Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A-Z of me

M is for Menus

I love menus. Restaurant menus, school lunch menus, weekly menus for at the home cook. My grandmother was a lunch lady and my mom had the most wonderful school lunch cookbooks from the 40s and 50s, with from-scratch recipes in quantities in the hundreds. I don't know where they went, though. Too bad.

We have a bulging plastic folder full of menus from everyplace we have ever eaten, just about. I always try an nab one as a memento. I love to look through them, remembering what we ordered, thinking about what I would order if we went back.

Every once in a while, I check my old grade school's homepage to see what they're eating that day. I love the combinations of food. Chicken patty on bun, french fries, corn, applesauce, milk. Corn dog, nachos with cheese, carrots, pears, milk. Chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, jello, hot roll, milk. I can recite them, they are mostly the same as when I was in school. Except sometimes they have french toast sticks! For lunch! Crazy! These daily menus I know so well are like familiar recipes, comforting and safe. I still make the rolls just the way they do, rectangular and with putter melted on top. Yum!

I also love Woman's Day Magazine's monthly menus. Even though I rarely cook by them, I do love the idea that I have a whole month of menus already planned out for me! And the idea that other women are cooking the exact same meal on the exact same day appeals to me. Like a secret club, all going through the same motions, bringing the same meal together. I wonder if there is a club, or maybe a message board that's made up of monthly menu-users.

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