a confession of the culinary sort

i am about to admit something, something i never thought i would say.

something that has haunted me for quite some time up here in mason city, done in the quiet hours where no one is around to witness or criticize.

i like to cook.

there, i said it. are you happy, mom?

somewhere along the line, cooking has stopped becoming a chore to me. i find myself looking through recipe books now and dog earring pages with things that i think sound good. i group my grocery list according to what food i want featured in my meals each night. i don’t mind shucking out $60 in groceries and whip up some meal that takes much longer to make than it does to consume.

what the hell is wrong with me?

granted, i don’t do anything extravagant or noteworthy (see my friend Erin’s blog Foodtopia if you’re looking for something like that), but i find myself in the kitchen every night making some meal for the boy and me. he will usually come home, make some exclamation about how the house smells good (then I give him a treat, it’s sort of like a pavlov’s dog experiment) and then we will sit down and eat and watch dexter. it’s become a nice little routine.

but recently, evan has come up with a new challenge for me. given that we spend around $100 every couple weeks on groceries, he is asking me to use up what we have in the cupboards/freezer/refrigerator before we go shopping for anything else. now, if anyone knows me they know i can’t back down from a challenge. especially if it involves making money or saving money (i’m easy, what can i say). so for the past few weeks, i’ve been documenting what i’ve had for supper (yeah, that’s right, we call it ‘supper’ ’round these parts)… here goes:

Monday 11/21: wasn’t that hungry and evan works late on mondays so i had chips and salsa with melted cheese. don’t judge me.
Tuesday 11/22: made these crescent chicken things- a recipe passed down from my mom and a lundberg family favorite. they are probably one of my favorite meals, but it involves all sorts of unhealthy things like cream cheese, bread, and salt (probably why i like it so much). also cooked up some broccoli.
Wedesday 11/23: met krista and jordan out for hy-chi (hy-vee chinese food). it was only okay… but it was also only $6 a piece for an all you can eat buffet.
Thursday 11/24: thanksgiving leftovers and pumpkin pie (the only pie i really enjoy, mostly because of the whipped cream)
Friday 11/25: some delicious seasoned chicken halves we got on discount from super target for 1.67. they had been sitting in our freezer for god knows how long. also stirred up some potatoes.
Saturday 11/26: hamburger helper meal from 2007. yeah, gotta get that out of the cupboard at some point. apple slices, cut to perfection (super thin and almost like chips).
Sunday 11/27: casey’s pizza. kind of cheating, but evan’s parents came up to help me paint my office so we had to feed them and i didn’t want them to suffer through our meal challenge.
Monday 11/28: leftover casey’s pizza. hey, i do alright for myself. (btw: if you ever want to win me over get me a casey’s pizza with mushrooms, pepperoni, and black olives. it’s my absolute favorite, and i don’t care what anyone says- casey’s pizza is the best pizza known to man)
Tuesday 11/29: used the rest of the ham leftover from thanksgiving to make ham fried rice. had to buy an onion, but i don’t really think that’s cheating…
Wednesday 11/29: okay, i admit it, i caved. while i was withdrawing money at target i bought two delicious and cheap spinach and herb encrusted beef pinwheels. for $5. total. BOOM.

in total, for the 1.5 weeks that i was actually at home, the total amount i spent on food was less than $30 (counting the pizza, my order of chinese food, the onion, and the pinwheels). i feel pretty good about that. and the fact we are clearing out this ridiculous amount of food we have stored up– our bomb shelter just isn’t quite big enough for it all– makes me feel like we’re accomplishing something.

i should also perhaps note that evan did end up caving and buying some groceries- he’s been sick the past few days so he stocked up on chicken noodle soup, an assortment of teas, pomegranates, and… pie. (i think the pie was more of a “feel good” sort of purchase.) 🙂

next week i’ll be in des moines and i’m pretty sure i will at least triple that amount of money while i’m in town. i have this problem i call FOMO (fear of missing out). i hate the idea of fun going on and me not being a part of it.

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4 responses to “a confession of the culinary sort

  1. Amanda I have to say that I am so proud of you! You were always the last person I would have expected to enjoy cooking; sorry! You eat out a lot! It’s also fun to experiment with things! We should take a class! Also, since we will be staying together next week we can try to manage each others spending… I hope! 🙂 keep cooking secret lovah!!

  2. i still eat out way too often- but like i said, it’s because i don’t want to miss out on hanging out with people! (and sushi, sushi is another weakness of mine)

  3. Ham fried rice! I hope you thought of me that night. I think of you every time I see ham fried rice.

  4. ham fried rice DID solidify our friendship… but i only think of you when i have a saturday haircut followed by some hfr. 🙂

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