Friday, January 16, 2009
Posted by Leila
It really took me a while to realize that I needed to write down actual menus when planning meals for the week. For a long time I'd just jot down, "pork chops" and then stand in the produce aisle getting all wound up inside my own head, probably thanks to dear Julia.
Have I shown you a copy of my "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by the way?
Sometimes you just need to write down "broccoli" so that you can move on with your life as lived in the grocery store. Sometimes you are in such a broccoli rut that you need to write down "salad with pear, blue cheese, and pecans" or even "chou fleur blanchi" so that your poor family can move on with their life at the dinner table.
I once read that most American women buy chicken breasts, broccoli, lettuce, and yogurt. And that's it. Granted, that was single women. Does frozen pizza count as variety if you have a family? M-no.
Anyway, on the sidebar you will find Worksheet III on actually making the week's menus, and maybe you will be all like, "I get it already." But maybe it will help you to see that I really mean "menu" by "menu".
I will, however, be flexible on the issue of a week vs. a month. When I had all my family about me, I did a month. It was more cost effective to put in the work (not that it's work! It's fun!). Now a week is fine. Even four days is better than nothing.
By now we have learned about ourselves that we can't look at a package of chicken thighs in the grocery store and somehow know what to do with them and what to serve them with -- not while quelling two toddlers and figuring out unit prices of boneless vs. boned, we can't. The grocery store is not where we magically become inspired.
My Worksheet III starts you off with Monday. Of course today is Friday, so you could start with today. Or you could aim to start next week. But just remember, you are not on your own. You have your trusty menu list -- use it!
Don't make yourself think up things all the time! Consider them all ready thought up. When summer comes we will add to the list with all the great grilled foods, salads, and cold suppers we will suddenly think of. Ah, summer....
Next, how to make a grocery list the frugal way.