Monday, February 28, 2011

Hooray times two

The first Hooray:
My monkey socks are finished (ravelled here)! According to my sister, they look reptilian enough that if I sewed buttons for eyes on the toes I would frighten lots of people. Hmmm. Even so, they're warm and comfortable, and I might even get away with wearing them out and about under my jeans this winter! Maybe?
I have now cast on for a pair of fingerless mitts for my Dad's birthday which is in a couple of weeks. I'm optimistic that I might get them finished in time because the pattern is from Joelle Hoverson's More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The first one is two-thirds finished so I'm still hopeful!

The second Hooray:
I'm finally back menu planning again! This is rather exciting because I find that menu planning gives me a sense of slightly more control in the highly chaotic world of parenting young children. It will also hopefully mean a reduction in food waste and less takeaway.

In addition to choosing meals using my normal methods, I've implemented Vic's Random Recipe system*. I have far too many recipe books for my own good, so I'm hoping this strategy might result in some of my neglected books getting some use. So far it's been rather successful, and I've found a couple of things I probably never would have cooked otherwise. To eliminate personal bias, I'm using to randomly choose a shelf, then a book from that shelf, a page from the book and if necessary, a recipe from the page. Though this week's Random recipe was originally Fried Bows, a Spanish sweet biscuit. Rather than serve these for dinner, I used my commonsense and generated another random number for a recipe from the same book. I figure if the recipe or book chosen isn't a dinner type of thing, I can take one step back and try again!?! I might start to experiment with non-main-meal type recipes at some stage, but for now I'm working with a single theme!

Another change to my planning at this point is that I'm not allocating particular meals to particular days. Rather, I'm just selecting 7 (or so) meals to be eaten during the week, so that I've got some flexibility if I don't get to the right shop on a given day for particular ingredients. Right now I need a sense of control without rigidity, so hopefully this strategy will deliver.

This week's menu:
Gnocchi with tomato and pancetta sauce
Zucchini, bacon and onion quiche or frittata
Beef stew (from freezer)
Chinese chicken wings
Red Mullet baked with breadcrumbs and Rancio wine (Random Recipe from 1080 Recipes)
Eggplant Parmagiana
Zucchini pasta

*Vic has also started a Meal Plan Monday Linky thing, so if you're interested in joining in or checking out some other meal plans, visit here.


Sue said...

Sounds like a great idea with the recipe books. I always struggle during the week to think of things to cook up for everyone. Love those socks, and they will be perfect under jeans!@

Tania said...

I couldn't for the life of me think of anything more perfect than snuggly reptile socks under jeans in the middle of winter (ISN'T IT COLD ENOUGH TODAY?).