The most radical shift in my meal planning process happened at a very specific time in my life. I was working as a young winemaker in the beautiful Barossa Valley. It was vintage, the busiest time of the year, so my life pretty much revolved around working and sleeping.
There wasn’t much time for ‘luxuries’ like eating and bathing. So as you can imagine, sitting down to figure out a meal plan and write a shopping list was out of the question.
As luck would have it, my one ‘treat’ was a weekly pilgrimage to the Barossa farmers market. I’d grab a coffee and a bacon & egg roll and then take my time buying my produce for the week.
It was heaven.
Because I didn’t have a plan or a shopping list, I was guided to choose what looked best. Sometimes I’d know exactly what I was going to make with my bounty. But more often than not I wouldn’t. So each night I’d walk into the kitchen, open the fridge and decide what to cook then and there.
Sometimes I’d look up recipes but mostly I’d make it up as I went along. Just trusting my instincts and cooking from the heart.
I should mention that this was completely new territory for me…
Before my Barossa days, I always consulted a recipe. But my limited time circumstances meant I had to try another way.
Mostly the results were delicious, or at least edible. There were the occasional ‘disasters’ which meant, I’d use my backup plan of cheese on toast and take it as a ‘learning experience’. But over time these happened less and less frequently.
These days, I pretty much follow the same approach to meal planning.
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