Cooking in a traditional manner requires a lot more planning and preparation than the average American cook is used to. My planning-ahead skills have never been very good, so I have had to really work on developing them. This has certainly not been an overnight thing, but something that I have had to grow into over the last year.
I now have a basic weekly routine that helps me to keep my kitchen humming along well. It all starts on Thursday night when I decide what we are going to eat for the next week. I keep a list of food that I know how to prepare in my Google Docs. Right now that list has 17 main dishes, 5 soups, 3 salads, 4 fermentations (e.g. pickles), 8 breakfast items (e.g. scones), and 6 desserts. On Thursday night I go through that list and plan about 4 main meals. I then look through various cookbooks or on the Internet for a new dish I haven’t made before. I like to try something new every week. If we like it I add it to the list. I also try to have one thing that can be ready as soon as we get home, like a crock-pot meal. On Wednesday nights we have our evening filled.
As I add an item to the list, I look at the ingredients and check to see what we already have on hand. I make my grocery list up (on paper) from what we need to make the 5 items I have selected. I use the number 5 because we usually have enough left-overs to make up the other 2 days. During the week as I use up basic supplies like wheat, rice, beans, salt, peanut butter, etc. I add these items to my grocery list.
On Friday after work I go grocery shopping at Arbor Farms.
Continued in part 2…