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Menu-Planning Guides
Mess Management Specialist 1 & C - Military manual for maintaining a mess hall
Sample Meat Plan - 14163_168
requirements   for   requisitioning   and   daily   food preparation. In some messes, a family night is offered once or twice a month. This affords the family and friends the opportunity to visit the command and enjoy a meal and pleasant  conversation. It  also  stimulates  morale, promotes good will, and makes family members feel more a part of the Navy. Advantages of the Cycle Menus The principal advantages of a cycle menu are better meals, time savings, improved cost control, and more effective  supervision  and  training. While the cycle menu is in use, the menu planner can refine the menu and make changes-tailoring it to patrons’  preferences,  available  supplies,  and  incorpo- rating seasonal fruits and vegetables and special events. Breakout quantities can be brought closely in line with actual requirements when menus are repeated. The cycle period can consist of as many weeks or months as practical. In deciding the most desirable cycle length, the variety and frequency of resupply and the number of duty sections should be taken into consideration as well as  the  MS  watch  schedule.  Because  the  accepted  cook watch is port and starboard, an odd-numbered day cycle (21 days) allows each watch the opportunity to prepare the entire cycle menu by the time the cycle has repeated two times (42 days). Varying the Cycle Menu Perfecting the basic menu and introducing variety can be made easier with sample cycle menus available from other sources. Past menus may be used as a guide if they have gained acceptance. Experience gained through actual preparation and service  of  the  menu  points  out  shortcuts,  better preparation   techniques,   proper   timing   of   food preparation, the arrangement of food on the serving line, preferred   serving   sizes,   and   the   most   attractive arrangement  of  food  on  the  trays.  Supervisors  can provide the level of training and supervision required to perfect each meal. If the daily ration control record shows that the cost of the meals in the cycle menu is excessive or is grossly below the allowed ration rate, the menu can be changed to bring costs within acceptable limits. If inventories point out stocks that are either in long or short supply, 7-17 temporary adjustments to the cycle menu can be made to balance stocks. Adjusting Meals for Climate The menu is seasonal in the sense that plans are altered to include the special foods featured for each season.  Foods  in  season  have  a  higher  quality,  are usually cheaper, and are better flavored. Adjusting  Navy  meals  for  the  climate  should  also take  into  account  the  great  variation  in  climatic conditions under which Navy ships and shore stations operate. Menu plans should be made to suit the weather in  which  you  are  operating.  Food  needs  differ,  and appetites usually change with variations in temperature. Crisp, cool, fresh finds are appealing to the patron in hot weather. Heavier, heartier foods such as hot soups, stews, and hot cereals are welcomed in cold weather. Fresh fruits and vegetables are at their highest quality and lowest price at seasonal peak. In hot weather, a variety of beverages, including fruit juices, should be available. LOADING   GUIDES.—   The  best  guides  for planning  menus  and  determining  loading  requirements are accurate records of a ship’s own past usage and menu plans  or  menu  summaries  of  previous  extended  cruises. Usage data and menus used during extended cruises should  be  collected  to  provide  a  basis  for  balanced loading for future deployment. The 45-day Subsistence Endurance Base (SEB) contained  in  Food  Service  Management,  NAVSUP P-486,  volume  I,  is  a  guide  that  can  be  used  with ship’s usage data in planning menus and load lists for   60-,   75-,   90-,   and   120-day   operational endurances. Menus not only affect the health and morale of the crew,  but  also  directly  affect  the  endurance  of  a  ship. Endurance requirements vary among ship types and classes, and the amount of food storage space varies even   between   ships   with   identical   complements. Proportionately  smaller  quantities  of  perishable  foods are available on extended cruises, and this calls for increased   use   of   semiperishables,   particularly ration-dense  foods. FREQUENCY CHARTS.—  Developing a meat plan,  frequency  charts,  and  spacing  patterns  are necessary   preplanning   functions   that   assure   an acceptable, appealing menu that is also within the daily monetary  allowance.

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