“What Shall I Cook for Supper?” Ensign, Feb. 1979, 64
If you’re tired of asking yourself over and over again, every day of every week, “What shall I cook for supper?” the answer is simple: plan a four-week rotating menu. This became my solution when I felt frustrated by kitchen duties. Step by step it goes like this:
First, list your family’s favorite main dishes. You probably won’t remember all of them at once, so tape the list on a cupboard door and add to it as you think of the dishes. (Going through your recipe file helps.)
Second, note on this same paper how often your family likes to have these dishes repeated during a four-week period.
Third, using a blank menu-plan sheet (draw squares or use a blank calendar), list each of these main dishes in a separate square.
Fourth, cut out all the squares and place them in any order you wish on another menu-plan sheet. Select the easily prepared dishes for Primary or other busy days. Plan for variety so you don’t serve hamburger for instance, three days in a row.
If you aren’t sure of your arrangement, you might want to tape or pin the squares on and switch them around for awhile.
Be flexible—don’t be a slave to the plan. You can skip, trade, change, or go out to eat if you want to. But the plan is there when you want it. It may also help to list side dishes that go well with your main dishes.
Check your menu plan at lunch time; then you still have time to thaw the meat, set the jello for salad, and make sure the ingredients are on hand.
Let the family help in the planning. Children are delighted when they add a dish to the menu. My husband and oldest son have originated (and like to prepare) their own main dishes.
“Secret supper” is one of our favorite menus. Each family member secretly selects one food item for the meal and places it in a paper sack. Then we empty the sacks to see what we will have to eat that night and everyone helps in the preparation. Carol J. Lent, Montgomery, Alabama