Mama Madison: Resolution for 2013: Good food

No more panicked scrounging of the pantry

At first I thought I'd go the intellectual advancement route. A New Year's resolution to read more novels -- and fewer Facebook posts--these next twelve months felt deliciously high-minded. Then, I briefly dallied with the idea of upping my consumption of fruits and vegetables in ways that didn't include wine or zucchini bread. And I've never really had a tangible physical fitness goal before. Could 2013 be the year I finally learned to do a proper military style push-up?

But traditional New Year's self-improvement plans have just never worked for me. Sure, I like the idea of being a more "well rounded" (or maybe "less rounded," depending on the resolution) person in theory. But when it comes right down to it, I've learned I need to be held accountable to other folks, not just to myself, if I really intend to stick to anything for 24 hours, much less 365 days.

I needed to keep thinking.

Then, on day six of attempting to stretch holiday leftovers much further than food safety experts allow, it came to me. Perhaps my New Year's resolution for 2013 should be to address the all-important parenting question that plagues me each and every day.

Sometimes the kids will ask about it first thing in the morning, before they've even finished their breakfast. Sometimes they'll wait to harass me with it until after school. But they've learned perfectly well that nine times out of ten, even if they ask me, "Mom, what's for dinner?" at 5 p.m., I still won't have an answer.

As far as maternal responsibilities go, mapping out and shopping for a week's worth of dinners is my unquestionable Achilles heel. I'm often scrambling around at 6 p.m. trying to fashion an acceptable meal from ketchup, English muffins and raisins -- the only things I can find in the pantry. Or dashing out the door to the neighborhood store, hoping to find inspiration in the canned food aisle. Sure, breakfast for dinner is always a terrific option. But not when it means Mini-Wheats for the third night in a row.

But this year, things are going to be different. I've known for years that there are whole websites dedicated to helping people like me conquer the "dinner dilemma." I hearby resolve to consult them. And I'll happily take suggestions from others (hint, hint) on easy recipes that even the kitchen phobic can confidently handle. I will make a shopping list every Sunday afternoon. And I will go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients on said list every Monday morning.

I've told my family about my resolution and they'll attempt to hold me to it. They are actually kind of excited to see what I may be able to do from a culinary perspective with a little advance planning.

My daughter even fashioned her own New Year's resolution around mine. She has promised to take at least one bite of every dinner I make. Pretty bold for a girl that essentially lives on buttered noodles, Caesar salad and Cheerios.

So wish me luck. And please send me meal ideas. My success is dependent upon your support. And I'll accept your judgment, too, if I try, once again, to convince the kids that ketchup and raisin sandwiches are a delicacy in some foreign countries.

Last edited on 2013-01-03 12:40:06

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