I am not normal when it comes to cooking and eating food. I am a freak of nature, and I fully admit to that.
You know what I like? Not making food all friggin’ day. Planning meals is completely ridiculous. Why would one spend all of their waking time trying to figure out what they are going to eat next? Just grab a menu at a restaurant, and you get like 20 choices, and that’s it. That is a perfect system. What’s not a perfect system is trying to bolt together some semblance of a meal using 2 tortillas, a can of black-eyed peas and a prayer.
I am honestly starting to question my resolve in this 30 day eating-in challenge, and we’re
four three fucking days into this ugly little monster. There are a couple reasons for my wavering determination. The first one is simply a difference between my wife and I. Meg likes food that tastes good. She enjoys smelling our spices, looking for that one special herb that will give our meal “that special something” that will elevate it from normal fare to something resembling nirvana, or a least a good taste bud orgy. She likes fresh ingredients, equal proportions of proteins to starches, and plenty of variety.
You know what I like? Something that will keep my heart beating for a few more hours. I could honestly eat the exact same thing at every meal if it had 5 or less ingredients and I could make it in gigantic quantities.
That’s not to say that I don’t like food that tastes good. I just don’t enjoy spending three hours in the grocery store looking for freshly ground bat penises or whatever. I will eat whatever is in front of me, and I won’t complain. Quick example: when I was in the Army, I opened my ham slice Meal-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) a little too quickly, and the gelatin-covered chunk of processed protein went squirting out of the pack, directly into a pile of dirt.
I swear to god, it stood up on it’s own, sticking out of the muck. It created a crater at my feet, right between my jungle boots.
I pulled it out of the dirt, and IMMEDIATELY crammed it straight into my pie-hole. I tasted Ecuadorian shit-covered mud for the rest of the day.
I tell you this story to highlight how difficult the last few days have been for me. I have to force myself to try to experiment with spices and shit, because otherwise I know Meg will get bored with my crappy chicken burritos and we’ll both quit.
Let me say this again: I have made my crappy chicken burritos twice in four days. I consider this a huge improvement compared to how I normally operate.
Every day that I cook I freeze up, staring into the corner of the room with eyes the size of dinner plates, while I ask myself the following questions (rated by importance):
1. Which of the four recipes I know by heart am I going to eat tonight?
2. Do we have the ingredients for that thing?
3. If we don’t have the ingredients, how am I going to procure the ingredients?
4. Is it something we’ve had recently? Like for breakfast? (The same thing twice in the same day is a no-no)
5. Does it taste good?
I have added numbers four and five to the list specifically for Meg. This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with Meg. Clearly, I am the psychopath in this situation, content to come home, put my feet up, and dip a boiled piece of chicken in mustard while lounging inside my plastic-covered kill room, a slight smile tugging up the corners of my mouth while a bound-and-gagged homeless man stares into my lifeless eyes, hoping for mercy.
No mercy will come for you, my friend. I bought 10 pounds of chicken breasts. On sale. And I’ve got enough dippin’ mustard to last me for weeks.
Man, that got dark. Quickly.
The second reason is something I’m longing for: coffee shops. Not necessarily coffee, but that is a part of it. My homemade stuff just doesn’t taste the same as a delicious hazelnut americano. More than that, though, is the ambiance of coffee shops. I love the way a good coffee shop feels when I’m inside of it, especially with the cold and snowy weather on the way. I like the coffee shop people, and I miss them already. And it hasn’t even been a week yet. Fingers crossed that someone doesn’t find me on the floor, prostrate, my body racked by sobs and a failed attempt at making espresso spilled across the floor.
Anyway, on to the food.
Today, we had:
Brunch with our friend Liz. Meg made a delicious and healthy pumpkin pie quinoa bake. I made scrambled eggs (See?!?!? I suck at this!!!). Liz brought waffles, fruit, and her awesome face. We drank coffee all morning and realized how much time we normally blow when we go out to eat. For dinner, I had a leftover peanut butter and jelly waffle sandwich, and I made Meg a leftover crappy chicken burrito for eating after her roller derby bout. She loved it, because of something I agonized over for like 30 minutes: fresh green pepper strips. I thought it sounded awful, but something told me it would be right up her alley, and she didn’t disappoint.
We wrapped up the evening by watching another roller derby bout on the internet (first place received $10,000!), drinking beer with a bunch of other roller derby friends in a cold warehouse. It was a pretty rad night. We got home late and I was super hungry, so I had a bowl of Chex. Mission accomplished.
So, there you go. Our first Saturday on the challenge was a success, but only just. Trying to decide whether or not to put green peppers on a burrito turned out to be a tougher decision than Sophie ever had to make.
On a related note: does anyone have super easy, but also incredibly delicious recipes I can try out? On an average night, I max out around 8 ingredients, and if they all go into the same pot, it’s even better. Save my ass, folks!