Six O’Clock Scramble — first week

The Six O\'Clock Scramble : Quick, Healthy, and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Busy FamiliesIn the spirit of it can be nice to be told what to do, I am taking the four-week challenge with the Six O’Clock Scramble cookbook… to let the author, Aviva Goldfarb, boss me around and help me get dinner on the table for the next few weeks.

Whitney did the newsletter in bits and bobs, but I’m really going for it with the cookbook. The book is organized by season of the year with each season having 13 weeks of different menus. I opened it up, started with Summer Week One, and printed my weekly grocery list from the website.

At first I was a little annoyed to have to go to the website for the grocery list, but then I realized how annoying and awkward it would be to carry the cookbook around the store, and I got over it.

So far, I’m a week and a half into my experiment, and it is going great! The first week, I bit the bullet and took Holden to Berkeley Bowl for a massive shopping trip to get the week’s supplies. I got everything but the fresh fish and chicken (which I sent the baby-free Rookie Dad out for a different day), and it took us just about an hour.

Each week, she lays out five meals allowing for leftovers, take-out, and the unexpected. Instead of following the days in order, I used the week’s meals as a menu of options based on what was going to last in the fridge, my mood, and how much prep time we had. That said, once Alec brought home the fish and chicken, we did the fish ASAP and the chicken the next night.

To be totally honest, half of my tomatoes perished and my basil was a little droopy by Friday… but we had fresh, healthy, original meals every night without much fuss on my part. My only other teeny complaint is that the side dishes sometimes take longer than the main dish so you gotta read all the recipes.

For week two, we’re off to a good start. The whole family hit the Berkeley Bowl together and we’re all stocked up again. The fish and chicken both required marinating so we pushed them off to nights two and three.

… I’ll report back at the end of my experiment!