Time management and menu planning

by Sanjeev Kapoor

For many of us, there’s a natural tendency to avoid the task of planning menus…three meals a day...  seven dinners a week! Menu Planning means running from supermarket to pantry, refrigerator to table, sink to cupboard…the whole routine can get boring! Let us not run from the fact that ‘into each day, one dinner must fall.’

Menu planning doesn’t have to be complicated.  A small investment of time creating a menu plan can reap great rewards such as

  • Saves money, because it cuts out desperation trips to the supermarket.
  • Saves time.  No dash to the neighbours for a missing ingredient, no frantic searches through the freezer for something, anything to thaw for dinner.
  • Most important, conserves the home manager’s most valuable resource, i.e.  energy.

A key to a successful meal is the timing of food preparation times so that everything is ready at the same time. Success in this area requires careful thought in advance. Actually time management needs to be considered in menu planning phase as well as in preparation so that the menu planned will be able to fit the time constraints of the person preparing the food. For inexperienced people, a meal with rather simple preparation requirements will help to guarantee success in preparation and timing.

When first learning to prepare meals, development of a detailed time plan will make the actual preparation proceed smoothly. Such variables as interruptions by small children and telephone calls can throw off the best of plans. The time needed for assembling and chopping, cutting and washing ingredients will vary greatly from person to person. Adequate time needs to be allowed for arranging a centerpiece and completing other details of table arrangement. For family meals little time will be needed for arranging the table. In case you are entertaining assembling the serving dished that are stored in the cupboard meant for such special occasions may even need washing before using. Silverware may need to be polished and washed before the table can be set. Special goblets or other glassware may also need washing and drying before being used. All this can take a considerable amount of time and educated guesses regarding the amount of time needed for these distractions during meal preparation can be made and incorporated into the plan. 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.