Part of being a student means having an experimental mindset when it comes to food. As I like to refer myself to poor and starving, I sometimes have to balance covering nutritional necessities, food cravings, shelf-life, and cost. Sometimes I'm using less than $30 to last me two weeks worth of meals. It also means having a steady supply of rice, pasta, and sometimes potatoes as a base for meals. *shrugs*
It helps, in a way, that I am a geek, because I picked up the habit long ago of skipping a meal or two in favour of reading, or games. And, sometimes, I just ain't hungry, y'know? (Frustratingly enough, I also have those opposite times when every five minutes my tummy's rumbling and I haven't always done anything to warrant such an appetite) But, also, after some weirdness when I was 17 involving an almost inability to eat leading to depression, I try to be aware of how much I can get away with not eating before I'm gonna seriously crash. And try not to pull anything stupid like that ever again.
So, given that I sometimes have a fairly limited budget, and in the case of right now--no fridge, so many perishables are out--I have learned to be a bit, hmmm, crazy, shall we say? How to make limited ingredients meet dietary needs and also be palatable. To not make something so often I get sick of it. To find what tastes good while also being something you won't find in any recipe book.
I have to admit, some of my meals have been downright weird
. There was this one that involved cucumber, apple, chicken soup, and I can't remember what else--maybe carrot, tomato, and either potato or rice--that was actually quite nice. And many meals contain noodles of some kind. So I've learned to make things to make the noodles not so plain. Like last night, I wanted to try something completely different, and it turned out to be delicious. Would have gone down well cold as well, methinks. That was some salad/cooking oil, oregano, a few drops of XXX hot sauce, and some lemon pepper dressing/marinade poured over the noodles and eggs. Sometimes I put some curry powder in with the rice when I microwave it, or coconut oil for flavouring.
I'm very good at sort of throwing things together. Like, if there's several things of leftovers in the fridge, but none of them is enough to be a meal in its own right? And, y'know, it's a horrible thing to let leftovers go to waste... gods, mum and Gary were terrible about this. I used to get so frustrated about the clutter in the fridge. Once, we'd lost power for one reason or another, but the fridge and freezer needed cleaning out, and I complained to mum about finding two or more bottles of the same thing, both partially used (and then, if I could, I put them in one bottle alone), and her excuse? Not being able to find the first one because of so much stuff in the fridge. And whose fault was that, I wonder? Um. Anyway. Mixing up leftovers.
That week or so I spent babysitting Amarah with Laura and Savannah? There were a couple nights there where I had to cobble something together, because Dad and Suzy were off doing other things, and Laura's no kitchen goddess. Gods, trying to think up quick, easy meals that taste nice and the girls would actually eat. And using leftovers. Apparently, frying up some mince and then adding leftover baked beans and tinned spaghetti was a stroke of genius. Huh.
Of course, over the summer, Thursday nights were my time to shine and give Dad and Suzy a break from the kitchen. Many times, Suzy would end up complaining, not because my cooking sucks, but because Dad invariably had a compliment for me (excluding the really simple stuff, like meat pies and peas). Apparently her forays into cooking don't garner such thanks and praise. But still, most meals I cobbled together went down well with both of them, even though I often forgot Suzy doesn't have the same appetite as me and my father, and her serving was almost always too much.
*giggles* The one time I had fish and chips for lunch and was still too full for my own cooking five or so hours later, I was henceforth verboten from having big lunches--ever--so I didn't spoil my dinner. There were a few meals that I'm pretty sure Dad didn't care for a repeat, because he'd say it was, "Nice," "Okay," or "Different," which was about the best Suzy usually got from him about her cooking, if he even commented on it at all. His excuse was that he was encouraging me in my cooking, and Suzy would wonder why she wasn't being encouraged, also? I suppose because as his wife it was expected
she cook. *grins*
Now, generally speaking, I don't consider any particular food as something I'm addicted to. Like, particularly known addictive things, such as coffee, or alcohol. One might argue chocolate is addictive also. Certainly, these are all things I enjoy, sometimes in large quantities (and of decent quality). However,
I can, have, and will go without one or more of these for days, weeks, or months at a time. No withdrawal, and many times, no cravings.
I think it's entirely likely, however, I am actually addicted to sugar. I simply have to have something/anything
sweet to satisfy my sugar cravings. I'm positive at one stage I was truly addicted to soda pop, until my mother went and removed the temptation from the house as she worked on improving her
diet to lower cholesterol and all that fun stuff. I did insist, however, that she replace the soda with Capri Sun so I had some sort of drink to take with me for lunches because plain water was something I hated.
Well, I kicked the soda addiction, but I don't think I've ever truly lost the sugar addiction. I suppose it's something of the western world, and the prevalence of sugar in so many foods. But sometimes sweet is just what I need. Though, that doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy. 'Cause fruit is sweet (and sometimes sharp and tangy, mmm) or honey. Oh, honey. Many blessings upon bees and their fine creations. I love honey.
And there's peanutbutter. Oh my god, as a child, I adored the stuff (my dad and brother claimed it made me fart a lot, but I just farted all the time to gross them out. Oh, wait, wasn't I supposed to be a girl? *snerk*) But peanutbutter goes with so many things. Honey, jam, cheese, celery, banana, in a sauce over lamb/beef kebabs and rice
... but not chocolate. No, no, no, never with chocolate. Peanuts and chocolate is also a bad combo. (I may be this prejudiced after an incident involving a jumbo bag of peanut M&Ms, and a movie theatre, but, I can truthfully say I've always
hated peanutbutter cups liek whoa.) Also, vegemite. I love vegemite, but I'd have to be on crack to mix it with peanutbutter, methinks.
Back to coffee, I was just chatting with my mum about it involving a similar rant to the one in my last entry... I mentioned I should look into acquiring proper coffee grounds, as I own a single-person/serving plunger for my real coffee needs. Part of that again, is budget--coffee is a low priority given my lack of addiction, and real coffee, well, I can't remember how much it is, actually. I joked that it's a pity they don't sell the big cans of Folger's coffee grounds (or if they do, I don't know where to find them) 'cause one of those would last me for ages. And now? She's looking into sending me one, though it would be by surface 'cause I imagine a package just over 1KG would cost a fair bit to send. I love my mum.
Okay, that's enough of my rambling for now. Almost time for me to make some dinner. :DFin.