Monday, February 20, 2017

Twelve Days In

I'm 12 days in...almost halfway through my little experiment. And it's been...almost easy? Except when it's not.

Observations so far: I'm cleaning out odds and ends that have been lingering in the back of cabinets for an embarrassingly long time. I don't have any more stale crackers, or cans of sardines from two years ago, or that last bit of Karo syrup I bought to make rum balls three Christmases ago. All used up. Which makes me feel good about using what I have instead of feeling driven to go out and get more of stuff I don't really need.

I'm eating fewer preservatives. Now that the crackers are gone -- especially those damn white cheddar Cheez-Its that I'm totally addicted to -- I'm finding other snacks to stave off my boredom. Usually it's been toast from my homemade bread. Or mixed nuts. I still have some microwave popcorn to fall back on, so I'm not totally out of preservatives, but my intake has definitely declined. I can't say I feel physically different, but I like the idea of less stuff that may or may not actually be good for my health.

I've almost made it through an entire bunch of kale and box of mushrooms before they start to go yellow or mushy. That hardly ever happens. I mean, I cook for one, I eat for one, and I'm convinced that grocery stores do not package much of anything fresh for one. It's almost like the food industry doesn't believe that single people exist, or should eat anything other than prepared foods in single servings, usually frozen. I'll try not to make this a soapbox rant on the trials of being single, but seriously, I'd have to eat broccoli every meal for three days to use up most heads sold in the grocery store before they go yellow and bitter. Ok, so that's an exaggeration. But still...

I guess if I have that much grief with grocery store sales tactics, I should be more dedicated and driven to shop at farmers markets where I can buy directly from the producers. Take responsibility for my own situation, as it were.

Usually by the time I'm sick of cooking, I get an invite to go out to dinner. Or invited to join someone for lunch. Which works out well. This weekend, I had two such invitations, that were So. Very. Welcome. On Saturday, I went to Rooting DC (which was **amazing!!**). I went knowing I didn't have a good meal plan, which usually isn't a good idea for me. After the two morning sessions (one by the folks from Good Foods Market talking about using mission driven social entrepreneurship to address food desert or food swamp issues (fascinating), and one by Arlington Food Assistance Center on making good meals out of food before it goes bad (good treats and ideas)), I went to check out the food trucks lined up, waiting to feed attendees. Dangerously Delicious Pies tempted me with their Hot Rod savory pie (cheese and potatoes in pie...what's *not* to love!). I found a nice spot in the sun to enjoy my feast. Before I had even opened up my takeout container, a lovely young woman sat down next to me and asked if I was waiting on anyone to join me. I said no, and we ended up having a great conversation while we enjoyed our lunches together. I explained my experiment to her, and thanked her from allowing me to abide by my own rules. Super fun.

Last night a friend was in town for a retirement, and invited me to join her and another friend for dinner. A delightful selection of tapas plates and two bottles of wine later, we parted ways and I'm set for another couple of days of my own cooking.

I made hummus and bread yesterday, granola this morning and have plans for pasta sauce with turkey, mushrooms and the ubiquitous kale for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks this week. I do miss cheese.

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