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Menu Planning Ceremony


I always like to sit at the table with a nice cup of tea when writing my menu plan, my controversial choice is milk in first, yes I am very common. When I first started making tea in a pot with leaves I asked those who would know Fortnum and Mason how to make the perfect cup of tea (the only other reference I had was the George Orwell essay) they said milk in first is fine, so that's good enough for me. 

While the water is heating up for the tea I clear and clean the dining table, collect together any books or magazines, and dig out my blue book and find a pen, usually to be found in the junk drawer. Once the tea is poured I'm all ready to write, this month I chose my four favourite books, the recipes just jump out at me as I nosey through. 



I make a note of anything we're doing that month, so I know when we're out, when I need to make something to take with us - usually when we're at the football, when/if Dan's away, and when I need something quick and easy. I have also got into the good habit of scribbling down which recipe comes from which book so I don't have to search when the time comes.

The plan is written with leftovers in mind, so if we're having tofu one night, there will be a plan to have it again within a day or two, if I'm roasting veg or opening a tin of something the rest will be used in good time, so the plan isn't as wasteful as it may appear. And of course if I change my mind then that's fine, as long as there's no waste it doesn't matter. The plan is a guide, not something set in stone, I can either follow it or react against it depending on how the day goes, it's all better than staring at the pantry when it's time to cook with no inspiration - I take my hat of to those who can do that, but it's not a skill I possess. 




Finally I write the plan onto the calendar. The calendar is on the kitchen side of the fridge so I can see it at a glance and everything should be plain sailing.  

Comments

  1. Something I need to do more often, saves overspending at the supermarket.

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    1. It does, I find the big supermarkets a little overwhelming, so a list really helps to focus the mind.

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  2. What a creative way to think about menu planning-like an event. I am getting back in the habit of planning meals though sticking to a menu hasn't worked that well but the meal list does help so much. I like your tea set!

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    1. Thanks. The tea set was from the charity shop, it was brand new too, I think it was probably an unwanted Christmas gift.

      Making an effort with the menu planning process helps me a lot. As I've said many times before I'm not a keen cook, although I'm not too bad at it, so getting into my head that it's important, by acting like it's important helps me get into cooking mode.

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  3. I admire you menu planning I am a little haphazard in that area.

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    1. Thank you, it really helps me to stay organised.

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  4. I do love it when I have chance to menu plan. It makes life so much easier. You are very organised. I was always led to believe milk went in first to stop the hot water from cracking a delicate china cup. Then again I am a teabag and a mug person, sorry. 😀 X

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    1. It does make things easier.

      You're right about the cup, according to the F&M article cheaper cups were more likely to crack, so adding the milk first helped to keep things intact.

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  5. I don't know any of those cookbooks - I'll have to see if the library has them! PS - your handwriting is very distinctive (and legible!)

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    1. I hope you can get hold of the books, many Aine Carlin recipes are available on her blog www.peasoupeats.com, recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz can be found at www.theppk.com and some of the River Cottage recipes can be seen at www.rivercottage.net. I've not seen many of the Vegan Street Food recipes online but they're probably somewhere to be found.

      I dread to think what a handwriting expert would read into my style!

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  6. I am in awe of your menu planning! Wish I were more organised! More often than not, we eat courgettes, tomatoes, something green with some protein on the side!
    Your tea pot is really nice!
    I am common too- milk first is MUCH better. You don't have to stir, it tastes different too!

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    1. Thanks Kezzie. I like your meal formula, I think mine is basically the same, but with titles.

      We changed the life of one of our friends when we gave her MiF tea, she likes her tea strong, but milky so MiF is ideal.

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