I have a confession: last night, we ordered Chinese food.
Doesn't sound like a failure? Well, to me it sort of is, and I should probably explain why. When Shane is gone, I get to eat whatever I feel like. (You know, within my own make-it-yourself, locavore-if-possible personal rules.) Usually, this means sandwiches. (Why heat up the kitchen, since it's summer, just for myself? Why waste the electricity?) Since the food they give Shane at camp isn't the greatest, I feel like he should get to eat whatever he most wants when he's at home. Usually, this means whatever we want to prepare. But he's actually been sort of wishy-washy about what he wants to eat so far. I didn't do a big grocery trip last weekend because, well, I didn't have the energy for it for one thing (damn cough!), but I also didn't know what we'd be making. I prepared one meal for Sunday, when he'd be getting home, but didn't have meal prep beyond that. So last night I got home from work and one of the first things I asked was, "Should we go to the store? What do you want for dinner?" He said, "I honestly don't know." As we sat there trying to think of what we might want to eat, and what wouldn't heat up the house much (it was over 80 degrees--blech!), and what would be easy to prepare, Shane finally suggested, "Why don't we just order Chinese?" And I said yes. I knew that there were all kinds of reasons that I didn't really want to order Chinese, but it wasn't until the food arrived that I thought, "Oh, yeah. All the Styrofoam packaging. And the plastic packets of soy sauce, and the plastic-wrapped cookies. And where on earth are the vegetables?"
I really should have planned better. I should have come up with a backup plan in case Shane didn't have any preferences. I've been making excuses for myself about being exhausted from this cold--which I really have been, and getting myself well is priority number one. (I can't do anything else if I'm ill!) But I know that I could have done better.
This morning we ran out of bread, so I'm going to make more tonight. As of this morning, it wasn't quite as hot as yesterday so hopefully it won't be ridiculous to heat up the oven and the house. In fact, if we get some rain I'll probably take the opportunity to make this a baking night and get some other things done (scones!) so that I have backups in the freezer and I don't have to bake later on other hot days.
I'll need to pull out my big book of recipes again and try to figure out which meals are great for summer. We should eat some grilled salmon sometime this week, but what else? I hate having more than one meal in a week that's ruled by the Meat portion. What else could we grill that's perhaps more veggie-centric? After I make bread tonight, we'll probably make some of our favorite sandwiches and use a bit of my homegrown basil.
One of the biggest keys to getting more sustainable is having a plan, I've found. I really feel the lack when we don't have one. Which isn't to say that I plan everything out, or that everything goes according to plan. (Just look at my gardening--that never goes according to plan!) When I make a "meal plan" for the week, I don't plan out which nights we're going to make what because I don't know which days are going to be too hot to cook/bake, or if something unexpected will crop up. But it is nice to have that plan so that I know what ingredients there are on hand, to know what I can make without a trip to the store.