I know I’ve talked about this before – I keep all my on-line recipes (3,388 and counting) on Yumprint. I like it because everything is well-organized (sort of – I’ve created an excel spreadsheet to help me keep track of things). I can plan out my family’s menu for the week (or longer), then drag all my planned meals into the grocery list and I’m done.
In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m just a little nuts. I don’t like “blank” days on my menu planner. But what about those days when you aren’t cooking? What about when you’re traveling, or have been invited somewhere or just plain don’t feel like cooking? Because I’m a little crazy, I had to create an answer – I created a cookbook called “Menu Book”. It doesn’t contain recipes in the usual sense, but it does allow me to fill in those blank dates on the menu planner. Just for laughs, I thought I’d share it with you. (Being just a little nuts is a whole lot of fun!)
Now this first “recipe” might take a bit of explaining. I’m Catholic. There are certain times of the year (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) that are designated as Days of Fast and Abstinence. On those days, not only is meat forbidden, but a fast is required. Way back when, a fast meant consuming nothing – not even water after midnight. Eventually the law was changed to allow people to have water to take medications. (No dah!) The next change came with the realization that a full fast might not be all that healthy. So the definition of “fast” was redefined. Meat is still forbidden, but you can have one meal during the day plus two “snacks”. Sounds a lot like my typical day . . . (We don’t eat ANYTHING on days of fast from sun down to sun down – but that’s just our way). As you can imagine, fasting creates a huge blank spot on the menu planner. Instead of a recipe, this is what I have:
A Day of Fasting & Abstinence
Water as needed
Bread as needed
Eat enough bread or other substance to coat the stomach for the purpose of taking any medications that cannot otherwise be taken on an empty stomach.
Drink water as needed to prevent dehydration.
Reflect and pray throughout the day to bring the spirit into submission with God’s will and seek to cleanse the mind and body of worldly desires. “I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting . . .”
And on to the really fun stuff . . .
Accept the fact that you MUST attend. Come with a positive attitude. Drag along a spouse, if allowed. Make the best of things, mingle and try to have a good time.
Pile the family in the car.
Drive to restaurant of choice.
Disregard calories and dietary restrictions for once – order what you want and enjoy!
Make plans with friends.
Offer to bring something (appetizers, dessert, wine or all three)
Mark the date on your calendar.
Show up at the appointed place and time. Have a ball!
Drive up to the drive thru window.
Order whatever looks good or the usual.
Take it home and eat it, preferably in front of the TV.
Pull all left overs from the fridge and lay it out of the kitchen table “buffet style.”
Get plates, napkins and flatware necessary.
Everyone fends for themselves.
Locate a nearby eatery
Check parking lot for number of cars (the locals know best) or take your chances.
Order whatever sounds good or the server recommends.
The Ultimate Party Recipe
Assorted Appetizers – your favorites or packaged
Party Platters – do it yourself or from the deli
Sparkling Beverages – Champagne if desired, Sparkling Apple Cider – anything bubbly
Pick a Date – Special occasion or no reason at all.
Call your friends & family together.
Swap stories and laugh a lot.
Graze the night away and greet the dawn with a smile.