Eat From the Larder Challenge 2015 – Week Three Wrap-Up

Why, yes, I did just post the Week Two wrap-up post. Can you tell I’ve had other things to do?
So Week Three involved being out of town for more than half the week. It was my mother-in-law’s 65th birthday (the whole poly-clan went down, and she was delighted to see all of us!) and then my wife and I went to Toronto for the Feminist Porn Awards and to hang out with a lovely friend who will be moving there soon and needed to do some sleuthing for housing and possible jobs. It was a really, really wonderful time and we got to see a bunch of people who we never get to see enough. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
What that means in practice, in terms of Eating From The Larder, is that we ate slightly more than half of our meals at restaurants this past week and, of the meals we ate at home, we had things like toast-and-marmite or scrambled eggs or steamed pre-fab dimsum buns instead of Actual Food Made From Scratch.
It also means that I bought some groceries. Specifically, I bough a bag of little crispy-bread things[1], two bottles of juice, and two fancy chocolates (dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt, specifically) to take on the train with us and share with our non-boozy friend so that we could all drink a toast together. In retrospect, I didn’t need to buy two bottles of juice, and I could have cut up the bread I’d made and packing it into an empty zip-lock bag (becoming somewhat mythical around here) would have done the trick for most of that. So poor form on my part there. I have no regrets about the chocolate, though.
Home-cooked meals have been minimal and have relied heavily on pre-fab stuff:
Rotini with bacon, goat cheese, and jarred tomatoes / tomato sauce.
Rotini (again) with tomato sauce, sausages, and frozen chard.
Toast and egg dishes for breakfast (that’s not going to last – If I’m lucky, I’ve got two eggs left…)
Frozen dim-sum buns
Home-made buns with butter and other spreads.
Something that did work out really well was the red-lentil “hummus” that I made for the train ride. I would have liked to bring more than 1C of it on the train (though not being able to do so meant that my lovely wife had a work-lunch already made for this morning). I’ll have to try and remember the recipe – red lentils + bone stock (so not vegan) + raw garlic + sesame oil + soy sauce + heaps of curry powder + nutritional yeast + basil IIRC. I’m quite pleased with it, and will try to make it again (or a vegan version there-of) next time I need to make a pot-luck contribution.
One thing I’m running out of, that I failed to think about going into this, is yeast. Which doesn’t mean I’m in trouble on the bread-making front. I’ve got enough left to make another batch of bread (on my to-do list for today), and even if I didn’t, I’ve made enough bread here in the past six months that I could probably start a sour dough starter in my kitchen without too much trouble (and, hey, maybe that’s my next DIY step, who knows…), even without opening a window on a sunny day. None the less, it’s something I’m noticing.
Things I bought this week, which made it an Eat From The Larder “Failure”:
1L wine in a tetrapak
1L apple juice
~1L random juice blend
1 bag of “baked crisps” or whatever they were called
2 chocolate bars
More restaurant meals than I particularly care to count, but let’s say…. seven or eight? Plus a few Train Snacks (coffee, cheese croissants, wine & beer (on the train home), and 3 servings of pringles, iirc).
So. That was Week Three.
Week Four should involve getting back on track in terms of creating from-scratch stuff like coconut-curry dal, pan-fried fish cakes (tuna + corn meal and egg, provided I’ve still got an egg – I wonder if I could use mayonaisse as a binder…), salad nicoise (probably omitting the egg in that one), and maybe some kind of light-but-filling fish stew like this one (to use up some of my salsa and stock, among other things).
Wish me luck!
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

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