4 April 2011

From Mothers' Day to school Easter holidays - the menu plan.

My card from son & heir
Well.  Last week proved one point, if nothing else.  The point that, if your plans change, the menu plan is capable of being changed - so long as you have a little warning and a couple of pounds in your pocket in order to pay for said change.

So what brought about this change of plan?  Mother's day.  I'd completely forgotten about it when I set last week's menu plan, but as it approached, hubby began to think that perhaps it was a bit much to ask me to do the cooking on what was supposed to be my "day off".  (In truth, every day is my "day off" thanks to the Polymyalgia Rheumatica, but it's nice to be spoiled and made to feel special).

Ultimately, we abandoned the pot roast chicken with gnocchi & tenderstem broccoli that should have happened on Sunday - and went for a chinese takeaway from No.1 Wok instead.  Oh my goodness but it was gorgeous!  We had the works - chicken chow mein, nasi goreng (they do Singaporean dishes too), special fried rice, chinese chicken curry, crispy shredded chilli beef, mixed seafood and sweet & sour king prawnsSuch a feast!

Having abandoned the chicken, that meant that the carrot fritters had to go too, as we didn't have any chicken to go with them.  I debated doing sausages with carrot fritters, but I liked the sound of the chicken - and a plan was forming in my head whereby I just moved them on to this week!  I had opted for sausages on Monday because we'd been given three sausages free from the butcher (because they'd split their jackets) and so it wouldn't cost very much to buy enough for everyone.  We just couldn't think of anything easy to go with them.  Of course, there are thousands of things we could have gone for - but it was late at night and my brain wasn't working (at all).  Somehow, don't ask me how, we wound up opting for savoury rice.  ~gallic shrug~  I can't help but think we're going to regret that, but previously, I would regularly eat savoury rice when I had my horses - it was one of my staple meals - so I'm hoping that distance hasn't blurred my view and we enjoy it.  Fingers crossed.

Now then, what's for dinner for the rest of the week?

Jamie Oliver's version of pork & rhubarb
Well beginning with Tuesday, I'm going to make the most of those pork steaks and buy some more.  These are going to get some chinese-style treatment, originally they were going to be braised with chinese five spice, star anise and plums.  However, looking at the enormity of Ruby (our rhubarb), I've been pondering the prospect of using rhubarb instead.  I wouldn't mind betting that chinese spicing would work really well with rhubarb - and I'm quite sure its astringency would suit fatty pork.  I guess you'll just have to wait and see whether a recipe turns up being blogged - which is always an indication of a successful meal.

Wednesday greets the return of the pot-roasted chicken with gnocchi and tenderstem broccoli.  I'm determined to do that recipe, because it sounded so nice!

Thursday is a work day and the cold chicken, carrot & feta fritters with salad are back.  You just can't keep a good recipe down.

Friday, contrary to my piece where I said goodbye to things like chilli con carne and thanks to a special request from son & heir, we'll be having chilli con carne made with beef shin & served with sour cream.

Every week I ask our son whether he has any requests for the menu list for the week and every week he says "pizza".  I guess when he comes up with something other than pizza, I should honour it!  Oh, and quite apart from anything else, he begins his Easter holidays on Friday, so it'll make it a bit special to have his choice of meal on that day too.  I do try!

Saturday is hubby's day to cook again - and this week he's promising us some Creamy Salmon Pasta with fennel.  It sounds glorious, but he's keeping the actual recipe under wraps, so I can't give you more of an idea of it than that, I'm afraid.

Sunday's recipe is the one I'm really looking forward to making.  It has been inspired by this post from my friend Viv.  We're having Steak & Kidney Pie - and it'll be a "top only" pie, with a top crust made with suet.  Not the most low-calorie of meals, but hey - it's Sunday!  I'll be using the lower fat vegetable suet, which will help, honest!  I'll also be using brisket of beef and the butcher's fresh lamb's kidneys and it should be something special.  Should be.  We'll be having good old carrots, parsnips and some broccoli - which will be sure to make up for the suet.  Um. Yeah, right.

It suddenly occurred to me that we haven't had a curry in ages - far too long, in fact.  So the last recipe of this week shall be a prawn curry.  It'll be useful in that it can mop up whatever bits of vegetables are left, the prawns will be fine in the freezer until required and it doesn't take much making.  Great, for a work day!



  1. Great menu Jenny.....!
    Good old son and heir....Pizza...Can't beat it.
    Wish l'd had a pound for every one l've eaten, or made for that matter....mmmmM!
    And, a lovely card too.
    Bit of idle nonsense....Besides Mothers day yesterday, it was also....wait for this.....
    National Pillow Fighting Day....!
    well, that's what the idiots on BBC Breakfast came up with.
    And, off to have a curry.....! :)
    First out the pot from yesterday.....Phew!!!!!

  2. When we lived in Kent and money was so very tight, I developed a fine line in pizzas involving leftovers from other dishes. They were made completely from scratch - even down to the bread base. Just lately, son & heir has been asking for pizzas "like we used to have when you made them". So it just goes to show, good home made will always score over shop bought, any day. :)

  3. I've given up meal planning - last month sat down and did the whole of March and April but everything has changed already!

    I do like the sound of your carrot fritters, hope you get to make them afterall!

  4. Yes, I think that would happen to me too if I were to try to plan so far ahead. I can really only work a week in advance and, as you see, it still gets changed from time to time. However, at least with menu planning a week at a time, you've got the flexibility to just move some recipes on to the following week. :)

    Yes, I like the idea of the carrot fritters too. I'm crossing my fingers that they don't get bumped again!


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