The Art of Weekly Menus
From cruise ships to school cafeterias, many are the institutions organizing their weekly menus. Our family, as well. The two of us sit and spend maybe ten minutes, once a week, figuring out and writing down what we will be eating. It saves time and never leaves us hanging with nothing to eat.
Considering that so much of the world is fortunate to have even one meal a day, we understand what a blessing it is to have this weekly routine. The menu directs the grocery shopping and keeps us focused with a family of six. From risotto and ravioli, to pelemeni and piroshki, our culinary choices tend toward the international.
We also tend toward the simple on our busy schedule: shepherd’s pie, a stuffed and baked chicken, a pot of homemade vegetable soup or chili. Yes, it requires some prep work on our part, but I often use meal time as the family chats around the table to be on the other side of an expansive kitchen, whipping up the beginnings of our next meal. There are big salads, fish and chips, baked pasta and eggplant, whole wheat and cheese sandwiches made in a press. Benedetto and I long for Indian curries and dal, unfortunately, the kids’ palates just aren’t there, yet.
They may suffer from international overload, knowing us.
So it’s back to chicken-and-veggie shish kebob, tuna fish or fried egg sandwiches, lime barbecue chicken wings, hummus and felafel. Vegetables from corn, to green beans, brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peas, salad or something accompany every meal outside of breakfast when there’s the occasional fruit.
My husband loves breakfast at any hour of the day, so we factor in omelettes and French toast, yogurt, bagels, waffles, maybe a pancake or blintze and the no-nutritional-value breakfast muffins fresh from the oven, our kids’ favorite.
Hey, it’s better than pop tarts, which I have been known to buy the kids for one snack when we’re on vacation, lol. I figure it’s an American cultural experience they need for when their friends talk about these things. I make sure that we buy the blueberry variety, rather than the chocolate chip, as though that helps with the sugary carb frosting….
I have friends with personal cooks or chefs who do the same thing, planning their meals. Same with heads of state, heads of industry, heads of companies. We do it as heads of the household, minus the chef. It may sound complex, yet it makes life so much easier with a large family where you can’t very well enjoy entire spontaneity.
But enjoy a good meal, we can, one that’s planned with love and anticipation of fragrant aromas wafting from the kitchen, beckoning the family to gather and give thanks.
——————Tags: be your own personal chef, family menus, meal planning for families, menus for breakfast/lunch/dinner, nothing to eat?, planning family meals, planning nutritious meals