Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day Three - Tuesday

I'm officially sick of this. I'm cranky and tired and hungry. I went for a run after work - just a short one (to be honest, they're all short. I'm not much a runner), and I felt awful. Not like the usual "gah, I'm running. Why am I doing this?" kind of awful, but a different weary kind of awful. I've had trouble concentrating at work, but if you know me, that is not new at all so I'm not sure I can blame it on the food. However, the feeling on the run was new, and although it's not nearly the same, it gives me a hint of what it might be like to work a physical job and not have enough to eat. I'm sick of cooking. It's literally consuming all my free time, and it's not that rewarding when the end product is some sort of Sandra Lee monstrosity. OK, I'm exaggerating, but I'm just saying - canned tomato sauce is not good. Even the organic stuff. Don't be fooled. Am I starving? No, not at all. I just feel vaguely hungry most of the time, and I'm craving the kind of food that has vitamins in it.

Now, to make up for the whining, here's a picture of our Christmas tree to distract you from me acting like a spoiled brat ...

Isn't it pretty? I promise it wasn't planned that we'd be decorating our tree with edible ornaments in the middle of our $25/week. Ironic though.

Breakfast and lunch were much the same. Except I ate my half apple at lunch instead of with breakfast! Oh, that's not interesting. Sorry. For dinner, we had homemade pasta with tomato sauce, broccoli and chickpeas. S. is all wrung out and tired so I purposely didn't eat much so he would have enough.

Off to the kitchen.

This fascinating story begins last night when I drowned some dried chickpeas in water to let them soak overnight. In the morning, I tossed that water and threw them in the crockpot with more water to cook on low while I was work.

After work and after a run, it was time for pasta. It's an egg pasta recipe from my grandmother and as recipes from grandmothers go it's more of a suggestion than an equation. When grandmas are forced to write down your favorite meal, they just sort of guess because it's not like there was a recipe to begin with. So you start with the ingredients and then you "add stuff" until it "looks right".

Grandma's Egg Noodles
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup water

I mixed the flour and salt together and then made a well for the egg and water. Mixed those together and made a very sticky dough that did not "look right" at all. So I added flour until it did "look right", that is - not sticky.

Here's the before shot of the dough balls

And all rolled out and ready to boil (for just a few minutes) until they look right. Ha ha. I'm hilarious.

I didn't take a picture of the mise en place, because I didn't do one. Gasp. But here's the recipe. It very roughly based on this Bon Appetit recipe.

Tomato, Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onions
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can tomato sauce (10 oz. I think?)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 bag frozen broccoli (about 8 oz)
Egg pasta (see above)
2 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

I sauteed the onions until translucent. Oops, I mean until almost burnt and then added the garlic and about burned that too. Then I added the pepper flakes, basil, and tomato sauce and let it simmer away to "meld the flavors" while I worked on the rest of dinner. I tossed the broccoli in a drizzle of oil and roasted it in a hot over (450 degrees. It was on for the bread anyway) until browned in places. Broccoli is the worst boiled or steamed. Yuck. It has all those crevasses for water to get into and make it all soggy and disgusting. When the broccoli was done, the noodles cooked and drained, and the pasta sauce "melded" - I tossed them together and topped with some shredded cheese. You'll see in the picture that I really should have plated the pasta plain with the sauce and broccoli on top of it. It's not terribly photogenic.

I was hungry and grumpy after dinner. Cooking that long and then having it be sort of boring is really not fun. I finally drank a cup of milk and ate a slice of bread and have to admit I felt better after that.

In other news, we ran out of flour. All FIVE POUNDS of it. Turns out we're eating an entire loaf of bread every single day. It's the one thing that isn't spoken for so it tends to be what we snack on. So that extra $2.00 from the budget that I had hoped to spend on something fun is going to buy flour instead. Thankfully, we still have that $2.00. In total, I had $5.41, some of it allocated for a mid-week milk and banana run - so instead, I made a milk, banana, and flour run. Fortunately, the store still had flour on sale for $2.00 so it worked out great.

Giant Eagle
$1.69 milk, one-half gallon
$2.00 flour, 5 lbs
$1.67 8 bananas, 3.4 lbs at $0.49/lb
$5.36 TOTAL

Which leaves me with $0.05 to my name. I'm totally splurging for 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds at the natural foods store.

Breakfast: oatmeal with sugar, cinnamon and sunflower seeds, black tea
Lunch: peanut butter sandwich, apple, carrot, banana, sunflower seeds
Snack: leftover zucchini fritter (S.), bread and peanut butter (A.)
Dinner: Pasta and bread
Dessert: rice pudding (S.) and milk & bread (A.)


Tracey said...

Cute tree! Did you make the orange ornaments?

allisen said...

Thanks! I did make them (well if dehydrating some orange slices counts as "making something).

Speaking of Christmas trees, I thought of you when we picked ours up. We got it at the nursery a couple of blocks from us and carried it home. It reminded me of lugging Alfie (II?) on the Waltham Shuttle. Thank goodness you sort of knew that guy.

Tracey said...

Haha... memories! So how do you dehydrate orange slices? Just stick them outside in the sun? Or do you need a special Ron Popeil gizmo or something?

allisen said...

S's parents gave me an awesome dehydrator for my birthday so I used that. I think a low-temp oven or California sunshine would work too.