14 March 2011

Monday - First Workday on the Challenge

This would be the first tough test: workday. I packed a box of the lentil-and-rice casserole, and a cheese sandwich, and two apples. Off I went.

Overall, things went pretty smoothly. When the sandwich lunch arrived, and a couple of people walked through reminding the others "Lunch is here! Lunch arrived!" I pretended to be engrossed in something that needed work Right This Minute. After a bit I nuked the casserole, and found that although it wasn't a huge amount, it was so filling that I could not finish it. I left the part I didn't eat and reheated it in the late afternoon for a snack.

When I got home, I made the mac-n-cheese I'd planned to do yesterday. For various reasons, I got as far as the mac, and no further. Tonight, it was a quick mix: milk, spot of mustard, and cheese. I mixed it in the pot I'd used to cook the macaroni, so that the starch left behind would work instead of the cornstarch I don't have. The sauce looked thin and pale and didn't taste very cheesy. So I grated in some more cheese, and liked it much better. So if you make the recipe linked in the previous post, you might want to up the cheese quantity - I ended up using the full amount from the recipe, although I halved everything else. I was using an extra-sharp cheddar, which I grated to measure, none of that preshredded stuff. Not only is it better quality, but remember there is a big affordability factor, and you pay for the convenience of preshredded.

I didn't want to wait - I got home late! after an adult learning committee meeting at my congregation - so I skipped the baking step. I thought the quantity looked pretty small, but this stuff is RICH. So even a third was more than I felt like eating. I put the rest into a small casserole to bake another night. I did miss that crispy burned crust that forms when you bake mac-n-cheese. Maybe tomorrow night, when I have to be home for a board meeting by Skype(R).

I've already begun thinking about what I would buy for a second week. Margarine, definitely! More cereal, maybe a $1 box of raisins. I recognize that I lucked into some great sales and discounts this week, such as the $1.28 peanut butter, the 99 cents cheese and eggs. I don't know if I would be that lucky next week, or if I could find the canned goods for the same price. The bread, yes - the bakery in one of the local grocery stores has a good rack of day-old goods at half price, and that's a nice-sized loaf for 99 cents. Tastes better than the fluffy white square stuff that would be the cheap bread elsewhere.

I do miss drinking something other than water. A couple mugs of tea at work was a treat, even though it was the inexpensive nearly-generic bags that most dedicated tea drinkers (such as myself) eschew for more entertaining blends. I look forward to being able to drink one of those - and to eat raisins by the multicoloured handful.

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