Menu planning and how to do it.


Do you like how I authoritatively state that in the title? How to do it. As if I could tell you anything about menu planning. Surely you all know that you do the following steps :-

  1. Check any food allergies with your guests. Be prepared for lots of ‘oh I am not allergic to anything but I don’t eat wheat / gluten / milk / cheese / fruit / brocolli /  random normal things. Also be prepared for those who state that they are vegetarian, but eat fish and chicken (no, really, definitions are not for everyone).
  2. Roll your eyes and draw up a document with 3 columns – entitle them, starters, mains, desserts.
  3. In each column write down your various chosen recipes with the prep time in minutes next to it.
  4. Then, it’s decision time – how much do you love your friends or how much time are  you willing to spend cooking for them?
  5. I always choose a main course first – so take a pen and closing your eyes, wave your hand over the main courses and select one. Circle that one.
  6. Check out the prep time for starters & desserts. If it’s a lot of work, choose easier starters & desserts.

Obviously these instructions are entirely on a practical level and you’d probably want to do such checks as  –

  • don’t serve pastry for every course (my failing)
  • try and have a theme – so perhaps not a spanish starter and a thai main course. It can jar the taste buds a little.
  • Serve quite a lot of alcohol. This means that everyone appreciates your food and enjoys your company. It’s a  winner.