Saturday, July 10, 2010

2-Week Menus Are Back (and the times, they are a'changin')

In a panic regarding how busy I'll be this coming year, I recently ordered some cookbooks that will give me ready-made menus complete with recipes, etc.... They have yet to arrive from amazon and already I regret my decision. I plan to send them back upon arrival. Why? Two reasons:
  1. I know how to menu plan and am just being lazy. I don't need to spend more money.
  2. I never like every meal listed and always change something. Besides, I already have LOTS of recipes that are straightforward and which my family likes ( the many listed here on full tummies...).
What's on my agenda this coming year that's got me so stressed? Two new items, both of which involve school:
  1. I start a library science master's degree program (only 1 class, but still... from where is that time going to come?).
  2. My daughter, barely missing the kindergarten age cutoff, is DYING to "do school" and to learn to read. So we're going to homeschool her: an actual curriculum and a plan for this bright little k4 student. I say "we" but I really mean "I" will be teaching her. Granted, the curriculum is only about 30 minutes a day or so. But still... from where is that little speck of time going to come?
Suffice it to say that I'll be fixin' all my simpler, easier meals this year as we learn how school affects us. One night a week will be picnic fare since I'll be in class (here at the house--it's an online class) and it STARTS at 5:00 p.m. So, we'll be eating sandwiches and chips or something I can hold in one hand while I move the mouse with the other, something the kids can munch on whilst watching TV with Daddy or some such intellectually stimulating endeavor, and something that doesn't involve much prep or cleanup.

I'd say "stay tuned" for more yummy, family-friendly recipes, but we all know what should get the boot when the time crunch hits, right? My blogs. After all, my family is really more important even when I'm feeling some "de-stress" needs.

I will be posting my 2-week menus like I used to. For a recap, my 2-week menus were just that: a 2-week menu that then got repeated the second half of the month. Each month I made up a new one, factoring in seasonal items, upcoming events, and so forth. It helps me shop the sales intelligently, too, since I just buy enough meat for 2 meals' worth and throw it in the freezer. When I make up each month's 2-week menu, I take into account what I already have in the freezer, what meals I can make that I can freeze half of for the repeat meal, and so forth. I usually start composing the menu the week before the month actually starts and sort of tweak it for a few days, noting current sales that I could factor in and things like that. The main dish is the most scripted; sides are usually vague suggestions like "green veggie" or "crudite." This idea originally came from Simple Mom's genius inspiration. I don't keep mine online like she does; my menus are here and in scratch paper form....

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