christopher575 (christopher575) wrote,

Put an egg on it

Thoughts of food occupy my mind far too much lately. Not because of a diet or anything like that. I make most of the dinners around here (Thursday is my designated night off) and I'm trying to be as smart as possible with shopping, meal planning, and trying new recipes. Shopping's important because I can really save a lot of money if I pay attention, but none of that matters if I end up throwing a bunch of it away because I never got around to making it. I had to resort to keeping a spreadsheet we can refer to which functions as a menu as well as a reminder of what needs to get made. Mostly what's important is keeping track of what's fresh; frozen stuff can wait if need be.

I'm as dedicated to re-purposing leftovers as I am to trying to use up all my new ingredients. Serving sizes are pretty out of control in our culture, so leftovers from restaurant meals can go a long way. One time everyone at the table was shocked when I said I'd take my sister-in-law's breakfast leftovers that she didn't want. Most people would be embarrassed to do that, but I certainly wasn't embarrassed as I ate that awesome food for my next two breakfasts. All I had to add was a tortilla each day and I made awesome breakfast burritos.

I'm pretty proud of today's breakfast, too. Garrett brought us fish and chips for lunch yesterday, and of course each box was huge. I seriously wouldn't mind splitting one in the future as he tossed about half his fries and I saved my bigger piece of fish for later. This morning, I heated it up in the toaster oven while I made a poached egg. The two together with some capers was pretty awesome. I joked on twitter recently that I'd call just about anything breakfast if I could put a poached egg on it, but it was more of a confession than a joke. One time Garrett made a big batch of Swiss steak, and I actually poached eggs directly in the leftovers for our breakfast the next day.

Of course there's a dark side to my household food habits. It's become really hard to make the decision to eat what I want sometimes knowing that there's something at home I should be using up. A lot of people become frustrated because they don't have the time to make the kinds of lunches they want, whereas I have nothing but time since I work from home, and find myself making my own lunch even if I don't want to. I should probably make it a point to go buy lunch at least once a week.

And finally, I've realized that price makes it extremely hard to enjoy certain things unless they're really, really good. Our neighborhood bar back in Seattle was attached to a pizza place, and while we usually had their well-priced personal pizzas there at the bar, we'd occasionally buy one of their regular ones to take back home. It never felt expensive because the quality was top notch. I've yet to find a pizza here I'd want to buy again. When we'd rather have a $4 Safeway frozen pizza than one that's almost $30 with tip from a local joint, it's obvious that's not the local joint for us.

Anyway, all of this is a great test of my creativity and resourcefulness, as well as my patience. I've definitely come a long way from where I was 11 years ago, when I was barely able to scrape together any money for food and didn't know how to cook anyway. I still occasionally get a flash of anxiety when I go to a grocery store because those pathways burned deep in my brain. It's wonderful to be able to identify that it's only an old association and get on with my shopping and my day.

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