State of the kitchen: week two

  • Dollars spent on food: $170
  • Dollars spent on kitchen gadgets: $80
  • Unintentional pounds lost: 1
  • Times dined out: 1
  • People I fed: approximately 25

This week, I blew the money I’d saved by not eating out on one of my favorite charities, Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (SWOP). I’m noticing a very significant difference in the amount of money left in my wallet at the end of the week already, even more so than I’d already thought. Is there any chance I was actually spending close to $500 a week on dining out? How long was I spending almost $2000 a month on luxury food without realizing it? I felt awfully stupid this week when I saw just how much money was left over. I had some great meals last year, but I’m enjoying this year just the same.

I did eat out once — lobster bisque and seared Ahi — with a customer. Even though I ordered smaller portions than I’m used to, I was totally full by the time I finished my cup of soup and started in on the Ahi (an appetizer portion). Sure, my appetite is a little off this week because I’m trying a new supplement, but my appetite in general is much smaller than it was just two weeks ago. My portion sizes meet my needs, now, instead of feeling like I’m wasting food by leaving it behind at a restaurant.

I spent the extra money on food to buy supplies for making chocolate-covered strawberries. I regret nothing. It was easy, elegant, and I really loved the look on my coworkers’ and friends’ faces when they tried my handiwork. I had so much memorable fun making and giving out those strawberries yesterday!

I bought a vegetable spiralizer that I’ve wanted for ages to make veggie noodles with, a double-boiler I went from not knowing how to use to using proficiently, and an egg poacher, because poaching eggs was stupid and I hated doing it the old-fashioned way.

I’m down a total of five pounds now, while literally eating sticks of butter (eggs benedict), sugar (peanut butter cookies and pudding), and anything else my heart desires. I’m not at all trying to lose weight, and it was never the goal of this project.

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My biggest accomplishment this week was learning to make things I hadn’t even dared to try before for fear of screwing them up or helplessness in where to start: macaroni and cheese, the strawberries, and a simple curry. While these things might not be a big deal to someone who cooks regularly, I literally had no idea where to start. I’ve been so disconnected from my food that I had no idea what ingredients (beyond the obvious) I might need. Taking these basic recipes, I hope to expand them into deeper, more complex tastes than I had the first time around.

The Cheerful Bouquet lasted 15 days before I bought a new one — this time, the Happiness Bouquet, which was four times as expensive and quite metaphoric to me. And, check out my new book for the table: Dressage for the Not-so-Perfect Horse, by Janet Fox.

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