Thursday, August 13, 2015

Trying to get ahead of myself

It has been a warmer than expected day today, with temperatures heading to 30 degrees and a bit beyond. I'm trying hard to just appreciate the last month or so of summer but have sweat buckets the last couple of days so it's a bit of a struggle. At least it hasn't rained - it didn't stop for even a second on Tuesday. More thunderstorms and rain are expected overnight. Hopefully they'll have cleared up by morning.

Despite the heat I got up about an hour after getting home this evening and headed into the kitchen to heat up my leftover spiced cauliflower and potatoes for dinner and cook up the two tomatoes leftover from last week together with a courgette I bought yesterday with just about the last of my money (46c still left in my purse). I ordered onions and tomatoes as extras in my vegetable box today so I chopped up one of the smaller onions and threw that in the pan with some garlic, too. The courgette was big so really I've got a very large portion for the freezer which will do two pasta dinners come winter.
More photos taken in terrible lighting but it's mostly to serve as a reminder to me so it'll do. Broccoli on the left and courgette with tomatoes and onion on the right.
Otherwise I was just going to put the rest of the veg into the fridge but since I was waiting for dinner to be ready anyway I thought I'd just wash the Tupperware stuff from lunchtime and the container my dinner had been in. Got that done and then thought about how I would have a much better time in the morning if I just washed some salad now and had it ready to go. So I did that. The rest of the lettuce went into the salad spinner and into the fridge (the Tupperware salad spinner comes with a separate lid so that you can store the lettuce in it - very handy). Then I decided that since I was doing that I might as well chop a tomato and scallion and prepare the dressing. So that's all done and ready to go.

The divided box was the free gift at a Tupperware party last year and it is the business. So I've got a tomato with a little bit of olive oil and basil leaves in the bigger section, a chopped scallion on one side of the smaller sections and a simple vinaigrette dressing in the other. Since it's all going to go into the salad at lunchtime tomorrow it doesn't really matter if it turns upside down in my bag and the dressing mixes in with the rest of the stuff. But for now, it's all separated and nothing's getting soggy.
Then I set to, putting the carrots into a suitable container, ditto the cauliflower, the tomatoes went into their bowl, the onions into their container, the apples into the fruit bowl and the broccoli...well, the broccoli, to be completely honest, didn't look like it was going to survive very long. I want to use it to make a broccoli and feta quiche at the weekend so decided that it'd be easier to just cook it now. So I did that. And, for the first time ('cos I didn't really realise it was a thing you could do before), I actually chopped up the entire stem into small bits and cooked that, too. I'll get good at this frugality thing one day and not miss a trick but for now I'm happy to have learned yet another one. That definitely made a big difference to the amount of broccoli that I cooked.

So, for just over an hour's effort (it was very hot so I was taking my time about things and kept having to stop to wipe the sweat from my glasses when it dropped down - I may need to find myself a sweatband, channel my inner John McEnroe, like) I feel like I am way ahead of myself foodwise for the coming week. I printed out the list of veg I was getting yesterday and spent ten minutes of my lunchtime going through that, adding what I still had in the fridge and making a meal plan for next week. Taking into account the various activities I have on and fast days and so on. From that, I wrote my shopping list and I'll be off to Aldi first thing on Saturday morning to stock up on what will be, it turns out, mostly dairy products.
Rough and ready but it works for me - I've given up on trying to keep a fancy notebook or anything like that for my meal plans and shopping lists. Most of the results of this work will get saved into a memo on my phone so that I can check on it any time.

It's very sobering to realise how far food can really go when you're paying attention. Or at least, the sobering thought is how little attention I've been paying for so long. However, those thoughts come with a determination not to ever fall back into those ways again. Mindless behaviour rarely leads to happiness - I know that, now I just need to start living it better.

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