25 October 2011

Adaptable meal planning to include a birthday

It's son & heir's 13th birthday on Halloween - the 31st October.  Yes, he's a Halloween baby - and we brought him home from the hospital on Guy Fawkes' Night.  There's two dates I'll never forget!

As a consequence, this week's meal planning is going to have to be adaptable in the extreme owing to the rate at which our plans have changed.  So far, I think we're onto Plan E or F - all of which might change, depending on when his friends are available.

However, we have a plan at the moment - and I'm hoping it'll hold!

Here's how it's looking :

Tues : Posh Porks, carrots, tenderstem broccoli & white rice
Weds : Leek & Bacon Bake, celeriac mash, carrots & peas
Thurs : Minced Beef & Onion Pie, carrots, swede & green beans
Fri : Chicken & Cheesy Dumpling casserole
Sat : Toad in the hole, chips & baked beans
Sun : Roast Chicken, chipolatas, roast potatoes & parsnips, carrots, broccoli,
Sage & Onion Stuffing, bread sauce & Yorkshire puddings
Mon : Coronation Chicken Wraps with chips.

Tonight's Posh Porks (which you may recall was scheduled for last week, but never made it) may very well be under threat already, as we forgot to take the pork out of the freezer this morning.  So we may opt for Fish & Chips tonight and move it on to tomorrow.  However, all that is actually okay as it is good to have a dinner "in hand" so to speak (and a relatively easy dinner too) just in case plans change.

However, let's assume that plans don't change, the pork defrosts in time and the plan continues, with Wednesday offering a reprise of another dish I first cooked before I was writing Rhubarb & Ginger.  It involves cutting the leeks into little logs and laying them into a baking dish.  Add bacon, creme fraiche, breadcrumbs and cheese and bake.  I can remember that we all very much enjoyed this the last time around, so see no reason why it shouldn't go down well again.

I was planning on using up the other half of the celeriac (a good source of Vit. K) with some mashing potatoes for celeriac mash and pairing it with some carrots (for Vit. A and beta-carotene) and peas (Vit. C).  Simple, but very nice with it - and has the added benefit of getting lots of lovely vegetables into a reluctant teenager.  If only he knew how good for him all these lovely vegetables were - and began to look at them in a different light - it would make my meal planning a whole different affair!

Artist's impression : Beef & Onion Pie
Thursday brings a new venture for hubby.  He's going to have a go at making rough puff pastry - and converting it into a Minced Beef & Onion Pie.  He's never made a pie from scratch before, so we'll both be interested in the results!  We're pairing his pie with the ever-popular carrot, some swede and green beans.  Goodness, but the boys won't be getting scurvy this week!

Friday's casserole is a recipe I discovered when I was learning more about the lovely Tenderstem Broccoli and was browsing the website dedicated to it.   You can find the original recipe here - and plenty more!

I like the sound of the casserole part with its chicken, shallots, bacon & carrots.  The boys like the sound of the herby cheddar dumplings.  We all love Tenderstem Broccoli, so sounds like a deal, to me!
My last effort - let's hope it's better than this!
Now we're getting into delicate territory from the Plan's point of view, come Saturday.  Son & heir plus a pal, are supposed to be spending the day at a local tourist attraction.  Because of his new-found age and responsibility (yes, I am crossing my fingers as I say that) he's going to be allowed to go without parental accompaniment.  Needless to say, we'll be on the end of the telephone ready to bail him out should anything untoward occur, so of necessity, Saturday's dinner needs to be simple.

So maybe hubby's first go at making Toad in the Hole isn't such a great idea for that night?  *chuckle*  Pray for calm seas and a following wind - we'll get through it somehow.

Sunday is demonstrating all the tell-tale signs of a day in which the parents of the birthday boy are going to be needing to de-stress.  Probably in an armchair with regular applications of coffee, tea and as we go through to the evening, a light alcoholic beverage.  So I'm gong to be making a no-holds-barred, full blown, going for it kind of roast dinner.  I must need my head examining, but I'm told that the key to successful production is in the preparation, so I'll be doing all I can before kick-off is announced.

At last, on Monday (and the day upon which poor old birthday boy has to return to school) the long-awaited birthday will dawn.  He's already said that he doesn't want to receive any birthday presents until he returns home from school, but we'll see how long that resolve lasts!

I did ask him what he wanted for dinner on his birthday and didn't get much response.  As a result, we're having my interpretation of his favourite dinner of the moment - Coronation Chicken Wraps.   I know, in the past, he's said that he could eat these until he was sick - and we'll prevent him from getting that far - but hopefully, they'll be well received.  Add to that a huge slice of chocolate birthday cake (ssssshhhh! Don't tell!) and - fingers crossed - we're sorted for the week.

Oh!  One quick note before I go - last night's Full English Breakfast (eaten at dinnertime) was divine.  Top marks to hubby for a superb dinner - and yes, I did make it through the lot.  Just.



  1. Oh you have made me hungry and I have just eaten lunch Your photos are brilliant

  2. Rhona, oops! Sorry about that - but don't you find that descriptions and photographs of yummy food will do that to you? I know it does it to me, too!

    Many thanks for your kind words regarding the photographs. I have told hubby - whose work 90% of them are - and he would like to thank you too. :) It's nice to have your efforts be recognised!

  3. What a lovely selection of Real Man Food!

  4. LOL Suzy! :) I'm afraid the week didn't work out at all in the way I thought it would, and planned for, but we got to the end of it all in one piece so can't complain! :)


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