As much as we love to envision our grandmothers in the kitchen peeling, chopping and baking every little thing from scratch, in reality, they often worked long, hard hours just like us. Most of the time, they worked even longer hours than we do. They had just as much stress worrying about their children, money (jobs were very hard to come by at times) and how to make ends meet. In some ways, they were so much wiser then us. We really need to learn from them and try to put into practice their ideas in our own homes.
One of the things our grandmothers did was keep their menus and lives simple. One way they did that was planning a regular routine. For example, they would have roast on Sunday, pork chops on Monday, stew on Tuesday, chicken on Wednesday and so on and they did this every week.
If you are having a hard time planning menus and cooking meals, you might try this method for a while. Don’t worry about your family getting bored because, as I have said before, most families like having the same 10 meals over and over.
This doesn’t mean you have to have the exact same menus each time. For example, Wednesday’s chicken could be roasted one week, chicken and dumplings another week, chicken soup, chicken sandwiches and so on. The key is that because you know what the main meat dish is, you are halfway there.
Kids like routine and often there is a feeling of security and comfort in doing the same things over and over. How often do you hear someone fondly recall how, “Every Sunday my grandma had roast, potatoes and carrots” or “Thursday was always meatloaf night.”
You don’t have to do this forever but it can help jump start you and get you into the habit of making meals at home.
Another thing that might help is to run your kitchen like a restaurant. The most successful restaurants have only a few items on the menu and serve very good tasting food with the minimum amount of expense and work for them. Think about that and then apply it to your home. In some ways we need to run our home more like a business, a business founded and based on love, comfort and security.
Cheesy French Dip Sandwiches*
Chips or French fries
Raspberry Lemonade Pie*
Cheesy French Dip Sandwiches
Roast, slow cooked
Grated cheddar cheese
Make some garlic butter either by sauteing a little garlic in some butter or sprinkling some garlic powder (to taste) into some soft butter. Spread each side of the bun with the butter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. Lay thin slices of roast on one bun and top with the other. Serve some of the roast broth on the side to dip the sandwiches in.
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dill seed
1 1/2 tsp. parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. dill pickles, chopped
Dash of pepper
Mix and pour over cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin.
This recipe calls for you to use raspberry lemonade, but you could really use any flavored drink mix you like and change the crust to any cookie, graham, or regular pie crust (or use no crust at all). Cherry or strawberry flavor is a good flavor change to go with the chocolate crust if you prefer.
Raspberry Lemonade Pie
1/3 cup sweetened raspberry lemonade drink mix
1/2 cup water
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 8 oz. carton whipped topping
1 chocolate crumb pie crust (9 inch)
Chocolate syrup, optional
Mix water and drink mix. Add ice cream and beat on low until blended. Fold in whipped topping and pour into crust. Freeze 4 hours until firm. Remove 10 minutes before serving to make cutting easier. Top with chocolate sauce.
Photo By: Rick
I grew up eating what we called “Churn Burgers” as a child and now into adulthood. My grandmother worked as a waitress in a restaurant in southeast Missouri. A gentleman known as “Churn” came in for lunch regularly and always requested the same thing….roast on a garlic hoagie roll with swiss cheese, mustard, and onion…otherwise known as a “Churn Burger”. I had to smile with pleasure when I read your menu item for today…aaahh the memories. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!
In the last 6 months or so, I have started a routine with planning and serving meals. I have designated Monday dinner as Breakfast. We are usually so busy on school mornings that we usually just have cereal, toast or yogurt – something quick. Eating Breakfast at night gives us a chance to have omelettes, french toast, pancakes, or coffee cakes with bacon or sausage. Wednesday night is Leftovers (I attend a bible study that evening and time is short). Friday is Pizza Night – great way to start the weekend. And Sunday is Popcorn and Ice cream. The family loves this set up and haven’t gotten bored with it yet.
Wonderful recipes–can’t wait to try them! I loved the continuity of the meals at my dad and step-mom’s house when I was growing up. I stayed every summer with them, and they had the same thing for dinner every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. Some might think that that might be boring, but I loved it. All the meals were delicious and I looked forward to them. Also, my stepmom ALWAYS made tuna fish sandwiches, and brought bottles of ice cold Pepsi (both in a cooler), and Nacho Cheese Doritos every time that we went to the beach. It never varied–that was our beach lunch. I am a grown woman now, and when I go to the beach, I bring the same lunch for my family. It is a tradition that I loved and passed on.
Isn’t if funny Alicia how those meals bring back such nice memories. I know for me when we would go on trips we would stop at a little grocery store and buy bologna, soft loaf of bread, potato chips and an ice cold Pepsi. What a treat we thought that was.
I love your newsletter. I am a frugal sister from way back. It’s nice to have my lifestyles confirmed. Keep up the great work and know you are appreciated.
I’ve done meal planning for a few years, and I agree that it’s a great help to maintain sanity and our budget! I can get all my prep work done in plenty of time because I know what will be for dinner that night. One little tip is to write down the week’s menu and post it on the fridge for the whole family to see, then they don’t ask 500 times a day “What’s for dinner?”
How many cucumbers do I need for the Dilly cucumber recipe?
Donna it really depends. This is kind of like bottle dressing, you pour the amount you like over some cukes. Plus it would depend on the size of cucumber too. I would probably use 2-3, 6-8 in. cucumbers.