With 5 people in the house, there's almost always someone who is not going to like what is on the table. And it's not the cooking that bothers me, its not knowing what to make and feeling defeated before I start. So with that in mind, I did the following
I made a spreadsheet of the 40 or 50 main and side dishes that our family regularly eats.
I scored on a 0-5 scale (0 being will not eat, 5 being LOVE IT) my own and my kids feelings. The 6 and 9 year old I had tell me their responses. The 3 year old I scored for him as he's just not cognitively there and he hates pretty much everything.
Then I made my husband fill it out.
Then I did 2 score lists... one with the pre-schooler that hates everything and one with just the sane members of the family.
I then ranked and color-coded them (thanks Excel!).
Now I know what 20 meals are likely to be acceptable to most of the family and what our actual favourites are. Apparently, I am the only one in the house who likes squash soup and cabbage rolls.
I ran this by a friend who thought I was insane. I think it's brilliant!
What do you think, hive-mind?
Oh man, this is TOTALLY not the kind of thread I was expecting. Sorry.
But seriously, that might be a *bit* persnickety, but who cares what others say if it gives you good results? I also hate when a family member doesn't like what I make. Usually it's my husband who doesn't like it. But suck it, if you don't like it, you can cook. He still eats it.
I know the things that the other adults like and don't like. If Mom's going to be out one evening, I'll take advantage and make pork or even lamb. If Hubby's gone,w e have salmon and green beans. Dad will eat everything and then lick the plate, so he's easy. If I'm out, Hubby makes greasy spaghetti that upsets my stomach but the others like.
I just "liked" it, something I don't think I've ever done here. He he. I think it's awesome and may have to do it, too.
That is totally rad. I don't do any of the cooking, so I try to eat what's in front of me and like it, and the little man is still in the "crackers and air" phase, but I think my mom would have really benefited from this when I was growing up. Nicely done!
Yeah, I think with 5 people, it's actually pretty awesome. I'd never EVER have the discipline to do it, not to mention lacking the Excel skills, but I think it's a pretty great idea..... some initial effort resulting in long-term ease of meal planning. Tell your friend to suck it! ;)
I have undertaken very involved projects like this, pre-kid. Spouse and I once entered all the books we owned into a database. I wonder what happened to that?
Anyway, spouse and I like variety and new recipes and small one hates everything, so this wouldn't work for us. But if you enjoyed doing it and it makes your life easier, it could be both anal and awesome.
I love spreadsheets and use them for everything. If Excel were a sentient being I'd totally hit it... twice.
I think it is BRILLIANT!
I also like it. I'm planning a bulk cooking weekend soon and I did run the menu past the family. The kid announced "yuck" to a few things and "yum" to more, so that's our moderate version.
But, speaking of anal (which makes me think of Santorum leading in the caucus, but I digress), I interrupted my current project to come over here. I am in the process of inputting my latest grocery receipts into an Access database which helps me track how much I should be pay for what food items or where the best place to shop regularly is.
Um, and then I hope to use that list to determine where to shop for the bulk cooking weekend. So, yeah, I see nothing at all wrong with your spreadsheet.
I'm jealous of your Excel skills! As far as cooking goes, I just make whatever I want to eat and hope for the best. My husband will eat it even if he's not crazy for it, and my child likes very plain food, so we end up making lots of steamed veggies for him as side dishes.
Last night I made sweet potato soup that I will be eating by myself. That's just fine--more for me :-)
That is both anal and awesome. I will be stealing at least part of that idea!
I vote both. I don't have the skills or the patience to do something like that, though. Also, totally not what I thought this thread would be about.
Around here, I mostly do as DLBK and make whatever I or Mr. S wants and then that's dinner. We don't really do meal planning--it is whatever we have in the house and somebody feels like cooking most nights. The kids are both pretty picky, though, so even when we're having curry or something, which we do several nights a week, they'll have plain rice with a bit of whatever I put in the curry (chicken, seafood, etc.) cooked up plain and some sort of fruit or veggie to go with.
Honestly, I feel like they can eat what I cook or not, and if not, then they know where the bread and peanut butter is, but Mr. S freaks out if they don't eat and thinks I should make a separate meal for them, because they won't eat what we're having. I disagree. It is actually one of the few things that we regularly fight about.
Honestly, this took me all of 20 minutes... I strongly encourage people that think it would be helpful to try it... it wasn't hard at all. I'll even send you my file and you can just update your list of meals, people, scores etc.