More Changes at the Cave

I’m kinda anal about having a plan and sticking to it.  I’m trying to relax a bit on that and learn to live more of a “go with the flow” lifestyle.  Chad is leaving in January (if you call going only 50 miles away leaving).  He is going to try to keep working here on weekends so he’ll come home on Friday evening an stay til Sunday but I have a feeling that he’ll soon be putting in a transfer and not coming home every weekend.

Because I enjoy cooking and we enjoy eating, and because eating out just doesn’t work so well for us because (1) I’d prefer to eat at home; (2) We have very few restaurants without driving to Joplin (about 60 miles); (3)  Vince teaching night classes one or two nights per week and goes to the Y after work; (4) I never know when Chad will be home with working and night classes and social activities.  Even if we eat out, I feel like there should be something warm and nutritious here for him to eat so that usually means cooking anyway.  Doesn’t my life sound difficult?  No . . really it isn’t.  I have the easiest life of most anyone I know.  Lucky for us though that I do like to cook or we’d probably not be very happy in this little town.

I’ve been doing the biggest part of my cooking for the week on Sunday or Monday and with this much anticipated empty nest, I’ve decided to try something different.  I started it this week and it still feels odd for me but I’ll try it a couple of months and see how it feels.

I’ve made up a new blog (yes, just a little obsessed with the blogs!).  It’s The Meal Plan.  It will consist of a menu posted weekly and I’m naming the menu by the week number . . kinda like my stash report.  I think it’s easier because week 50 will always be in the middle of winter when I can’t go out and pick fresh tomatoes so and week 26 will be the middle of the summer when light meals are more favorable.  Just helps me keep up with things better to have them numbered and coincide with the calendar.

And there will be a “Put it into Action” post for each week.  I have everything listed for what I need to do for each day.

This is something I’m doing because I need a list for everything and I don’t function without having everthing written out.  I decided to share it with whoever wants to follow along.  This won’t be a pretty, fancy blog . . it’s basically going to be just my list of what we’re having and what I need to do each do.  Obviously, not everyone will like the things I like.  Doubtful many of you northern folks will get real excited about seeing crawfish etouffee on my menu for Friday night! 🙂  Expect to see lots of crockpot and pressure cooker use.  Certainly anything I’m making in the crockpot or pressure cooker can be made without one but I love those two things and can’t imagine cooking without them.  I’m not posting recipes but if I’m fixing something that might require a recipe, I’ll post a link.

Anyway, the new blog is there for anyone who wants to check it out.



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    Oh how I love my pressure cooker—-so quick and easy!!! This looks like a very good plan—-someday I might be this organized in the meal department—we’re to “fly by the seat of our pants” for about 2/3’s of the year——so planning on a daily basis is the only way I can get things to work here.

    About Chad…..will he be reading the new blog??? I’d make sure I planned something that he can’t live without for Friday night—–a little extra incentive for him to come home!!! That’s what I’m going to do with my DD… she will be running away from home next June!!

    Karen L

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    One of the things I did for cooking for the 2 of us was get smaller cassrole dishes… (QVC had a box full several smaller sizes togther)
    So now as I cook things I can make into 2 small cassrole dishes,,
    or 2 dish veggies, divide leftovers after cooking. These dishes micro, bake,frig, freeze, have lids,, I do everything with them! Best thing in my kitchen besides the stove.

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    Wow so organized… I’ve been doing much better the past few months not eating out very often .. I live close to lots and lots of restaurants and fast food, and it had become a very bad habit. So, I’ve been inspired by your cooking reports. My goal for the new year is to actually plan ahead better each meal (with some flexibility to go out when friends call.. hehe). Know what I’m actually going to make so I don’t have to make so many trips to the grocery because I forgot something. 😉


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    Ida says

    > Doubtful many of you northern folks will get real excited about seeing crawfish etouffee on my menu for Friday night! 🙂

    Well, I would get excited. 🙂 I’m allergic to shellfish, and I know not to come to your house for dinner on Friday. 😉

    Seriously, tho ….
    I enjoy cooking. I enjoy the recipes. That’s why I’m as huge as a barn. 😉

    I once bought a “everything you need” cookbook. It had recipes and menus and such. I *hated* it. There were SOOOOOOO many things missing. Like major ingredients for the recipes in the week. I started to edit it, to send it back to the publisher(s), but decided that it wasn’t worth my time and was only making me angry. It still sits on my cookbook shelf as an awful reminder not to buy books from the internet unless you can *really* preview them.

    I used to love Woman’s Day when they had the month of menus in them. The first several years of marriage, that’s what I used to plan menus. If there was something that we didn’t like, or couldn’t eat (like shrimp), I’d substitute something else, but it made life easy. I took it to the grocery store with me, so I knew what I needed. Of course, this was when I was a stay-at-home-mom (nothing wrong with that!), and the only time I got out of the house was to go to the grocery store — so it was an occasion to look like June Cleaver … heels and pearls, makeup, etc. to go to the store. It was my only adult interaction outside of w/ my ex.

    When he complained about it taking too long (shopping once a month is not a 10 minute job), and he couldn’t go out w/ his friends to play volleyball, or such. I switched my shopping to the middle of the night. Thank goodness we lived in a college town so there were 24hour grocers. Of course, the people on register HATED me at 3AM shopping for a month of groceries. They had the ‘easy’ shift … except for the hours. 😉

    THAT marriage lasted 2 years. Our divorce was our second-anniversary present. The only good thing in that marriage was my son. 🙂 [And, that ex is not the ex w/ the cellphone issues … that was DH#2, who lasted for 4 years, but is back in my life as a really dear dear friend. I’m on DH#3 currently — he’s lasted for nearly 11 years now.]

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    Okay, you just *had* to mention étouffée, didn’t you? Do you have a tried and true recipe for that? I love étouffée, even though I’m not from the NO area.

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    Sounds like a great plan, Judy. I’ll be following along as much as I can. While I am willing to eat anything (and it shows) DH and the children are all very picky and don’t like to try new things. But I’m going to watch and try something here and there. If nothing else, I can make crockpot meals and eat them myself while they all eat Peanut Butter and Jelly 🙂