I love food. Not like a normal “well this is delicious” love, but LOVE love. Like Noah loves Allie in the Notebook love, like “say I’m a bird!” love and “If you’re a bird, I’ll eat that bird” kind of love.

Forty-five minutes into my first date with Eric, he told me “I’m more of an ‘eat to live’ person, not a ‘live to eat’ person.”

Well, I thought. That’s probably it for us then. I was about to excuse myself to the bathroom where I could sneak out the window, but then the waiter stopped by and Eric ordered a whiskey on the rocks, and I thought I’d at least give him another ten minutes.

I’m glad I stayed, and luckily he has so many amazing and endearing qualities that I can look past his lack of culinary appreciation. So here we are nine years later. With four kids. You know who else eats to live and doesn’t live to eat? Kids.

My niece Annie is probably the only person under 8 who appreciates food as much as I do. Unfortunately for me, I don’t live with Annie.

What does this mean? It means that on Monday, my menu board looked like this:

I can say with 200% certainty that this menu won’t change until January.

See every fall I get this burst of inspiration to start cooking healthy meals again. I say ‘again’ because I get that same burst of inspiration at the beginning of summer when I think of all the fresh produce that will be available to me.

Then I remember that my minions don’t eat fresh produce, and that any fresh produce I invite into my home will die of neglect three weeks later . And that I somehow have even less time for cooking in the summer than I do during the school year, and so my kids end up eating nothing but Uncrustables, salami, cheese sticks and whatever they can find under their car seats on the way to the pool.

So then fall comes, and I have more time, and it’s soup and comfort-food season, and I get all inspired again.

But somehow every year I forget that I’m still cooking for my same eat-to-live husband and kids, and that not one of them will join in my appreciation of autumn veggie grain bowls or Kung Pao cauliflower. And as much as I love to hear “I don’t like this it’s gross” before the food even touches the table (from my kids) or “I struggle with the texture” after one bite (from my my husband), I usually end up throwing in the towel by September 15th.

I have very few pictures of my children smiling while eating, but the ones I do have sugar in common.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C

If I had taken a picture of my kids during dinner on Monday when I served them the grain bowls, it would have looked more like this:

Or this.

So here we are. I haven’t changed the menu board for this week because I have a feeling the roasted veggies with green harissa sauce that I’m planning for tonight will go untouched and that by tomorrow I’ll be serving a variety of Cheerios.