1. Don’t plan a menu.
Fly by the seat of your pants, baby! That way, you’ll frequently have no clue what to make for dinner.
2. If you do plan a menu, be sure to ignore any busy days when you plan.
Plan a very complicated meal for the day when you’ll get home at 6:00 pm. You’ll give up on that meal before you even walk in the door.
3. Fill your menu plan with nothing but new recipes.
You’re bound to get weary of slogging through unknown territory (new recipes always take at least twice as long the first time you make them), and even if you don’t, your family will probably get a hankering for something more familiar.
4. Try recipes from anywhere and everywhere!
Don’t used tried and true sources, like Cook’s Illustrated or Better Homes and Gardens…stick with back-of-the-box recipes, obscure diet cookbooks, or recipes from around the internet (don’t bother to read the comments or ratings when you’re choosing those).
That way you’ll end up with untested, unreliable recipes, your meal will be a disaster, and then you’ll be left with no choice but to ring the pizza man.
5. Never follow a recipe carefully.
That way, even if you do happen upon a reliable, tested recipe, you can still be sure it won’t turn out. Leave spices out, substitute ingredients, don’t stress about cooking times. Just do whatever feels right.
6. Always grocery shop without a list.
If you go to the store and randomly throw food into your cart with nary a plan or list, you’ll never have everything you need to make a meal. Hello, takeout!
7. Don’t try to cook anything except super-duper perfectly healthy meals.
Everyone knows that’s not maintainable forever, and besides, even if you can persist, other members of your household will probably commit mutiny and make you order out.
8. Don’t do any dishes all day long.
That way, by the time dinner rolls around, your kitchen will be a disaster and you’ll have no space to cook.
9. Don’t think about dinner in the morning.
5:30 pm is a good time to start. That way you won’t have time to thaw, prep, or simmer anything.
10. Don’t think about the cost. Or do at least justify it six ways to Sunday.
“I had a long day.” or “I’m really tired.” or “We don’t do takeout as much as most people.” or “At least it’s not as expensive as going to a restaurant.” will all do nicely.
What would you add to the list?
I’m sure even the diehard cooks among you must have a tip or two to share.