What’s for dinner is a daily decision- and thus a daily task to pull ingredients out of the refrigerator and magically present an edible dinner to your family. By far the most time-consuming project in running a family household is the production of three meals a day. How it all comes together, the planning, the shopping, the prep work, the cooking, the meal itself, and then the clean up, is a process.

Perhaps there are reports and papers written on such things but they are not widely circulated. Which is perplexing as a proper diet is instrumental in health outcomes. It also greatly effects the mood within the household- at least ours. Hangry is not to be underestimated.

There are lots of sites and TV shows about making food. Rachel Ray will delight you with all sorts of Italian cooking. The pioneer woman takes you down to the Lone Star State to see what they cook up. If you Google Marry Me Chicken a smattering of choices will populate a collage at the top of the page for you to browse to your satisfaction. (Worth checking out.) But what I lacked for years, until it became second nature, is the business of running the food through the pantry.

Martha Stewart’s magazine Real Simple (it appears to be owned by another organization now) had practical household tips. But a one-off suggestion only goes so far. The whole system of what foods keep in the fridge (cauliflower) needs to be used up quickly (green beans). Knowing meals are basically the products of leftovers (soups). And the timing of everything! No one wants cold french fries or burnt burgers. Knowing some of this translates to savings at the grocery store as you run less for last-minute purchases and store up on things that will keep.

It does seem like many more men are in charge of the food at home now than when I was young. This is a win. The more diversity in people that can share tricks of the trade, the more likely they will be passed more broadly amongst the greater group.