Cooking,  Culinary History,  Food History,  History

Menu Planning

Now that we are inspired from a month of looking at historic menus and considering all the benefits of using one, let’s try making our own! Use a good pad of paper or notebook, a calendar and a sharp pencil so that you can erase if need be. I know there are a lot of menu planning apps out there for phones, but I like the old fashioned way of writing it down. That way I can see the week spread out before me and visualize each day.

Here are some tricks and tips to consider as you plan your menu!

  • Consider what your family likes. If there are certain meals or foods that everyone loves, try to make those every so often. Food is a real morale booster! 🙂
  • Think about how often you shop. Once a week? Every other day? Every two weeks?
  • If you don’t shop that often, consider stocking up on dry, canned and frozen essentials.
  • If you want to try a new recipe, make sure to include a back up plan or a couple of sides in case it doesn’t go as planned.
  • Consider your week. What days are slow for you? What days are busy and maybe call for pizza?
  • Try planning snacks, beverages and surprise guest treats too. This helps keep you from scrambling around for a nibble and gives you the change to try something a little new.
  • Think about how you can repurpose leftovers. A great challenge is to see if you can use leftovers so creatively that no one knows they are leftovers!
  • Going on vacation? Or have a major life challenge? Now is the time, (while you have the time!), to consider those food needs. How about making some freezer meals?
  • Don’t forget the seasons! Try to make it a point to include seasonal produce in your menus. In Europe, it is common to make the seasonal produce the star of a meal.
  • Make a month or more of menus and put them on rotation. If you know you have the time, make a month’s plan of menus and then rotate the different foods and meals through the next several months.

The best thing you can do is make this a fun experiment to see how it works for you. Consider your needs, your family’s needs and get creative with the process!

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