Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Menus ... and Memories

 


I've decided to simplify my menu planning a bit, instead of putting the meals onto a specific day I am simply listing the seven main meals I want to prepare during the week ahead using the ingredients that need using up first as a starting block.  I found myself spending far too much time rubbing out and moving meals around when they were listed daily ... purely for my own benefit of course but still annoying!

And at the bottom of the page the things that need using up first, you wouldn't think I'd need to be reminded to use up chocolate spread would you.  I've literally just had a brainwave for that actually, well it is Valentines Day in seven days and I think some little cakes might be in order.


I used up one of the smaller new carrots yesterday and made a quick portion of coleslaw.

Little carrot = little grater ... just for a bit of fun.

It doesn't look the most appealing photo does it but coleslaw made with iceberg lettuce never looks as good as when you make it with white cabbage, and of course it has to be eaten straight away otherwise it goes soggy.  But it was really tasty and I have just enough lettuce for an action replay for my lunch today.

While I was getting one of my many notebooks out yesterday ready to start to work on a potential complete weeks shopping for a £10 budget, I came across old workings out for previous Challenges.  They make for fascinating reading.  I was going to put them into the recycling and start afresh but then I thought no, I will see how many more pages like this I have tucked in other notebooks and use them for reference and recipe ideas.   I obviously then spent a good hour or so reading through all my old scribblings.

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Stationery and starting new notebooks off is a weakness of mine, no doubt started by Mr Downey my form teacher for the last year of Junior School.  He had taken over the class after our very strict female teacher had left following an embarrassing incident in the playground, but he was most definintely not cut from the same cloth as her.  He was so laid back he was virtually horizontal.

Every Monday morning we would all be given a new school exercise book which we spent the first hour after assembly 'backing' with paper of our choosing from the art trays, then we had to use this to do a 'topic' for the week.  We could choose anything to write about and cut up any books in the classroom to glue the pictures in our books.  We would all start off the first couple of mornings of the week full of good intentions and then by Friday morning we would be doodling and making paper aeroplanes instead.  Every afternoon when the weather was relatively dry we would go through the gate from our school into the park, where the girls would play rounders and the boys would play cricket ... which Mr Downey loved more than life itself.  If it rained too hard we simply read, chatted very quietly or in some cases fell asleep.

It's a good job there were no SATS tests back in the day 😄


Sue xx



26 comments:

  1. I've got a weakness for notebooks and have loads of them too....must be a Sue thing haha. I've just bought myself a whiteboard to put the weekly menus on.....so much easier to quickly wipe off if - no, when - I change my mind!

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    1. A whiteboard is a good idea. It's something Claire of Claire's Journey on YouTube uses every week.

      https://www.youtube.com/c/ClairesJourney

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  2. My jottings are mainly family history, or bits of description which are meant to go in my Commonplace Book - which has been mislaid since the move. I really MUST go through the dresser cupboard which all sorts of bits got bunged into when we arrived and has scarcely been opened since.

    Gosh, your teacher really was laid back wasn't he? But you remember him fondly.

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    1. He really was, I think now in hindsight he was probably riding out his days before retirement. He's one of only two teachers that really shaped my life, the other was my English teacher at secondary school.

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  3. It sounds absolutely bliss and I bet he was a very good teacher at heart, just a bit too laid back. A new book each week - wow! He must have got though a lot of stock!
    SATs have a lot to answer for!

    (I do my planning like that too nowadays).
    xx

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    1. He really was, and if you think about it he got us looking after books, researching new topics every week and writing all that we learnt down. He basically and very cleverly had us teaching ourselves with minimal guidance.

      I only thought of the cost involved in this quite recently. Thinking about it 25 or so new exercise books every single Monday of the school year must have been quite expensive even back in the 60's. I can picture him now opening the polythene wrapped packs of books and handing them out to us all.

      It might explain why I love starting a new notebook!!

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  4. I worked with a Teaching Assistant who said she began her career with a teacher who often did "Basketwork" with her class. I said I'd love to have done that as a pupil. She then explained that"Basketwork" was stuff done on loose sheets of paper (NOT in their exercise books) and at the end of the day the teacher didn't bother to mark it - it just went straight into the waste paper basket! These were the days before oftsed.

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    1. I wonder what happened to all our exercise books? We were allowed to take some home but not all of them.

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  5. What a great teacher Mr Downey must have been. I seem to remember primary school as very laid back with 'interesting' things to do like wash out the paint pallets in the big sink, crayoning, drawing and reading comics when the weather was too wet to go out at playtime. I still managed to get to High School and achieve my GCE's. Those were the days ;)

    It's good that you kept all your challenge notes. No wonder you got side tracked mulling them over once more.

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    1. It's lethal for me when I find old notes, or start reading through any of my old blog posts ... I can lose hours!!

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  6. I have the notebook and stationery weakness too! In most areas of my life, gardening, sketching, home management, meal planning...I have a notebook or two, I even have one which is actually quite useful where I cut out and stick in pictures of products I might see in a magazine and want to buy in the future. Of course I also have a whole host of folders on my computer with notes in too. It is only recently that I got rid of a pile of old to do lists - they actually can be quite useful as a bit of a journal of when I did something and how long it took me to get round to it!!!
    Love homemade coleslaw - might just have to try the lettuce variation. x

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    1. I can think of worse things to have a weakness in :-)

      At least notebooks are useful AND beautiful on occasion.

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  7. The happiest times that I remember in elementary school were with the small moments with teachers, the reading and the art, and listening to the little stories they told. I think your teacher sounds like a good one. And I am intrigued by the embarrassing incident on the playground...do tell...

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    1. I suppose I could ... she must have died years ago!!

      Her name was Mrs Powell and the whole school dreaded being put into her class, she was STRICT with capital letters. Any misbehaviour was rewarded with 5 strokes of the ruler across your hand, or being sent to the head ... if you were lucky!

      She was supervising the end of playtime line-ups one day just one week into the new September term and a pupil accidently tripped her up, she landed backwards legs akimbo revealing what can only be described as knee length baggy drawers, the roar of laughter that went up was amazing for so many little children. The tripper was severely punished, as were all her class me included and then suddenly she was gone. Whether it was the embarrassment or actually going too far with the punishments I don't really know, but it meant that after just one week of her strict regime we suddenly had a new teacher on the following Monday morning ... Mr Downey. We all went from dreading our final year there to absolutely loving it.

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  8. Debby has asked the question I didn't like to 😁 the teacher must have been mortified but I bet none of the kids ever forgot the incident. You certainly didn't, Sue! but it was a bit extreme to punish the whole class...

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    1. I thought it amazing that no-one asked until Debby was brave enough to ;-)

      She was famous for being handy with her wooden ruler, I think she was possibly one of the last of the generation that kept a class quiet with fear.

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  9. *haha* I always love to come to your blog for a little chuckle when I need one, Sue. You're beyond an organizer... and I am pretty much on the opposite end of the stick. Your lists and planners, right down to macaroni & cheese, always make my mouth hang open for a second and then puts a huge grin on my face. Thank you for some of the cheer in my days. Happy planning~ Andrea xoxo

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    1. I think managing numerous shops with staff in each set me up for having no choice but to learn to manage time and lists well. Doing it with my food and challenges is a pleasurable doddle in comparison.

      Have a great day. xx

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  10. I can't remember anything about what we wrote in at primary school but at Grammar school we had to take any filled up book to the secretaries office, which she would scrutinise before handing out a new book! Very Tight they were!

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    1. I remember loving the lined books but hating those orange maths books that had little squares. His extravagance with books must have cost the school a fortune.

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  11. You, Viv and I do have a thing for notebooks and journals (as I look over at more than 20 of various sizes, not yet filled--and then there are the ones in the drawers...). :)

    Suggestion for the weekly menu page--why not just scratch out or mark over the days of the week instead of erasing and rewriting each daily meal. You will have seven meals to pick and choose from and can still make use of the pad. :)

    Your Mr Downey reminds me of Mr Blandford who taught my civics class (I was around 13). He was definitely horizontal during many of our classes, but was so good-natured and humorous, no one cared. Never watched so many films in a class as I did that year. In fact, not long into the school year, my class bought him a bed pillow for film watching days which we awarded to him in a funny ceremony. He loved it! And used it.

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    1. I have literally just been writing my new style of menu plan on the scraps of paper made from the 'torn into quarters' first couple of weeks menus. They fit better on the side of the Smeg too, as until I started putting my menus up I hadn't realised the doors weren't made of metal. It was funny when I tried to put the first one up with a fridge magnet and they both just dropped to the floor. :-)

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  12. I do have a journal, but like you it sometimes lasts me three or more years. I forget to write in it.

    God bless.

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    1. I always start off with such good intentions and then things just fizzle out ...

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  13. Planning menus by the week instead of the day sounds a lot more sensible. I take a look around at what I have, what's on sale in the store and make a list of meals in my head as I'm pushing the cart through the store. I found some sundried tomato and basil tortellini on sale for what works out to less than a pound. I had the other ingredients already at home. That's how I know we are having tortellini soup for supper this week. Probably tomorrow night's supper. Tonight I'm using up some ingredients for cream of potato soup. I had everything but the half and half. I really do like being creative with what I have on hand.

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  14. Hi Sue, on the news yesterday was the fact an iceberg lettuce from a supermarket was NZ$6.20! Am so glad I grow cos, rocket and spinach amongst other things. I think it is really important to have a garden at all times.

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