Jul 18, 2009

Good Housekeeping, 1955--Planning Meals

I COULD just copy everything in the book, it's so good, but I won't. It would ruin my manicure (HA!)

I will, though, copy out some significant parts that I found helpful. For example:

The Easy Way to Plan
  • Consider the day's three meals as a unit--breakfast, lunch, and dinner--and they'll be better both esthetically AND nutritionally.
  • Choose the main dish first. What will it be? A casserole, stew, main-dish salad, hearty soup?
  • Vegetables come next. Usually it's potatoes and a nonstarchy vegetable, or two nonstarchy ones. If you'd like a starchy dessert...it's wiser to serve only nonstarchy vegetables.
  • Then select a dessert. If the main course is to be salad or soup, you'll want a hearty dessert...But if you're having goulash with noodles or mashed potatoes, you'll want something light, such as fruit gelatin and cookies.
  • Also ask yourself, would a cold or hot dessert taste better?
  • Now which salad will you choose? The tossed green salad is the perfect answer almost anytime. But for variety's sake, consider raw relishes, a jellied salad, fruit or vegetables salad, etc.
  • What about bread? Does your meal need a HOT bread or will a COLD one do? Often the choice is plain bread and butter; now and then it's no bread at all. Other times you may crave [other types of breads].
  • Take another look at your menu, for the job isn't done. Consider color, texture, flavor. The dishes of a well-planned meal do not clash in color, flavor, or texture, but do include contrasts.
  • How much time and effort is involved in getting the meal on the table? Will the cooking be on top of the stove or in the oven? Can you manage it all?

(Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1955, pages 662-663)


The Glamorous Housewife said...

All good advice. When I had my first baby I was sitting at home and this crazy lady was on the Food Network. She said she could cook a meal in the 30 minutes of the program. I figured it was worth it to watch because I had nothing better to do and that show was, you guessed it, 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray. It was only her first or second season so she wasn't nearly as annoying as she is now, but she pretty much had the same advice as your book. What I liked about Ray Ray is she taught me how to time the prep of the meal. For example, if the dessert took the longest, I should start that first. It seems like such a 'duh' thing, but at the time, I would always start with the main dish, then make the sides, then make dessert. If the sides took longer then the main dish, the timing would be off. So it was Rachel Ray who really taught me how to cook. I think it is funny that the advice from you book is pretty much the same advice any mom would give to her children- sometimes good advice is timeless.

Roxanne said...

Glamorous--I figured out a while back about doing things in a certain order so things come out at the same time. What's new for me in this book is actually considering the meal the MORNING of or even the night before!

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