My best friend’s family has a long held and adorable tradition of having Monday night pizzas. No matter what was going on (who was in trouble or what was going awry) on Monday nights the families (two brothers, the wives and kids) would come together to share a meal. As life would have it, sometimes the cast of characters changed but the tradition remained.
I have heard of many incarnations of this philosophy, Sunday dinner being the most common, followed by Taco Tuesday. I love the idea of doing a meal on repeat, but even more than that I love the thought that there is always something to look forward to each week. If pressed, my kids would probably tell you that I too have a tradition, I am pretty sure no one else does this yet, but I will share…around the third Thursday in November, I make a turkey. You can totally try it too, I call it “Thanksgiving” and I serve home-style sides like stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce (it has to be jellied Ocean Spray from the can). I also have a long standing tradition of plating a meal (it changes daily) around evening time and calling it dinner. Again, you are welcome to swipe this from me. All joking aside, it can be hard to keep a consistent themed meal with my husband’s schedule (even my November turkey dinners have had to be rescheduled to a Wednesday or Friday due to shift work).
That doesn’t stop me from trying. When we first moved in together, my guy was a trooper (and smart one at that). No matter what failure I presented him with (and there were plenty) he would at the very least eat it. There have been plenty of missed marks, but I felt encouraged to keep trying (and occasionally followed a recipe). Years have passed and I have more than a few solid choices when it comes to dinnertime now.
We are trying new things lately, using cooking methods we hadn’t before and employing a variety of seasonings to achieve what came so easily when I fell back on over salting dishes and calling them successful. Slowly but surely it is becoming a habit to skip steps that would boost flavor but add unwanted calories or sodium to our meals. In that I have stumbled upon a new tradition. Planning, prepping, shopping, cooking and cleaning is nowhere near as fun and easy as running to get Chinese take-out (my old familiar fall back), but other things have taken it’s place. Curious kids come and join me in the kitchen while I chop and stir, helping out almost daily. Veggies that were often flavorless and overlooked are now being incorporated without threat (or eye glare). We are coming along and getting closer in the process, first bonding over our misery, now thinking up new things to try together. And that is a tradition worth keeping indefinitely.