Emilie and her husband Kaleb are a big part of my family. At times they have been our full-time baby whisperers and as the kids have grown up they now cover overnights and early morning homework sessions. They are part of the community that I depend on to help raise my kids. They are important.
Emilie is newly pregnant and is a self-proclaimed dunce in the kitchen and feeling some kind of pressure to get this food thing tackled. She asked me to teach her. I have taught a lot of cooking classes but once the class is over, I never see those people again. This is different, Emilie isn’t going anywhere and we can work together for the next several weeks to get her started. This is a project for both of us and will be my Christmas gift to her.
The ultimate goals for her are to be able to get a couple good, home cooked meals on the table every week, to save time and money at the grocery store by planning in advance and to learn some basic things about food nutrition. I love teaching this stuff because I love doing it myself and the time I get with someone who I really like will be my motivation. I know I will also learn a thing or two myself.
Most Friday nights, after the kids go to bed I get my notebook out. It is a stupidly simple, spiral bound notebook that holds everything I need for work and home. There is no real definition between those two things for me so combining them is easy. On the left side I plot out the days of the week, any major activities, dinners needed and what I want to make for those dinners. I also start the grocery list. The right side of the notebook is the work stuff. More complicated meals happen at the beginning of the week when I have more energy. By Friday, I am done and we have pizza. I have a bunch of old standards that I cook during the week that I don’t have to think much about. This list evolves throughout the week, gets messy and by the end of the week, virtually unreadable. Usually though, just the act of writing it all down on Friday night is what is most important.