Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 124- I Want a Food Machine

First up, I changed the template. The other one was not at all adjustable, and I felt like I was always shrinking photos down to tiny sizes. This one is more my style, anyway. Let me know if it's way too wide for your screens, but otherwise, I think this is what I'm sticking with.


As I was thinking about cooking yesterday, I thought about the sci-fi and fantasy books I've read with food machines in them. You know, some character presses a button and the food just *appears*. No other cooking involved. I want one installed in every room in every building I'm ever in.

See, I have this thing... I hate (with a fiery passion) doing anything that I have to do.

Quick story-

I read The Grapes of Wrath back when I was probably 12 or so. Before high school, when it was required. I haven't read it since. Not when we were reading it for class, not when I was bored in an airport, not when it was required for reading in a college class. Once it was "required" I lost all interest. I've never read The Odyssey and I've written (very good) papers on the dratted thing. It's always been required reading, and I don't wanna.

Back to the Point-

I'm *required* by this challenge to cook several times each day. For myself. Then required to eat, several times each day, again, by myself. Pleh.

Cooking from (mostly) scratch when there are other options? Crazy revolutionary, contrary thing to do. Fun. Cooking from scratch when I have to? Plodding dull crap I'm starting to hate more every day.

Of course, if I lived someplace where cooking was outlawed and you had to go to restaurants for every meal or get take away, or something, I'd be hunting down black market grocery stores and stoves and who knows what else. But in this have to cook every day world, I dream of magic food replicators. Or maybe a maid, cook, and several attractive guys to cart my lazy behind around on one of those Cleopatra-type chairs.

What this translates to in real life is that... Well, sometimes my food is just ugly. And most of the time it pretty much sucks, flavor-wise. It's really just fuel at this point. I've lost interest in making it interesting. And there are only so many ways I can photograph a bowl of noodles.

True story- I once considered a co-housing opportunity because it included a meal-prep rotation. Everyone only cooked maybe twice a month. Then I realized that I need more mental personal space than that.

So yeah. Yesterday's food was a set of... "burgers", made with my handy dandy batter recipe, about 1/4C wheat gluten, and 1/3 of an onion, diced. It held together really well. I'm going to try it with beans. I think it'd be best with black beans (because I like them the most) but I'll have to get more before I try that. I also made noodles with soy sauce and oil, but it was just noodles, so no photo.

Third- In line with my whole "I hate doing things that are required" deal, I was thinking about taking this weekend off from blogging. I find myself much less inclined to "cheat" now that I've given myself permission (even as limited as it is). I think I'm going to do it. I might give a quick update sometime this weekend, but otherwise, after about midnight GMT, I'm taking "off" until Monday. I'll still be on my budget, just not writing about it- I've got some stuff to do, and no motivation to do any of it. Hopefully this will help change that. Sometimes a mini-vacation (even from vacation) can be just what a person needs.

So that's it. Thoughts, opinions, ideas?


  1. I definitely understand the value of choice as a motivator. It's almost an issue of resentfulness - I HAVE to do laundry because I'm out of clean underwear means admitting some things have control over my life. Sometimes what helps is a reality check. First of all, I don't HAVE to do laundry. I don't HAVE to wear clean underwear, or underwear at all. In fact, it is a luxury to not only own clothes but to have the ability to wash them in the first place. And not in a dirty river with a washboard, but a washing machine. At which point I remind myself that it is the act of doing those little things I MUST do that actually afford me the bigger freedoms in life. So really, I am choosing to do laundry because I want clean underwear.

    My problem lately is that I'm having so much fun with all the new stuff I'm making for dinner that I find breakfast and lunch to be boring. I've started getting more creative with lunch, and now the idea that I have to start my day with a bowl of cereal is making it hard to find the will to eat breakfast. When lunch is a fresh veggie focaccia and dinner is home-made shrimp ravioli, Cheerios just doesn't seem worth the effort.

  2. Oh yeah, it's totally the mind trip, I'm just having trouble wrapping my mind around it in a way that's still fun. Really though? There are only so many interesting things to do with lentils.

    This would be so much easier in someplace like Tanzania- I'd be able to eat enough avocados to never want one again. Drat this choosing to live in a place with clean water and no open sewers.

    Also, given my laziness, I'm way too likely to "choose" to just not eat, which is no good for anyone.

  3. I can definitely see how your budgetary and dietary constraints can add an extra level of difficulty. How much can you do with lentils indeed?

    Maybe it's time to just go buck wild? Pick two things you would NEVER combine and see what happens. Remember, someone had to be the first nutjob to look at a lobster and say, "Hey, there must be SOMETHING worth eating in there."

  4. Ever think about having a day where you make a ton of stuff (let's say a Saturday or Sunday) and make meals in advance? Maybe buy some cheap containers and freeze it? That way all the work is done and you can give yourself a break now and again.

  5. Choice is a huge motivator, I agree.

    And, I like the new layout. :)

  6. Kim- I actually have something I want to try with lentils and even have most (all?) of the stuff I need to make it. I think it's going to be my challenge item.

    MrsG- I've tried that. I run out of steam about half way though. When I've managed it the pre-cooked food worked great. Once there's stuff I don't have to cook in the house, though, it's j-locust time and I eat through it 3 meals a day until it's gone.