Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the PresentI know, I’ve been irresponsible to you, my readers. I haven’t been terribly inspired lately about creating new recipes. I’ve been consuming a book that’s 550 pages of dense reading: Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present. It covers the history of food from late pre-historic to modern times. I really need to finish this book. I’ve also been reading a few other vegan cookbooks published this last year, both for ideas, and reviews. I’ll be writing about those soon.

It still does not explain my inexplicable blogging silence. I’ve been working, and trying to get the household food cost under control. I have instituted a weekly menu, that includes a grocery shopping list, and a prep list. The idea comes from the Happy Herbivore. She provides readers with menus, so that they can go and cook yummy, healthy vegan food without worry. I doubt I’ll ever be that industrious. The menus I am creating are based on what I’ve discovered my partner likes to eat. And believe me, this has taken years.

I like the weekly menu because it gives us a plan to follow. It takes the guess work out of what am I cooking after a hard day’s work, creating less stress about cooking when I get home (especially while I’m at work). A weekly menu also provides left-overs for lunches over the next few days, so that the Partner has food to eat. This cuts back on food cost because we aren’t buying so many of the pre-packaged food that she relies on all too often (yes it happens). I don’t like the weekly menu plan because it takes some of the spontaneity away from cooking. I’m impulsive, and like to try new things. I’ve been known to go to a grocery store at 10 p.m. at night because I’ve just got to try something new. This also saves on food because I’m not running around town looking for one specific item. I stick to the menu, I stick to the shopping list, I save $$. We have talked about reserving one or two times a month for me to go off on culinary fits. I think it is a necessary valve for a Chef to have a bit of creative freedom.

meal planningWe’ll see how long I keep this up. The weekly menu is an awesome idea. Last week was the first week, and it did help provide the structure I need in order to get fresh food on the table every day. Lastly, the best thing is I can take one of my days off and bulk cook some of the food for the week. Yes I’m cooking every day, but cooking the beans and rice, and other prep-intensive items on just one day removes even more stress from the every day cooking. And really, cooking should be stress free. There’s just a lot of planning involved.