Monday Menu Planning

April 13, 2009 at 9:11 am

Rob Gardner

The rest of the Local Family knows there is no topic that enthralls me more, holds my attention more, bores them more, then talking about what we should eat.  Not tonight.  What we should eat say four days from now.  How to use our local foods.  To enhance family harmony, perhaps I should take my Monday menu planning to the Beet.

I detailed the full box of Spring CSA produce in my last post.  I’m thinking about Wednesday I’ll cook up the turnip greens, plus the previous week’s kale with a Wettstein ham hock (we used the the turnip roots in our boiled dinner last week).  I picked up an Indiana cabbage at Whole Foods over the weekend, and maybe some slaw with the greens?

The rest of the weekend was meat shopping.  From the Wettstein’s Saturday in Oak Park, we picked up 1/2 turkey.  The free range turkeys were big, big, big, so 1/2 turkey was still plenty of turkey.  We have it defrosting for Friday night dinner.  Come Friday, I’m likely roast the beets for a side.  Since I plan on grilling the turkey, I’ll do some other sides out there too, especially something with potatoes.

The other thing we have a-goin’ for Friday night dinner is tongue.  We originally took this out for our boiled dinner, but when we thought better of it (barely had enough time to get any dinner on the table that night).  With the extra time, my wife is picking the tongue.  Our bigger tongue issue, finding someone to share it with us.  We might have some timing issues with our invitee.

That’s a certain amount of thinking ahead, what should we have for dinner tonight and tomorrow?  We have big amounts of leftovers.  We made boiled dinner the first night of passover; this is a meal that is made for leftovers.  The dilemma this AM, do I make hash or do I make salad.  I’m leaning towards a salad.  I am a big fan of the European cold beef salad–the boiled dinner included a shin bone with some meat, a few shortribs and a hunk of round roast, some of the last of our side of local beef–a salad with combing those meats with pickles, capers, herbs and other strong flavors, kind of like a cooked steak tartare is right up my alley.  The beef will get served on some local lettuces purchased from Cassie’s Green Grocer, and it should be enough for a meal.

Hash should be on the menu for Tuesday, chicken hash, with leftover Thursday night chicken and some of our still ample supply of stored potatoes.  We are really loving the fact that Whole Foods is now selling air-chilled Indiana chickens.  Still, we just learned via e-mail, that Farmer Vicki will be offering a monthly chicken option to her CSA members, so we will be off the Whole Foods chickens for a while.   Should I add the leftover boiled carrots and turnips to the hash?  Maybe I’ll nuke a bag of peas from the freezer for a side.  Peas seem classic with hash.

Gosh, by Thursday another box will have arrived in our spring CSA, yet we will not have planned on eating the two heads of bok choy we already have.  Are you like me, do you seem to only associate bok choy with Asian flavors.  We have this leftover quinoa we used the other night because quinoa is Passover approved.  Something quinoa, bok choy, Asian, maybe the Korean chili paste I got last week.  I have a few days to figure it out.

It’s a lot of peanut butter and jelly on matzah for the kids the first part of the week (yes, bread-no; peanut butter-yes).  The veg du semaine is all the radishes we have.  As we find the last of our usable apples, it should be a week of non-local fruit in the lunches.

Shoot, what about our traditional breaking of the Passover bread ban with a trip to Gene n’ Judes? (Not to mention that 3 of the four family members have places to be on Wednesday night.)  Looks like despite this post, I’m gonna have to do a lot of menu discussing with the family this week as we figure it best out how to lead the local life.