Seriously, I hate not having an answer to that question !
It is of utmost importance to me & to the wellbeing of those in close proximity to me, that food is available when I want to eat. And not just any old thing either. It's got to be what I want, when I want it.
So, to make it easy on everyone, I plan food.
I wake up thinking about food, spend all day excited about what food I'm going to eat that day & I go to sleep thinking about food.
I never tire of talking about food.
I love food.
I have a great kitchen.
& I love to cook.
Still, sometimes it is a struggle to work out what's for dinner.
I don't have many cookbooks as books are very expensive to buy in NZ.
I can't be bothered wading through all the pseudo scientific crap & un-real photos of the latest fad foods or super foods on the internet so I don't follow food blogs & I'm not a magazine reader.
But, did you know that an annual subscription to a food magazine is only about $40?
I currently subscribe to 2 magazines, both come out bi monthly but in alternating months, which means I get one magazine each month …does that make sense?!?
I love it when they arrive & immediately start tagging recipes I'd like to try.
Even in the issues which at first glance contain absolutely nothing I would want to cook, after a couple of weeks or so I take another look & lo & behold I find something I have overlooked or something which suddenly seems appealing.
I also keep past issues & often refer back to them & the few cookbooks I do have.
Once or twice a week I write a list of things I feel like eating or cooking.
Label me a nerdy geek but here it is; in a journal which stays in the kitchen I write a list of recipes & beside each recipe I write the book or magazine issue & page number they come from.
This makes life very easy both on an everyday basis but also on those occasions when I'm trying to find something months or even years later.
I like cooking from recipes.
I like following recipes. I like the excitement of the new. I like analysing methodology. I like seeing how things turn out. Will it taste as good as I envision ? blah blah blah blah blah BUT . . .
The REAL reason I do all this planning & follow recipes is so that I don't have to think.
All the thinking has already been done for me.
I just have to make sure I have the ingredients & if not, write a list & go shopping.
I must say, routinely I completely dismiss recipes which contain ingredients I know I can't buy locally, don't like, or are out of season.
I don't buy 'fresh fruit & veges' which have travelled from further away than our south pacific cousins.
I cook every couple of days & in quantities that will feed us for at least 2 meals.
When I follow a recipe the whole process is completely painless & the 'what shall we have for dinner' question goes away.
'We live busy lives' is such a cliche, and it's only partially true.
We live full lives. We deserve to eat well. We deserve full bellies.
How wonderful is it to get to the end of the day, sit down at the table with a plate full of promise, stuff that first fork full of deliciousness into your mouth, chew a little, emit a visceral moan & with a mouthful of food, exclaim OMG this is divine !