The Lucky Dinner Box

It was just over a year ago when I wrote about how our family had cleverly solved the ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ issue.  Each family member had been given their very own week to control the menu planner. A roster had been drawn up, and a weekly meeting took place on a Saturday to allow for discussion. When it was your week you got to choose what the family would eat. The power was intoxicating for all.

It’s fair to say the weekly rotation did well for about eight or nine months. The first few months were an absolute hit, I never had to ask for the menu plan to be done, it just happened. The little travellers were keen to be in control. And then the schedule became like all schedules: dull, monotonous, and a chore. “It’s your turn to do the menu” someone would whine, “But I only just did it!” someone else would whine back.

Last night, the second little traveller came up with a brilliant plan.

“Mum, where’s the wrapping paper?”

“Umm, in the cupboard by the door. Have I forgotten something?”

“I have an idea” she said with a wink.

Fifteen minutes later she joined G and I outside with a wrapped tissue box with writing all over it. “7 days so many choices!” and “Dinner surprise – who will win!” On the side with highlighter was “the lucky dinner box!” I was itching to write “So many exclamation marks!!! So little space!!!”

Dinner 2

Dinner 1

“We all have to write our favourite ideas for dinner, they then go into the box and on Saturday before we do the shopping we pull out seven choices for the week. Each week a different person gets to choose. You can’t argue about the choice as it’s all lucky dip.”

Over dinner I sat with a pen and paper and wrote down their ideas as they came.

“Soto Ayam – and Henry can’t complain!” said the second little traveller.

“Green Chicken Curry” an obvious and continual request from the fourth.

“Roast Beef” said our carnivorous third child.

“Salmon and Asian Vegetables” G’s favourite.

“Yellow Chickpea Curry” the first kicked off with a vegetarian option before following up with “and Tuna Patties”.

“Tacos” the third needed more meat.

“Chicken Korma and Naan bread” I tried to balance it out.

“Chicken with Rosemary” the one thing we’ll all eat without complaint.

“How do we ever get to have anything new though?” the first traveller asked. An addition was decided, the “surprise” dinner draw where something had to be chosen from a cookbook. I added it to the list. Scissors were collected, and we folded and placed them into the box.

Dinner 3

“Well done Annie” I said to our second “you came up with an idea, implemented it, and got everyone involved. That’s pretty impressive.”

As she wandered off with a smirk I studied the lucky dinner box carefully with one thought on my mind. How long it would take for the first fist fight and a demand for a redraw.

I’ll let you know.

Do you think it’ll work? How do you decide? Is it a democracy or a dictatorship at dinner time in your house?

Want to get your expat life sorted?

At the end of our expat experience we want to arrive home with a juicy bank account and a heart full of fantastic travel memories.

How do you not blow your expat dough?

We're finding the best insurance deals, bank accounts, expat investments, money transfers, travel deals, housing, schooling, and relocation deals.

No kickbacks, affiliations or hidden advertising. Just expats looking for independent expat advice. We won't spam you but we will send you a weekly cheat sheet on what we've learnt that week.

Powered by ConvertKit