Against All Odds

We’ve talked before about my less than stellar eating habits. For those not familiar, I’m in the habit of eating cereal for dinner when left on my own, if I eat dinner at all. I have stuck to the yogurt and flaxseed routine for breakfast, but have long since dropped the fruit. Fruit is hard. You have to be organized. It goes bad quick. So fruit is out, at least for breakfast at work. See how that works? That’s pretty much my mantra as far as food is concerned. If I burn more calories preparing it than I gain by eating it, isn’t that counterproductive? This makes WH crazy. Out of his head crazy. If someone forgets to thaw meat for dinner, if no one feels like cooking, I’ll eat some peanut butter toast and go on about my business (fyi, that would be the life-saving work of holding the couch down, lest it become some sort of missile.). Peanut butter sandwiches are a far cry from a proper or even passable dinner according to WH’s standards, and so he gets really frustrated. To him, nothing to cook for dinner = problem. To me, nothing to cook for dinner = less work! Score!

Okay, so now that you’re familiar with the background, I can unload a ground-breaking turn of events. Are you sitting down?

I’m cooking. Yes, I’ve cooked before. Every once in awhile. I make some mean country style ribs. I’ve experimented with crock-pottery. Baking, well, that’s always been my strong suit. Need some cookies? Or a pie? I’m your girl. This is different, though. I am officially in charge of cooking. How in the hell did WH let this happen? Well, you’d have to ask him, but I believe it had something to do with my utter inability to ever clean the kitchen in a reasonable amount of time after he cooked. Something about always having to cook in a dirty kitchen and having to stop to wash stuff out that he cooked in the night before? Anyway, he thought maybe he might be able to pry my ass off of our couch by switching things up a little. At this point, you should be really proud of WH: behold my husband’s bravery. He, who had to teach me the proper method of combining the butter, milk and cheese powder to make Kraft Mac and Cheese, has placed me in charge of the biggest, most important meal of the day.

Ready for more shock and awe? I’m enjoying it. Yep. I like it. In fact, when I’m not cooking, I’m reading about cooking or thinking about cooking. At this very moment, in another part of my brain, I’m considering the possiblity of using a lime butter sauce on the ground turkey I plan to cook Friday night or Saturday for dinner. (don’t worry, WH, I’m still undecided.)

Gas costs a fortune, we don’t make a fortune, food is expensive, and we like to eat. I think that’s all pretty well universal across the blogosphere. Enter: scratch cooking. That’s right, internet. When I say I’m cooking, and enjoying it, I’m not talking about throwing some pre-fab pork bbq into the microwave (it has it’s place, though). No. I am talking about the basic building blocks of life: flour, cornmeal, pork fat and real, separate herbs and spices (as opposed to “seasoning packets”).

I was whining last week about the availability of food storage containers. I found some great ones, and they are en route, having departed Columbus, Ohio at 4:23AM this morning. They’re pretty fugly. That’s fine with me. I was looking for a couple specific things: price (dirt cheap!!), functionality (I can fit my hand and my measuring cup down into the container), and airtightness (best 120mm seal on the market- whatever the fuck that means). If you knew how my existence hinged on the finding and obtaining of these containers, well, it’s on par with mulch. It’s THAT important.

WH has made a huge concession for me and for our budget. His food mantra (outside of “more”) has always been: “Dinner = a meat, a starch and two vegetables”. Before you starting thinking that WH is kind of jerky (he certainly can be), remember that when your wife grew up in a house where stewed tomatoes over macaroni noodles is high cuisine, the onus is on you to instill some common sense. So after years of beating that into my head, he’s opening his mind and heart to beans, ground turkey and meatless dinners. His commitment to trying a new way of eating faltered slightly as he stared down his first dinner of lentils, but he not only enjoyed them for dinner, he ate the leftovers for lunch a few days later.

This new obsession of mine just screams for a food/recipe/cooking blog, especially since I think it would fill a void. You know, the whole “trying to cook more simply and eat cheaper stuff because the cost of gas is killing me, but I’m not a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, South Beach, organic cheese puffs kind of girl” void. There are two obstacles. The first being that this blog doesn’t always get the loving attention I really feel it deserves. The second is that the only name I can think of doesn’t really seem like a killer idea: Cat Food. Ha! Get it? Shut up.

Anyone know just how long you have to boil a chicken carcass to make stock?

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4 Responses

  1. To make a good stock…give it a couple hours.
    You can’t really overcook a stock, but the longer you give it, the more flavor it will have.

  2. No ideas on the stock – I buy mine in cans! 😉

    Good luck with all the cooking! I have been cooking for years but for the extremely picky hubby and I got tired of his limited junk diet so I often cook him things like steak-ums and kraft mac& cheese and make something else for me.

  3. I’ve also been cooking more and enjoying it. I’m not a huge meat eater–not really for any ethical/philosophical reason, but just because I don’t really like how I feel after I eat it (sluggish, heavy, too full). Because my husband is a dedicated carnivore, I’ve been cooking more. And (I can’t believe this) I actually like it!

    I think you should roll the cooking into this blog because I, for one, would love to read about it!

  4. You have been doing a SMACKY job cooking. After being frustated with the continual state of the kitchen, it was time ot try something different. Besides, it allows me more time in the yard after work. Plus, it usually only takes 10 or so minutes to clean up as opposed to an hour or more of cooking on some nights.
    My outlook on meat is changing in the face of harvesting something like 20+ squash this week and 5 or so zuchinnini’s. We’ve ate more lettuce in the past month than in the last year! If we grow it, we eat it. Doesn’t leave alot of room for meat.

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