Sunday, November 09, 2008

in which I make comfort food

Cooking update: I gifted two cupcakes to my neighbor as a "just being nice" gesture. This was before I had even sampled the cakes myself and realizing how horrid they were. So I wanted to apologize as soon as I could. My neighbor works very long hours and it was a full week before I saw him home, and so I was finally able to tell him that I had no idea how awful they were. 

He just looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "get out of town. They were great!"

"Thank you, but you don't have to say that just to be nice."

"I'm not! I really liked them! "

I don't entirely believe him, but even if he's lying, that's very nice of him, isn't it? :)

In other food news, I'm trying to cut back on expenses, and I've done a good job but an area that still needs work is the food budget. I've joined the coffee club at work (the Agency That I Work For does not provide coffee for its employees. We have to buy it ourselves (including the coffee pot), which is okay by me.) which sometimes makes me wonder how much I really need a morning cup of coffee. Seriously. I'm a bit of a coffee snob; I know what I like, and I'm willing to pay for quality. So with the coffee club, everybody is on a list, and each person is responsible for bringing in a bag of coffee when it's their turn. But there are always arguments about the quality/type of coffee brought in. I'm not fond of French Roast and was  a bit glum when someone brought in a 3lb bag of that, but was even more unhappy when someone else brought in a 3lb container of Folger's coffee. Now that's completely unacceptable. This is Seattle, people. Ground zero for Starbucks? Say what you will about that company but it has succeeded in raising the average person's awareness for quality. Even drip coffee at  McDonald's and 7-11 is premium coffee now.  

But I've sucked it up (or down, as it were) and drunk not very good coffee for the past two weeks. It's much harder to cut back on eating out for lunch. Lots of frugality bloggers say that brown-bagging your lunch will save you lots of money, which I think is quite true. But then almost all of them say "and it's healthier too!" Not necessarily. Now, if a person habitually eats at McDonald's for lunch, then yes, it's probably hard to bring a lunch that's less healthy than that. My problem is that I'm surrounded by lots of super-fresh, super-healthy, high-quality lunch establishments and it's so easy to let laziness kick in and not bring a lunch, especially when the alternative is something far tastier than I can make for myself. (This isn't the case if Oscar makes lunch for me, though.)

But today, I started acting like an adult and made a pot of Ethiopian lentil stew (out of the Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook). I've made this a lot in the past, but haven't made it in awhile but I had all the ingredients and whipped up a batch. I think the whole cost of the stew was less than $5 and there's enough for several days (depending on how much Oscar eats). I served myself a small bowl when it was done, and you know how sometimes you eat something that just satisfies just about every craving you had, even though you didn't even realize you were craving anything? It was a bowl of heaven. Filling, nourishing, and warm. It was the culinary equivalent of a long hug. Yum. 

1 comment:

L J said...

And you ARE going to share the receipe correct? That sounds so good!