Monday, February 23, 2015

Today's Joys: Menu Board Project

BEFORE: How can I create a menu board from this stuff?
Over the weekend, I invested some time in creating a Menu Board.

I got the inspiration from this blog, and numerous others like it on Pinterest.

After 1 year of marriage (aka: a year of cooking, since before I was married I didn't cook much at all), I kind-of hit a wall with my cooking.

To be perfectly honest, I have never enjoyed cooking.  In spite of my mother's numerous attempts to teach me when I was young, I have always avoided learning to cook.

While I'm glad I can cook for Jason and me, I still do not love to do it.
However, it's not as hard as it used to be.

Soon after we got married, I set up a binder for my recipes -- labeling them chicken, beef, vegetables, etc.  I printed out recipes, so I could write notes to myself about how I may have adjusted the recipe.

However, for some reason, I've stopped using the binder, and have gotten back into making the same 3-4 recipes over and over again.

Surely there must be more to life than basic chicken, rice and summer squash!?

The main problem has been when it is time to cook, I hunt down a recipe online and randomly fumble through making something.

This last-minute figuring out is not my style.

I like to plan.

Ahem, I love to plan.

Perhaps there is a fun way to involve planning with my meal preparation.

Yes.  There is.

Enter: The Menu Board.

I saw this idea and thought, "This is the answer to my cooking dilemma!"

I looked at a few ideas, then headed to Wal-Mart to see what I could find to create the board.

I got some fabric, clothes pins, multi-colored card stock paper, Gem-Tac glue, and a magnetic wipe-off board (it came with magnets that I later glued to the back of the clothes pins).
AFTER: THE COMPLETED MENU BOARD!

I covered the board with the fabric.
I glued pieces of paper to the clothes pins and then wrote the days of the week on them.

I then scrounged around at home for what I could use for little boxes.  I used a crayola crayons box for the top, and the cover of a note cards box for the bottom.  I covered those with the left-over fabric.

I then started creating the recipe cards.  These cards will continue to increase as I find new recipes to try.  For now, I've got my basics plus a few extras already printed.  That'll be good for a while.

This whole project has brought me joy just in creating it.

While I don't do it very often, I really do enjoy creating things.

I like the process, the planning, the executing, and most of all, the finished product.

But I think for me, I get the most satisfaction if the thing I have created actually has a purpose.

For example, I have created a few other things: an earing holder and a necklace holder - both of which I still use today.  If there is a purpose or function for it then I get more joy out of making it.

The Menu board will continue to bring me joy because it:
- has the ingredients listed (no looking up stuff in my phone at the last minute)
- has the recipe listed on the back (
- gives a visual display of the week's meals (planning points!)
- even has a box for next week's meals (yay, planning again!)
- is colorful (our kitchen is mostly browns/tans, so I wanted something neutral, but with a little bit of color - the pastels work well
- the colored card stock does correspond to the type of food (blue = fish, pink= beef, purple = chicken, green = vegetables, tan = rice, left-overs)
- is organized (ahhh, sigh of joy)
- allows room for flexibility (there are tabs for eating out, or left-overs)
- has a shopping list space built in

So, there is my joy for today...and for the future.
Who knows, maybe it will help spread joy into the actual task of cooking one day!?

P.S. If you think my menu board is insane, check out this one I found... Not even I could comprehend organization to this extent!!  

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