Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 214- Deprivation?

Before I start today, is anyone out there mortally offended by being referred to (group-wise) as guys? 'Cause the whole guys/ ladies thing drives me nuts, and I'm stopping it. Um, yeah.

Right, so... Deprivation-

With all the talking I've been doing about food and money and splurging, it'd be easy to think I've been feeling deprived.

Sometimes I do. Totally.

But not really more than I would if I had twice as much money to spend. Realistically, when I didn't keep track of my budget, I'd buy maybe two pints of ice cream a year. Same with the vegan mayo. Fancy cheese sub maybe every other month-

There are only three "meals" that I ate regularly this time last year that I might miss.
  • Booze-y doctored fresh or jarred tomato/ veggie sauce and pasta, with or without fried tofu chunks;
  • "meat"ball sammiches (again with doctored sauce) on rolls I didn't cook myself; and
  • Bags of chips and spiced vegan sour cream dip stuff.
Those three meals (um...) made up about 85% of my dinners. Of course, last year I was also working full time, going to school, and not getting a whole lot of sleep, so...

The thing I really miss (other than that whole "don't have to eat oatmeal" bit) is being able to go out. ZOMG, I miss going out. I miss eating in a place, hanging out, not having to do the cooking beforehand or the dishes after.

I ate out more last year. Like once, maybe twice a month. I ate more tomatoes, either canned from super deals or fresh from the garden (note- hail *will* take out tomatoes in Laramie every time). I also ended up eating a lot of plain tomato soup or pita crisps, or Oreos for lunch when I overslept and had to buy food at work.

So sure, I'd like more chocolate, or spices, or lasagna. But chances are, after I had the first bunch, they'd just sit there. It can take me a *month* to eat a good chocolate bar- I don't like to waste them, and I buy the super rich ones. I really only use half a dozen spices, the extras are just nice to have around. And lasagna? I think I made two last year, and none for something like 4 years before that. Other than some leafy greens and the odd head of broccoli, there's not much I need that I can't--or won't--swing somehow.

I guess what I'm saying is, aside from my ongoing romance with potato chips, I (mostly) limited food luxuries at home and kept things pretty simple before. Not because I was being all that thrifty (um, chips?) but because there's only so much room in a fridge, or because the co-op in town didn't carry something and I couldn't get to the next town with a healthy-food store.

All of this doesn't mean that if the gourmet food fairy dropped off a pallet of artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and red wine I'd give it back. (Note to mom- This is not a request for any of those items.) I just don't dream of them all day long. For a minute or two when I'm trying to think up something to eat? Sure. I think anyone who cooks spends at least a couple thoughts a day on how nice it would be if they didn't have to cook or could use only the best of everything. Then they get over it, or work around it, or make plans for when they can afford it.

I know I'm coming across as frustrated sometimes, and bored, and whiny, and I'm not eating as much variety or even just food as I probably should. I know I lost my "voice" for a while there, and I'm trying to get it back. And I've got some shiny new medicine that kills my appetite dead, so the frustration will probably continue. A lot of that is life stuff though, spilling over into my food.

SRSLY? If it were *that* annoying, I'd just go get the damned food stamps.

ps- I'll get to the shopping later. For now, I naps.


  1. Being called a collective "guy" does not bother me.

    I think you don't eat enough. :/ But that's just me. I'm a firm three meal a day-er. With oatmeal being the first meal. haha.

  2. Since I'm firmly entrenched in cooking as my official hobby, I don't fantasize (much) about NOT having to cook. But I do fantasize about the endless budget, ingredient availability, and skills so that I can make ANYTHING. Also I fantasize about the handsome man-slave that will do the dishes. And gadgets. I lust after kitchen gadgets. My current lust is for the super-duper $500 KitchenAid stand-mixer. And I don't even use the stand-mixer I have all that often.

  3. Alyse- Left to my own devices I tend to graze. So while I eat just one thing, I usually try to eat a lot of it, and over a couple of hours (which isn't working this week). With unlimited dollars there'd probably be more chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit, but ... yeah. Oatmeal is a great breakfast. In cookies. ; )

    Kim- I like cooking. I just don't like doing it only for myself and with no real breaks. Heck, I actually *like* making (veggie) sushi. Also, only one handsome man-slave? I always thought 2 would be better- one for dishes and vacuuming, one for bathrooms and laundry. Plus, if one gets sick you can knock him out with cold medicine and you've still got the other one.

    Now gadgets, I am with you on those. I've burnt out 3 (cheap) food processors, but I always want another. Or a *good* knife. I've actually stood *drooling* in front of a knife case before, oh, lust.

  4. Eep. Say no to fantasized slavery (kidding). I must say I am not organized enough to plan short-term to get kitchen gadget, though my imaginary list does include a mandolin and a handheld mixer. And a good knife...

    I'm terribly offended to be called in as part of the "guys" to the point I don't read your blog. Frequently. More than once a day. Twice a day when the sun shines. Three if it rains. Anyway, no, I don't think many of us really mind. 'Guys' works. Though now that you mention it, I think more of us are gals.

  5. I'd use gals (or even "chicks") but I've gotta spread the un-fair around. I can't objectify men *and* call my 4 (8?) guy readers chicks, it's just not fair.

    Um, ok, so I *could* do it, but it still wouldn't be fair. On the subject of boy-toys who clean, I guess I could go with indentured servitude instead. You know, like the military, only without the guns and stuff.

    Oooh, mandolin. I'd slice my fingertips off, but still, *YES*

  6. I don't mind the "guys" thing but I happen to be one.
    oh Kim I want that KitchenAid as well.

  7. I admit, I don't quite get the KitchenAid thing. I don't think I do anything involved enough to need it.

    Which reminds me- on my "someday" list- ice cream machine and an air popper for popcorn.

    Ooh, I just got an idea for a project...

  8. Oh, I'd use the KitchenAid once in a blue moon. It's more like a Louis Vuitton luggage set - it's a status symbol. Plus, they're pretty.

  9. I don't mind the 'guys' reference, I tend to clump everyone together when I say 'folks' as in "Good night folks, catch ya tomorrow."

    I'm right on board with the maid thing too, just for doing dishes and cleaning out the basement (cobwebs and creepy crawlers, yuck!).

    I like cooking but it's nice to get a break now and again by either eating leftovers, frozen meals or a splurge from precooked meals from the grocery store (which also carries over to the next day for lunch). On the lottery list: a professional Kitchen Aide mixer, set of culiary knives and the house to put it in lol.

  10. Not to change the subject from "guys", man-slaves, and kitchen gadgets...but I am curious. You mentioned getting chocolate. We are not vegans, but my son in lactose intolerant so I have been exploring this whole new world of foods without dairy. In fact I get very excited when I find "fun foods" (think, soy pudding) that little kids love to eat. Do you recommend a certain brand of dairy free chocolate? I found a dairy free (and egg free) chocolate chip cookie mix the other day but will have to save it for the next grocery trip. Just curious. :)

  11. There's a "rice milk" chocolate that they sell at some Whole Foods, but when I tried it it wasn't very good. So I usually go with dark chocolate. makes a good smooth dark chocolate. If I remember correctly, Ghirardelli has dairy free semi-sweet choco-chips, I think Food Lion house brand choco (and buterscotch, I think) chips are vegan, but you'd have to check.

    If you're interested in "projects" you might be able to make milk chocolate by miking dark chocolate and something like almond milk.