Meal Plan; 25 – 29 July

And then we arrived at the last week of July.

It is unsettling how fast the first seven months of 2022, and thankfully without any new pandemic roaming the world. Granted, we still have COVID floating around, and numbers fluctuate, but all the restrictions are mostly lifted.

Sunday night dinner – excellent

Sure, some asshole in Russia decided to wage war on Ukraine and elevates the tension around WWIII. We apparently need some evil power-world-dominating-psycho to come around ever so often to test the world’s resolve.

In the meantime, people are going about their business and planning summer vacations amid high inflation and petrol (or gas as you call it in the US) prices that significantly hamper families’ ability to make ends needs.

Our family is currently contemplating what to do this summer, which is never easy. It isn’t straightforward because our oldest daughter is heading to college mid-August. Our son attends an extended school year as part of his IEP until mid-August. So, the only possible time we can travel is the last two weeks of August.

And, because of the imminent college start, our family vacation will most likely be a week in Florida or Tennessee – whichever college she decides to join. Either will be a fantastic choice, and we’ll be sad when she moves out to pursue her opportunities.

16 going on 17

A few days ago, our son turned 17 years old. 17!! I cannot believe how fast time has flown by, and I still remember the day he was born. He arrived at a local maternity hospital in the inner-Dublin (Ireland) and was a healthy boy – perhaps a few weeks premature, but in good health with ten fingers and ten toes.

Within a few days, we realized that he was a special little kid and that we were blessed to be his parents. He showed early signs of Down Syndrome, eventually confirmed by the relatively junior doctor doing the rounds.

The “signs” included spider toes, slanted eyes, lower than usual muscle tone, and floppy neck. Of course, any of these signs are present in “normal” kids; I have spider toes, and my wife has slanted eyes, so nothing stood out. But, it is the basic knowledge taught to pediatrics in medical school. Unfortunately, down Syndrome does not get much airtime for our up-and-coming doctors.

We have and are blessed to be his parents, and he brings great joy to our family and the people who know him. He loves his sisters as well as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

He loves to see shows on Broadway and eat good food, so we brought him to NYC to see Phantom of the Opera and had dinner had Carmines. We had a fantastic day celebrating his 17th birthday.

Food He Loves

The theme of the week is based on food that our son loves. We enjoy simple dishes as a family suitable for any meal plan. Plenty of meat, vegetables, and seafood, and packed with flavors.

Preparing meat sauce

Our son has always been a huge fan of pasta dishes, so we are starting with the classic Italian meat sauce, spiced up with a few splashes of red wine.

Other favorites include gumbo and sweet Chinese chicken, served with boiled rice or noodles, excellent as a quick midweek dinner. A proper gumbo takes 1-2 hours to make, but totally worth the wait.

Lastly, we wrap up the week with homemade pizza grilled on the Traeger using my new pizza stone. Nothing beats homemade pizza, especially baked on the grill.

The beauty of all these dinners is that we can combine them with school/camp lunches. And, any left-over meat sauce or gumbo is safely frozen for later use.

MondayEgg salad served on a homemade bunSpaghetti Bolognese
TuesdayCaesar salad with grilled chickenHoney Sesame Chicken with noodles
WednesdaySandwich with tomato, salami, and salamiShrimp, Andouille, and Okra Gumbo with rice
ThursdayNoodles with grilled chickenTraeger grilled pizza – testing the new pizza stone
FridayPizza timeTBD – leaving menu open, but will likely grill something nice

One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!

Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.

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