Throughout January, in our home ec lessons, I have been teaching Miss Abigail about making menus. I think menus are an important part of cooking and I'm pleased that Abigail now has a pretty good understanding of this process. My mother is a faithful menu-maker and I learned from her. It isn't hard, but it does take some thought and then a commitment to carry through with the actual cooking. Making menus and cooking from them can save much time, much stress and even more money.
As I worked with Abigail, I created a menu planner that has a box with letters representing daily servings that she could cross off. In this way, Abigail can see if she's covered the nutrition she needs to provide during the day. This just seemed to make the nutrition aspect of healthy eating more obvious, and there is room to write ingredients in a grocery list at the side. Each letter in the box represents a serving in the basic groups on the FDA food pyramid. Beside the basic principles of nutrition and daily servings, we covered what makes a good menu and an attractive meal, using the pantry, using the food ads, creativity and variety, how to create a shopping list, and marketing strategies. Now that we've done the brain work, I have planned a couple of related pantry projects like crocheted jar ribbons, a fat pantry mouse, and ruffled jar covers.