Thursday 5 September 2013

Organising your life: meals

Welcome back to this five day series organised by Caroline at the Joyful Keeper. This is all about organising life. I'm a learner at this and am looking forward to learning from the other ladies who are posting. Some of these posts will be ideas that have worked well for me and others are more about where I would like to be! I will try to be clear about what has definitely worked and what is just aspirational.

The topics are

Today, we are thinking about organising meals.

Anyway, a few basics.
We eat three meals a day and in terms of planning, we try to have these are roughly the same time each day. 

We have family devotions after one meal. This has become more challenging as our household has grown. For years, we had family devotions at breakfast time but then we became a three generational family. 7.30 breakfast wasn't suitable for everyone. So, family devotions has moved usually to after the evening meal when it is more likely that we will all be at the meal. I'm not sure that this is a change that I like but breakfast has become more fragmented over the years and this is what seems to work for us.

We eat lunch and dinner together, well, everyone who is at home. This means that numbers do vary from five to ten or more when we have visitors.

Hospitality is a Biblical command but doesn't means that visitors can't share everyday food with us. Of course, we like to make special meals but often one of the  teenagers will want an extra friend to stay to a meal. This is a time to say "yes" even if it means ecking out the meal with extra beans and veg.

I find menu planning useful mainly because otherwise I have a habit of only buying enough food for half a week. So, there is a plan with days of the week and main meal items against each day. I rarely, cook in the order set on the list but it is useful to know that we do have enough food.

Some days do need specific meals. I always cook food for the Lord's Day on Saturday. This is almost always a casserole with baked potatoes which can go in the oven while we are at church.

Days with outings or home education group meetings end much better if there is food at home in the slow cooker. 

What is on the menu?
I don't think that our meals are especially exciting but since I like new ideas, it seems fair to share some of our basics. Please feel free to comment with more ideas.

  • casserole
  • curry-sometimes I make my own but the curries in jars are tasty with chick peas especially if they are cooked for longer in the slow cooker
  • pasta and tomato sauce. A little bacon or fish can be added to the sauce.
  • Roast meat
  • baked potatoes, ham and salad. New potatoes can be substituted for the baked.
  • chicken Caesar salad.
  • home made pizza
  • fish/ham plus potatoes and vegetables
  • chille con carne
  • spaghetti bolonaise
  • jerk chicken
We've recently removed several items from the list, on health grounds, but they are cheap and cheerful! These are
  • quiche
  • homity pie
  • sausages-well, some family members still get these sometimes.
  • fish and chips-again, some people do have these sometimes or there would be a revolt!  I do use oven cooked fish and chips. The other family members have fish cooked in the oven and boiled potatoes.
  • vegetable pie
We are trying to have mainly fruit for dessert and this is certainly easy. We also eat 
  • home made soup-this is surprisingly quick, easy and cheap. Favourites are lentil, tomato, leek and potato and broccoli/sprout and stilton.
  • pitta and humus
  • boiled egg
  • sardines on toast
  • scrambled egg
  • bread rolls and ham/cheese
  • English muffins
The BBC Good Food website is useful for new ideas. The healthy section is particularly useful.

This blog hop has been arranged by Caroline of the Joyful Keeper.


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Please join us. You can comment on any of the blogs or share posts on Caroline's linky at Joyful Keeper.


  1. Hey Sarah Elisabeth! I just wanted you to know that I shared your post. Thanks again for all of your help when we were going on our England trip!!

    1. Thank you, Anne Marie. I loved reading about your England trip. It is interesting to read about how others see us.