulder... while I refreshed my Instagram feed one more time ;) 

7 comments :

  1. You are your mother's daughter : ) New mercies. Every single day!

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  2. I can totally relate!! As a mom of two, almost three kids now, I can attest to nothing ever being done as gracefully as I had pictured it in my head. LOL

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    1. Lol. I can only imagine how much more complicated it gets when you add kids to the mix. Definitely need to just embrace the sweet chaos.

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  3. I'm a Louisiana gal and I've never attempted to make a King Cake so I admire your ambition. I do make gumbo quite often and it's not for the faint of heart either. Hats off to you for all your efforts!

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    1. Thanks for the support! Thought the gumbo was tasty I'm not sure it would pass the taste test of a true Louisianan ;)

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  4. Nothing usually happens the way I think it will, but I'm always just happy I tried. Cute post! Tomorrow is another day :)

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    1. thanks so much! you are right so right! my plans are usually end up being just a loose guideline and they never take into account happy accidents and surprises.

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