I feel like I didn’t get anything done yesterday. I was extremely tired, having been up far too late the night before when I had to get up at 7am to take Grace to school. I futzed around on the internet for what seemed like all day… but when I think about it I did realize I got things done. Like three loads of laundry (one of which I actually managed to fold, instead of leaving in the hamper for a week), and cleaning both bathrooms. I also straightened up a lot of stuff that was just laying about the house and reorganized my pantry shelves in the garage.
So I guess that’s not nothing. But it sort of feels like it since I got all that done rather quickly.
You know what? A woman says she’s done nothing all day, and in reality she’s simply done less than she usually does or she didn’t accomplish everything on her to-do list. A man says he’s done nothing, and he has honestly and truly done not a thing. Yet another way men and women truly are different.
I am operating under a New Plan here at Chez Bluesleepy. I’ve always been pretty good at sticking to a meal plan and making dinner most nights. I really do enjoy cooking, so it’s not an onerous duty for me. I used to make up a list of six to eight meals that would last me two weeks, and then go shopping for all the ingredients.
But see, that’s the thing. While I was only buying the things I needed for the meals, I was buying new ingredients — and that causes the grocery bill to increase. Or I would figure out what I wanted to make that morning, then get Kurt to stop by the commissary to pick up ingredients for just that one meal. What I should have been doing, and what I am doing now, is figuring out ways to use up what I have on hand.
Which is why last night we had Split Peas with Mixed Spices (from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything) over rice with a salad and some of my homemade whole wheat and molasses bread (also a recipe from Bittman). I had all the ingredients in my pantry, as well as all the spices (cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cayenne — all the “c” spices). Tonight will be oven-fried chicken with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, and I’ll make some frozen veggies as a side dish since we are out of salad. Tomorrow is kielbasa simmered in jarred red cabbage, and more frozen veggies. I keep buying the veggies; I might as well use them. But we’ve been on such a salad kick lately. I’m already almost out of my aged balsamic vinegar that I got for my birthday because the only dressing I’ve been craving on my mixed greens is aged balsamic vinegar and my Palestinian olive oil. Yum!
However, since Kurt needs to go to the commissary today anyhow since I am out of coffee creamer and low on milk, I am getting him to pick up ingredients so I can make this Thai rice soup that I stole out of a cookbook when we went to the Thai restaurant on Monday. All I need is more ginger and garlic, as well as ground pork. But once I have those things on hand, I can easily make several batches, which makes it cost effective. I’m not buying an expensive ingredient that will only work for the one meal. For that, I might as well eat out!
This is not a good week to forgo dining out, however. It’s Restaurant Week here in Newport, which is when all the local restaurants decide to put together a prix fixe three-course menu that runs $16 for lunch and $30 for dinner. Since most of these restaurants will usually run you far more than that, it’s a serious deal. I’m going out to lunch with the ladies (oh yes, apparently I am now a Lady Who Lunches) tomorrow at one of the places participating in Restaurant Week, and apparently this place offers 25¢ martinis during lunch in the winter to entice the locals to visit. I’m not a huge fan of martinis, but for that price, I’ll drink one or three, especially if I get them dirtied up a bit. And I’m hoping to take in another place on Friday with another friend. Lunch doesn’t count in my ban on dining out, you see, not if I’m being social.
Now I just need to figure out what to eat for dinner on Friday and Saturday. Any suggestions??