According to a newspaper article a group of scientist is stirring, mixing and measuring to build a menu for a planned trip to Mars in the 2030s. The menu must sustain a group of 6 to 8 astronauts and keep them healthy. I can’t even begin to imagine shopping for a three-year supply of groceries and planning the meals.

I find it hard enough to plan a weekly menu for my family. Even though I find writing a weekly menu does cut down on midweek trips to the grocery store and spontaneous spending, that’s not why I do it. I do it because of my husband. When we got married the first meal I made for my husband was lamb chops (it was the only thing I knew how to make.) The second meal I made for him was leftover lamb chops. He finished sucking on his bone and informed me he did not like leftovers. I found this surprising since his mother would cook a weeks worth of meals on a Saturday and serve leftovers during the week. I loved going into the refrigerator and seeing all the tin foil. Sometimes I wore sunglasses as it hurt my eyes.

Now he tells me he’s sick and tired of leftovers as he’s had them his whole life? Now? Why didn’t he tell me before we got married? Why didn’t he give full disclosure? This meant two things: 1) I had to learn to cook and 2) I had to plan what I would cook – the birth of the weekly menu. Lucky for me my father-in-law was a butcher and we got our meat from him. I’m sure he must have wondered how just two people could eat so much meat, but I never told him why. Lamb chops were still on the menu, but only once a week.

The other night at my daughter’s house for dinner I noticed she’s carrying on the tradition as she had a magnetic monthly menu calendar on her wall. I give the kid credit. To plan a monthly menu is no small feat. When I spotted grandma’s meatballs listed I thought that a sprinkle of Grandma and meatballs make for a nice Sunday meal.

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