Some of my overflow. I love bread flour for pizza crust. Not oranges, though. That would be weird.
Today is the last prep day before we begin setting up your meal planning system. Until now, we have been preparing your kitchen (and possibly your heart) for implementation. If this process were a painting, we would be finishing the canvas-stretching and gesso portion of the work. Tomorrow, we start the brush strokes.
This blog series will run 31 days, but keep in mind that the time needed to complete the process varies greatly from person to person, and most of that variation depends on these first few preparation steps. If you were able to map out several weeks of meals with the ingredients you already have, then it will delay the time when you will need to make your first grocery trip. You will still be able to plan your system this month, but implementation will take a little longer. So don’t worry if you see that happening. That’s part of why it was easy to expand this series into a book – not everyone starts at the same place, and that changes the timing of the process a little. Well, that and I think you’re really going to want my slow cooked tomato sauce recipe.
This first trip to the grocery store will happen toward the end of the meals you have planned for your snowed-in period, whether that’s two days or two weeks. This is the trip where you take the list designed to help you use up random strange ingredients and buy as close to the amounts needed as possible.
In talking to people about this project, I discovered three main groups of grocery shoppers – those who stick to their lists, those who use the list more as suggestions rather than rules, and those who shop without any list at all. Obviously for this step you don’t need to fall in that third category (and frankly, if meal planning is something that interests you, you probably don’t fall in that category anyway). But I want to address those who tend to fall in the middle category. I consider myself to be one of you. I have a list for things I absolutely must get, but I budget for more, knowing that I will run into something extra that I want (usually of the cheese or bread variety, both of which always find a home in my kitchen).
For this particular step, however, it is vital that you stick exactly to your list. The whole purpose of this trip to the store is to help you prepare for the next step, and extra bread doesn’t help you (scandalous statement – I know). Extra anything doesn’t help you. Resist! There will be room for extra bread soon enough.
Tomorrow we will start building your fridge, pantry, and calendar to make them work better for you.