Remember that scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary where Bridget attempted to cook her own birthday menu only to wind up having a disastrous party? She ended up dishing out blue soup and marmalade! It’s a good thing that her love interest, Mark Darcy, came to the rescue and helped her make omelets.
If you have not yet committed to menu planning, now is the time to do so because menu planning saves time and money.
About 6 years ago, there’s a story that came out on ABC News of a Texas mom who was able to cut their grocery bills in half because she planned their dinners in advance – one year in advance, to be exact. Click here for the story.
Before charting your menu, answer the following questions first:
- What’s your budget?
- How many guests are coming?
- Do they have dietary restrictions?
- What’s the theme of your party?
Here are some tried and tested tips for your menu planning:
- List down the ingredients which are in season and work your menu around them.
- Time should be treated as an ingredient, so if you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, then keep your dishes simple. Remember that you need time to shop, time to prepare as well as time to actually cook. And these things need not happen all in one day. Shopping for ingredients can be done as early as 3 days before your dinner party. Bridget Jones did all 3 tasks in one day – a sure recipe for disaster. And just imagine if Bridget Jones had kept it simple and stuck to dishes which she CAN cook, she would not have ended with a blue soup!
- Lastly, don’t forget dessert! Some people even plan their menu around dessert. A serving of pumpkin pie this autumn season will be very timely, to say the least.
If you have a well- planned menu, you will have a well-stocked kitchen, again saving your resources from emergency trips to the supermarket.
Also, no need to eat out or have food delivered. When everything is planned ahead, you have one less thing to think about when entertaining. Everything will be A-OK even if you don’t have a Mark Darcy in your life to help out.
Finally, dinnerware is very important when entertaining so serve everything together in a fine china collection like Minton Consort, and watch your dinner transition from disastrous to fabulous.
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