Proving yet again that I am no rookie mom and meal planner, our schedule has gotten significantly busier for the month of October than it was last month — which I basically predicted was going to happen, because hey, it’s the school year and stuff comes up. “Stuff,” to be precise, is a concert week for me in October — a VERY rare occurrence — and L.’s acceptance into a community orchestra program, on top of all his OTHER orchestra programs, which means that Thursday nights are now no longer simply hectic due to P.’s dinner-hour fencing practice. They are INSANE, because L. must be picked up directly after fencing is done and taken to his own evening commitment and picked up to be brought home at what should have been bedtime, but one bends the rules when one’s 13-year-old is asked to help out an orchestra of adults who have a hole at second violin that needs filling.

So now Thursday night dinners are no longer family dinners in really any sense of the word, and more a night where I have to wave the white flag and just rely on skill and luck to get food into everyone. Sometimes P. and I may manage to grab a bite together collapsed on the couches after all the craziness is through for the evening. I’m calling it good enough.

But the rest of the time, yes, we’re going to be eating together, in spite of L.’s Drama club rehearsals and after-school Chamber Music club rehearsals and community Orchestra rehearsals and Youth Orchestra rehearsals and Youth Chamber Music rehearsals and middle school dances and, well life. And P.’s fencing practice and more fencing practice and guitar lessons and playdates. And my own rehearsals, and work, and J.’s work, and so on. In other words, we’re just like you.

The good news of it all is that I have lots of time in waiting areas and bleachers and so forth to write meal plans. (Have I told you yet to always keep a notebook handy so you can write down some dinner ideas while you’re waiting for children to finish their activities? My spiral notebook never leaves my side.) So October’s meals were actually mostly planned months in advance, and I’ve just had to use my “waiting” time to tweak and adjust to the new complications on the calendar.

october 2019 meal plan


Tuesday, 10/1: Turkey Tacos
Wednesday, 10/2: Cornflake-crusted chicken, rice and vegetables
Thursday, 10/3: One-pot farro with tomatoes (Smitten Kitchen), with a side platter of cheese, vegetables, fruits and crackers so everybody can just serve themselves and fill up on whatever
Friday, 10/4: Chicken and broccoli alfredo, salad
Saturday, 10/5: Fresh seafood
Sunday, 10/6: Half-lentil meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables
Monday, 10/7: Broccoli cheese frittata, bread and salad


Tuesday, 10/8: Garlic potato tacos with chorizo
Wednesday, 10/9: Buffalo-style lettuce wraps and sweet potato fries
Thursday, 10/10: DIY Sushi bowls
Friday, 10/11: Snack plate
Saturday, 10/12: Fresh seafood
Sunday, 10/13: Sunday Roast Chicken dinner
Monday, 10/14: Poached eggs with creamy chickpeas (Bon Appetit)


Tuesday, 10/15: Sheet pan chicken nachos
Wednesday, 10/16: Homemade pizzas
Thursday, 10/17: Chicken and lentil soup, corn muffins
Friday, 10/18: Possibly a freezer meal, as I have dress rehearsal
Saturday, 10/19: Fresh seafood
Sunday, 10/20: Cobb casserole and bread
Monday, 10/21: Beans and greens on toast (Epicurious), roasted vegetables


Tuesday, 10/22: Steak fajitas
Wednesday, 10/23: Penne vodka
Thursday, 10/24: Wonton soup and cheater scallion pancakes
Friday, 10/25: Breakfast for dinner
Saturday, 10/26: Fresh seafood
Sunday, 10/27: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad
Monday, 10/28: Spanikopita casserole and vegetables


Tuesday, 10/29: Turkey chili
Wednesday, 10/30: Falafel (Tyler Florence) and pita
Thursday, 10/31: Halloween — probably meatball subs before trick-or-treating, if the boys go out this year