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Meal Planning with Michael Strausz

Michael Strausz is an associate professor of political science at Texas Christian University. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST.


ZAK: One thing I really miss from pre-COVID days is hosting dinner parties. One day, I hope soon, we're going to get back to that point where we can safely invite people into our house, but until then we can dream about dinner parties and what we want to make, and we can learn how to be most prepared to host dinner parties.

ZAK: Today, cousin Mike, we're going to talk about meal planning, right?

MICHAEL: Yes. Specifically for a big group. So I think the place to start is the people. You need to think about who you have coming over. If they have allergies, if they have strong preferences, if they're not a very adventurous group. This is, it goes back to my years doing high school debate when you'd always think about judge adaptation, you'd want to make an argument that would appeal to the judge that you were debating for. It's like the same kind of thing with food. Yeah. So, audience adaptation. So then, then the second thing you do... try to pick a main dish that's going to appeal to the largest number of your guests as possible. It might not be possible to appeal to everyone. If there's some people, you know that they can't eat it for allergies, then you want to make something really good for them as one of the side dishes. Make a grocery list. And then ideally you want to try to make a plan that's not like, okay, I'm going to make this dish. Then I'm going to make this dish. Then I'm gonna make this dish, but that's allowing you to work on multiple dishes at once. So you want to look at all the steps, then all the different recipes and try to think, okay, while, this is warming up. I'm going to do this. You kind of integrate the steps. And often, you know, when I'm cooking, I'll make a list that will include things like, you know, get the oven heating up, set the table, and then like stir-fry the vegetables. And it incorporates things that I want to do around the house with different steps for the different dishes. So there'll be sort of a master list. And then I just work my way down that list. And as I do, I get the house ready and then I get all the dishes ready.

ZAK: Let me ask you this. After you've put on this beautiful dinner party, do you clean up the night of, or do you wait until the next morning?

MICHAEL: So I would say this is a place where, um, there are some marital differences for me. If I were living alone, I would probably do it all the next morning. But, uh, my spouse, I think, does not like to wake up to a disgusting house. So she likes to at least get a significant amount done the night before. I am Michael Strausz. I'm an associate professor of political science at Texas Christian university. And I'm the cousin to Zachary Rosen.

ZAK: Thank you for listening to the Best Advice Show and Food Friday. If you're enjoying this show, please consider rating and reviewing on Apple podcasts. And if you don't listen on Apple podcasts, no big deal. Maybe you can consider sharing the show with your network. I'd really appreciate it. Talk to you soon.

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