Monday, August 09, 2010
Jumping into Menu Plan Monday
Menu planning is probably one of the best homemaking ideas that I rarely follow. My life goes so much easier when I plan, yet I hardly ever do it. I guess I somehow enjoy spending most of my day muttering "what am I going to make for dinner" under my breath and badgering my family for ideas that don't include cheese, and include only ingredients I have on hand - as if they would know what those are. But I don't think so.
I have one vivid memory of the value of planning meals. The day my mother died was a day of chaos. Of course. It would have been the day to rely on takeout pizza or send someone to pick up fast food. I could have asked my husband, a competent cook but one out of practice, to put something together. Skipping dinner was an option for me, but not for my little family. My young kids were freaked out enough by the day; they needed something normal to happen.
So when it was dinner time I was able to look at the menu plan on the refrigerator and say "oh, yes, we're making tamale pie." And my good friend, who had so graciously spent the day at my house with my kids, helped me prepare dinner. It was a normal thing to do on a very abnormal day. It helped me to do something mundane. I think it helped my kids too.
Since then I have done menu planning sporadically, and it has always simplified my life. It's not even unpleasant for me to sit at the kitchen table with some cookbooks, my recipe binder, my menu plan sheet, and some newly-sharpened pencils. Actually it's very pleasant to play with my recipes. Maybe doing this Menu Plan Monday will help to get and keep me on track.
Monday 8/9: Pork roast, sweet potato fries, and either green beans with red bell peppers, or collard greens depending on my trip to the produce store. The pork roast is simple - rubbed with garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, vinegar and olive oil, then tossed in the crockpot.
Tuesday 8/10: Macaroni and cheese, carrot sticks with ranch dressing... my girlie is having a sleepover and that is the proper sleepover food, I'm told.
Wednesday 8/11: A garbanzo bean/tomato curry and rice. Maybe some naan if I have energy to make some or find time to buy some. (Whole wheat tortillas are a decent substitute.) Or maybe this recipe for samosas which I snagged from SmallWorld.
Thursday 8/12: Another sleepover but this time with hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, and potato salad. Probably carrot sticks and ranch dressing, too.
Friday 8/13: Pizza or pasta with tomato sauce, salad.
Saturday 8/14: We'll be camping with the Boy Scouts so they'll feed us.
Sunday 8/15: Grilled steak, potatoes, salad or green beans or some other veggie.
A very simple week; lots of easy food as is fitting for summertime and sleepovers. I can't wait for hearty soup and stew weather.
Find more menu plan ideas at I'm An Organizing Junkie. Looks like a good site all around. There are a lot of menu plans up: I am number 205!