There are two schools of thought on menu planning as a tool to make providing your family with the best possible nutrition and within a budget. One says that by buying only what you need, you can save money and by planning you can save time. If this appeals to you, there are tons of resources available on the internet now where you can purchase meal plans with grocery lists that make it very easy.
But, I like to shop almost daily, to buy what’s fresh, local, and appeals to me on any given day. One can save money in this way too, by buying things which are cheap because they’re in season or on sale.
I especially like to shop at farmers markets and small independent shops. This kind of shopping makes me happy. Getting to talk to vendors who truly care about their product and want to share their passion with others is the beginning of a great meal for me. I love sampling things, trying different flavors, and getting new ideas. I find a sense of community and a closer connection with the source of my food. Eating is one of the primary ways we interact with the world. I want my nourishment to be holistic - a full body, mind and spirit experience.
The other thing that I’ve found is that I am at my most creative when I don’t plan ahead. I do my best work in the kitchen when I start out thinking there’s nothing in the fridge. I have a look and realize I’ve got a bit of this and a bit of that, and I start throwing them together and something new and different comes about. That’s how I came up with this recipe for roasted onions and beets—which is freaking amazing (and I am usually not that fond of beets).
So, I invite you to explore your creativity, to allow yourself to experiment. Think about what flavors you like when you go to a restaurant. What textures, what spices make you smile? Buy things that look pretty. Or ask you vendor what they recommend. Start combining things and see what you get. If you get something you really like, would you post the recipe on the Stock and Pickle facebook page? Then we can all share in your good taste!