I am my father's son. I credit my dad, Rudy Lukela Morton, for my first real exposure to kitchen organization and menu planning. Growing up in Hawaii in the 1940's with the war against the Japanese raging in the Pacific he was accustomed to shortages and slim pickings. As a single father taking care of six kids in a three bedroom house there had to be a certain amount of order or the whole thing could come crashing down. Meals and bedtime is where the line was drawn. Our menu plan might have been routine and allowed only for the basics but it was a plan. My dad would shop once a week and that would take care of the menu needs for the next 6 to 7 days. Real old school but my dad made it work. Not all in the household were fans of his Rudy Ala Gullash or the Stuffed Cabbage but I was. And forget about Steak Teriyaki night I learned the love of home cooked meals right then and there. The reason my brother and me started working at the Galley Cafe at an early age was one money always a great motivator but more importantly to me, Food.
A busy lifestyle makes the Weekly Menu Plan a priority. Rarely do you stop to take stock in how much time and energy is devoted to eating without a plan. Think back to your last "I don't know" conversation. "What do you want tonight?" "I don't know". "What to you want tonight?' "I don't know". Every time its deja vu all over again. Using a variety of my recipes you can develop a weekly cycle of fresh restaurant quality dinners that contribute to delicious leftover lunches and other menu opportunities. In your favorite restaurants anywhere U.S.A. using leftovers is done by design. The only difference is they refer to it as prepped. I like to term them as Second Time Around options and we devote a whole section of delicious recommendations. You think those tender ribs you ate last week showed up at your table freshly cooked moments after you ordered it. Most likely those ribs were cooked days ago and warmed up for your dinning pleasure and man they were the yummy bomb. So get over your, "I'm to good for leftovers" or my favorite "I like to only eat freshly made food" and join me in the real world. My world. The restaurant world. Instead of cooking something eating half and hiding the remains in the back of your refrigerator that only see the light of day again when you've decided after 5 days you'll throw it out. Take charge. Cook like you mean it. Forward plan all the uses your leftovers will have. My Man Up Meatloaf recipe can provide meal plans for days. So embrace the madness get over any objections you may have to leftovers and put a fork full in your mouth.
This ones on me. We've included a blank Good Dad Bad Man Weekly Planner you're welcome to download and use. Be sure to post it for everyone to see. Don't try to be a hero right off the bat. Start slow plug in a couple recipes with Second Time Around options and try to stick with the simple plan for a couple weeks. Change up one new recipe per week if you want to try something new. If you have teens buzzing around the house this Non Verbal Communication Tool or NVCT is a great way to get their attention. Your household is a business use the kitchen to stay in touch. First things first. Remember what I'm trying to get at here is a transformational change so attention to sanitation and organization come before turning your kitchen into a culinary test lab. Get good at your kitchen one day at a time. Begin using the Weekly Planner with some restraint. It will aid in your efforts to organize the kitchen that has been a bully all your life.