I have to begin eating more inexpensively. Groceries are just too darn expensive. I have been trying to have a garden here for nearly three years. I had one, a nice large one for decades, but you know how it is, you get busy with family stuff and then someone plants grass and there you are. But, I want another garden space. Interestingly enough, I can plant all the flowers that I want, which I do not want, and that is fine. I want a food garden, but I need permission. Those who give permission are not. Giving it. I do have this small patch of rhubarb, crowns from my daughter's garden and next summer they will be old enough to harvest. I am so looking forward to rhubarb preserves. Lots for me and lots to share.
I tried this year to plant food crops around the ornamental plants in the front yard, but they did not grow and some of them completely disappeared. We used to have a lovely garden in the back, but the preferred plantings there are turf grasses.
This is not about the darn gardening, but not being able to grow my own food is at the core of the whole grocery problem, or at least part of it. We have all of this outstanding space and nothing but grass growing there. I do not get to choose. Were there a committee who decides these things, I would not be on it. Actually, I think that there is a committee, but there seems to be room for only one person. And, that ain't me.
I do have this plan for next year, though. There is this thing that you can do with pairs of big, plastic tubs that you cut up and put together and use an indirect watering system, like, ummmmm, where you use textiles or ropes or some damn thing to wick the water into the soil. Damn, I wish I could remember what that was called.
Anyway, if I haunted the charity shops and found suitable containers, I could totally do that next year. They, the containers, would be on the patio, which no one uses, although I used to when I smoked, so I would not be damaging any turf and I could grow a lot of food in them, maybe even beets and carrots and onions. Oh, yeah, baby, that could so work. I would just have to haul in some soil and buy seeds. I am also thinking that they could look kind of cool and decorative, as well. Well, that is my hope so that I do not find myself on the wrong side of someone's opinion. Lordy.
So, anyway, got to save money on vittles.
No more convenience foods, although I do not know how I will survive without my Progresso chicken noodle soup. It is my budget and I can make that exception. Whew! That was a close one.
No forgetting to take food with me when I am out and about and then having to grab something at the drive-through. That does not often happen, but every little bit helps.
I do not think that I can give up Saturday morning coffee with the friends, so that is off the table.
Plus, I am not eating enough flesh. Really. I have diabetes and a vegetarian diet is simply not working well for me. Besides, I am always so hungry and that inevitably leads to extra snacks and meals.
So, I dragged out the slow-cooker and used it on Monday. Three days later I am still enjoying the lovely soup that I made. It was supposed to be stew, but it would not thicken, so it is soup. Really lovely soup, and there is a huge chunk of meat that has not been shredded into the broth. It was a sandwich this morning for breakfast, but I have to noodle around and find more things to do with it.
I will also be going back to making a week's worth of oats and rice again. If it is already there, waiting for me in the refrigerator, then I have no excuse for wanting something quick and not-so-great.
I also have to start meal planning. Man, I am so bad at that. I used to do it, like decades ago, when my daughter was still little and even later when she was still living here, although I was already slacking off then. But, it has to be done. Oh, gods, I am going to be so cranky about this.
Part of the problem is that I am too busy to make recipes. Since I retired, I am busier than ever. I sometimes wonder how I had time for a paying job, but I did, although I was always exhausted after a day of being on my feet and trying to satisfy customers. I was pretty darn good at that, but it takes a lot out of your energy bank account. And, I like plain food, like the soup. I do not like fussing with more than a couple of ingredients or making anything that takes more than a few minutes to throw together. That is why the slow-cooker will be nice. You just toss everything in there and forget it for a few hours or overnight.
That is my inner slacker talking. Well, truth be told, I am a fully invested outer slacker as well for things that do not excite me, get me all juicy and motivated.
So, food. Easy and healthy food. The lovely beefy and vegetable-y soup will last through the weekend, but I am going to have to come up with something to buy for the next go-round. I am thinking that a nice chicken curry would be nice. Yum, nice. And, I have to keep looking on the Internet for more slow-cooker recipes, but ones that do not have soup mixes or salad dressing or other convenience ingredients, all full of salts and sugars. That would be such a huge step backwards. There have to be healthy recipes out there, right?
Oh, rats, it just occurred to me that if I am going to do this here, that I will have to, or should, take pictures of the stuff I make, as in keeping a decent visual record in addition to all of the spewing. I do not know if I should do that. The food I make is delicious, but kind of ugly. I do not want to look back on this project and unintentionally disgust myself. Maybe there is some kind of photo resource that I could join and pay for beautiful food images. I would not pass the images off as photos of my own food, but could say that this is what my food would look like, were it not so freaking ugly.
Aw, crap, I have to do labels, too. Man.
Sheesh, already messed up. Forgot the recipe. I am too tired. Maybe tomorrow.