I've always loved food, don't get me wrong. And I have already learned my lesson about the perils of buying lunch at work. But ever since I started dating Boyfriend I have become alarmingly domesticated. I've been cooking! And not just pasta or scrambled eggs but actual meals. Truth be told before he came around for dinner I mostly ate:
- Canned soup
- Ramen noodles
- Frozen dinners
- Frozen ravioli
- Chef Boyardee ravioli
- Pasta, lots and lots of pasta
- Mac and cheese out of a box
- Hot dogs
- PB & J
After college I lived at home and ate Mom's cooking again before finally heading back to law school where I lived in a dorm that had a kitchen but I didn't have time to cook so I survived on tomato soup and hot dogs. Seriously. That's all I ate for one year. But I aced Contracts!
My second year of law school I moved into my first apartment! Independence! A kitchen of my very own. A whole set of used cookware handed down to me with no instructions. I expanded my horizons to the occasional omlette but mostly I stuck to that list above. I've now lived in that apartment for four years and the most elaborate meal I've made there is chilli.
Then I met Boyfriend! We courted - during which time I discover his culinary habits are even worse than mine. Instead of making it a Mac n Cheese night he orders in. Every night! I reaped the benefits of this habit at first. Don't get me wrong. When you're first dating a great guy and he wants to order you a baked ziti dinner for delivery so you have time to, um, watch a movie, you go for it.
Then things really got hot....in the kitchen. It started with football season of course. I made for my new Boyfriend the only thing I'd ever really learned how to make: chilli. It took me all day in the Crock Pot but we loved it. A tradition was formed. We started going to the grocery store together and planning meals. We were a couple who cooked for each other. Life was good.
I started taking pictures of the meals I made to email to my Mom to prove that yes I do know how to make pork chops.
Yum, I made this shrimp stir fry a couple of weeks ago. And while yes it's cheaper than going to a restaurant the items you see above were really damned expensive. The shrimp was reasonably priced but when you add in the baby corn plus the scallions plus the snow peas et. al it was probably about a $30 meal. Obviously we can't afford to eat something like that every night.
Boyfriend and I shop for food for his condo together and I want to start chipping in more as I've been kind of lax with my grocery money contributions the past couple of trips. I've been reading a lot about stockpiling staples when they are on sale and I think it's a great idea. However on my limited budget I can't exactly buy much of anything in bulk. Browsing the weekly grocery store flyer I noticed that bread crumbs are 10 for $10. I think that sounds like a fabulous deal. I ain't so sure where we have the room for 10 boxes of bread crumbs though. Oh wait, how about my Really Expensive Storage Facility around the corner?
I think we need to do a little more meal planning so that we can effectively set our grocery budget. We always buy things on sale except for lunch meat and beer but we need to stock up on more of the basics....especially because, guess what, it's snowing in October!! So stay tuned for more on my culinary adventures.