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Menu Planning: January 11-18

And we’re back! So, how’d I do this week?

  • Make a new header image that actually works for the blog.
  • Set up an organizational system for the book.
  • Organize my notes into said system.
  • Read through gaming ability sections to better hone the nutritional translations for the book.
  • Brainstorm recipe ideas for each section; assess what I’ve got so far.

4 outta 5 ain’t bad! I didn’t get a chance to do much brainstorming this week, so we won’t count that as complete. The header is an improvement, but I’m not 100% satisfied, so while I do get to check that one off the first week’s list, I want to revisit it, still. The organizational system is working swimmingly and my research for the gamer-speak sections are coming along. Even reading the glossary in the start of the 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook was absolutely enlightening!

This past week an oversight in the take-something-out-to-defrost category led to us pulling some Turkey Gumbo out of the freezer (much quicker to defrost than what was on the menu) and prepping some rice rather than ordering take-out. It was a happy accident, though, as it gave me an opportunity to observe an unnatural phenomena: Todd makes the BEST rice.

Now, me? I asked for a rice cooker 2 Christmases ago because it’s such a finicky thing to prepare well without having it stick to the pan or each other (the rice cooker agrees, it tends to stick, too). But cohabitation leads to some interesting discoveries and Todd just prefers to make his on the stove, despite other options. So this time I watched, I took notes, I asked lots of questions. And it’s a totally back-assward way to cook rice as far as I’ve been taught but you really can’t argue with results!

This process will be included, in excruciating detail, in the Soups & Stews category of What to Feed Your Raiding Party. To sum it up: rather than boil, cover, simmer and pray, you boil, boil some more while stirring lots, and then steam untouched for so many minutes. It takes a little longer than the way I was always taught (and what the manufacturer prints on the bags) but it works! And better yet? We’ve figured out the correct ratio for it to work with brown rice, too! (Again, it’s not what the package says!) No more crunchy brown rice.

Anyway! On to this week’s to-do list:

  • Brainstorm recipe ideas for each section; assess what I’ve got so far.
  • Make a list of types of recipes that need to be included to round out the offerings.
  • Write a treatment for each of the 5 comic stories, plus the introduction and resolution shorts.
  • Test a couple of known recipes.

That last one’s easy. I’m getting together with some high school friends (an unofficial 15 1/2 year reunion of sorts) this weekend and we’re doing a pot-luck supper Saturday night. This is the perfect time to pull out a couple of recipes destined for the book that could use a large-quantity test run! In a lot of ways, it’s the things I cook by memory or feel that will be the hardest to wrangle as I’ll have to stop and measure and record each step (like I talked about in this week’s Nibbles).

Writing treatments should be fun. I already have 2 of the 5 and the intro in my head, so it’s just a matter of organizing my thoughts. Each of the 5 adventures will be a (relatively concise and somewhat choosy) parody of a movie and I just figured out the final 2 flicks this past week. In them, our main characters (Amy, Jud and Jud’s dog, Woody) will be placed in a food-related peccadillo that they have to help the story’s other characters solve. Sound familiar? Maybe like an RPG session? That would be the idea. Along the way our trio (yes, even the dog) will pick up some valuable food knowledge–be it on techniques, ingredients or who knows what! In turn, each comic will relate to the chapter of recipes at hand.

The other main task: the list of recipes needed, is to ensure that the offerings are well-balanced. While I know I can’t please everyone, my goal is to have a little something for as many people as possible. This means a significant number of vegetarian-friendly options alongside the meaty ones. Healthy options to balance out the heavier, higher cal fare. Entry-level recipes as well as ones that will appeal to dedicated foodies. I can’t promise earth-shattering revelations, but I can do my best to share what I learned in Culinary School as well as my own kitchen experiences. If I do that, then I’ll consider this book a success 🙂

2 thoughts on “Menu Planning: January 11-18

  1. jun says:

    I like the image part of the header, but not so much the logo part. It’d be cool if the words would show up as well on an unretouched background of the tiles, but I’m sure you probably tried that already. 🙂

    Reply
    • Profile photo of Jennifer "Scraps" Walker
      Jennifer "Scraps" Walker says:

      Unretouched? Not sure what you mean. The picture is the picture, the other lines I drew to extend the grid pattern. I just don’t think the green is working the way I wanted so will fiddle around with color combos, etc.

      Reply

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