Family Food Cultures and Histories & Our Meal Plan – November 9, 2015

Weekly Menu Plan May 2013

Using Plan To Eat has really helped streamline the meal planning process.  It has also save me so much time and frustration.  I have said before and will say it again, this is one ‘servant’ I am so glad I have employed.  If you are looking for a bit of help, before the holiday rush overwhelms you, I would highly suggest you check out their website.  Their 30-day trial offer is a great way to test out the program while using it for a few weeks.  It may take some time to enter your recipes (though you do not have to do that right away), but once they are in, there is no need to do it over again.  After 2.5 years of using Plan To Eat most of my recipes are ones that were up in a long time ago, or automatically loaded by providing the internet address to a source of the recipe.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

This past weekend we met up with my parents for an overnight trip.  It was something quick that we were both heading to and were able to join up at different times.

Friday night we all stayed at the same hotel and were able to have supper together.  While waiting for our food, Dad shared some stories from his past as well as his parents.  I had mentioned how much I like fish, though have not made it while married as my husband does not like the smell of it.  (Guess what I had just ordered for my meal. Yup, fish.)

“Your Grandmother is not a fan of fish, so we never at it when we were kids.  See, when she was younger, they would set out fishing poles on the way to school.  When they were headed home afterwards they would go get them.  Usually there were enough fish for supper that night.  They did this pretty much every day.  However, your Grandmother has a weak stomach and they made them clean their own fish.  I assume she at it then, but once she grew up she never ate fish again. She can’t stand it.

Your Grandpa’s parents raised beef.  They would butcher the cows and sell the meat.  But this was during the Great Depression, so they sold all the best pieces.  What was left, the pieces no one else would buy, is what they got to eat.  Your Grandfather was not a fan of beef after that.

We ate a lot of chicken growing up, usually fried and on Sundays.  Also bologna.  The rest of the week there were a lot of bean dishes.”


I had never heard either of those stories.  I knew both families were pretty poor, the whole rural area was in fact.  I also knew that my grandpa’s parents (I think) grew tobacco, but I did not know a whole lot more.  Grandma had a fairly large garden, but they also had 7 kids over the years so you would need a large garden to even make enough to help supplement your meals. 

It also made me think of how we organize our meals.  I try to have several meatless or simple meals during the week, but it is not because of lack of availability of food or out of necessity to stretch meals to feed everyone.  It is because we know it is good for us, it saves money on the grocery budget and it makes things take not as long every day.  This also explained some of the simplicity in recipes in the area where I grew up.  At the time I did not give it much thought.  After marrying someone who grew up in an area that was along a spice trade route and had a completely different food culture my recipes began to expand.

For our kids, I try to give them a wide sampling of foods.  This includes the simpler dishes I grew up eating – tuna patty with a side of mac-n-cheese, grits and cream of wheat, braunschweiger and bologna, and fried liver.  That last one I labeled as “a specialty of Grandma’s that she will have to make especially for you when you go to visit” as I really don’t like liver fried.  It is a main ingredient in braunschweiger, which I really do like, but can not stand the texture of it when fried. Hey, we all have our little oddities.

bowl of potato salad

Yesterday was taken up by a gathering here at our house.  While it prompted me to spend Saturday and part of Sunday getting the house back to a level of decluttered-ness and cleanliness that I thought was appropriate for company, it left no time for meal planning.  However, I was not worried.  I remembered that I had planned out most of the month’s meals last week.  What a blessing I had given myself.


  1. Shake
  2. Cereal
  3. Eggs, toast, fruit
  4. Cottage cheese and flax pancakes
  5. Shake
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Pancakes, bacon


  1. Eat Out Spicy Pan Fried Sirloin Steak, oven baked potatoes, green beans, beets
  2. Greek Meatballs, rice, green beans
  3. Salad
  4. Pizza
  5. Beef Bourguinon
  6. Meatballs, gravy, rice, vegetables
  7. Sticky Blackberry Barbecued Pork Ribs


  1. Sandwiches, leftovers
  2. Chicken and Dumplings
  3. Veggie and Cilantro Hummus Sandwiches
  4. Lentil Quinoa Salad
  5. French Onion Soup, sandwiches
  6. TBD
  7. TBD

Linked up with: This Week For DinnerOrgJunkie, TheModestMom

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