I’m usually a one man show when it comes to cooking for my family. I’m the shopper, menu planner, cook and even sometimes dishwasher (but I’m working on this one).
My husband leaves too early for us to eat breakfast together and we are all away at lunch, which makes eating dinner together so important.
But as a vegetarian cooking for meatatarians, finding something to eat for dinner can be very challenging. In the early days I would ask everyone what they wanted, like, “hey, what do you guys feel like for dinner?” You can easily see where this strategy went wrong. My son would invariable ask for pizza and my husband would wisecrack with a request for beef bourguignon. In the end, no one was happy.
Ultimately, due to my ongoing frustration, and growing resentment of feeling like a short order cook, I came up with a plan that not only helped smooth over our conflicting appetites, but also helped me plan in advance for meals. We all get to pick a dinner menu one day each week. The benefit is that my family feels like they have some level of control and can enjoy one good meal a week. Also, I am able to make them eat things that they usually would resist, or make them go to restaurants and order things they normally wouldn’t – surprise, our local Korean restaurant makes amazing won ton like soup!
I’m not saying this strategy is perfect. Sometimes we forget to shop for the right food for the request, and sometimes members of my family suffer from chooser fatigue – which is actually fine for me – I’m never at a loss for what I can make for dinner.
Guess what we’re having tonight? My son gets to choose, so he has voted for tacos tonight. What’s your special way to keep the peace during dinner hour?