Day Four

Friday, February 13, 2009

What I Bought on Day Four

What I Bought on Day Four

I was going to start with the bit of the poem from Alice in Wonderland where the Walrus talks about cabbages, but when I went to look it up (in the book, not the internet) I couldn’t find it because it’s not in Alice in Wonderland, it’s in Through the Looking-Glass. But while I was fruitlessly searching Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I found this poem, sung by the Mock Turtle, which seemed much more appropriate

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

[And, as an aside, that’s why looking things up in books is better than looking things up on the internet—I definitely would have gotten to the Walrus and the Carpenter faster through Google, but I never would have gotten to the Mock Turtle Song at all.]

Today I bought Fresh Food Item #2—a smallish, slightly limp, but otherwise very passable cabbage.

For my evening meal, I cooked up half a cup of rice, then added the leftover beans from yesterday, and about a third of the cabbage that I had chopped up. Added some extra water to make it soupier and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. (I actually should have taken it off the first time I checked when the cabbage was still a little crunchy; it got a litte too wilted.)

What I Cooked on Day Four

What I Cooked on Day Four

Before eating, added a little of the jalapeño left from yesterday.

A perfectly fine meal.

Morning meal was again cornmeal mush, which I think should take a cue from the prune/dried plum people and try to re-brand itself. It’s at least as good as Cream of Wheat, but the name is definitely dragging it down. Calling it polenta works for dinner, but the name “polenta” is just not going to work for breakfast. Americans are not going to eat polenta for breakfast.

A few observations…

I have defintiely been hungrier than I normally am, but not any hungrier than I would have been had I tried to lose weight on a standard diet. I had actually thought I was going to be hungrier than I’ve been. Don’t know if it just hasn’t caught up with me yet or what.

I was planning on getting spices, but I’m actually rather enjoying the taste of the food itself, with just a little salt. I ate a few bites of chopped cabbage before I put it in with the stew and it was amazing—crunchy and sweet and delicious. I think my taste buds have been so overwhelmed by sugar and salt that they haven’t really been tasting food. So I think I’m going to go a few more days with just straight food; that’s been interesting, and unexpected.

I never really noticed how much food there is everywhere.

I was listening to basketball on the radio the other night, two games, so about four hours of radio, and there were so many food ads. Usually I hardly notice them, but this week they really jumped out at me, what was being described and how the ad people tried to make it appetizing. It was interesting.

Also I’m noticing aromas wafting through the air differently; they register immediately as “food” rather than just as generic background smells. And I’m seeing discarded food that I might not have noticed before—a McDonald’s hamburger, apple pie, and full order of large fries on the ground in the Compare parking lot, and a full bottle of Pepsi that I walked past today on the sidewalk. Those together probably cost more than I spent all week.

Day Four Receipt

Day Four Receipt

3 Responses to “Day Four”

  1. juliet Says:

    This is cool- the project, the blog, the documentation. I especially like the photographs and literary and cultural reference you include.
    How do wheat berries taste? It would be neat if you could include recipes. I think would actually try wheat berries and split peas at home.

    Here are other random reflections that Less is Enough inspired me to compose…

    On personal note, I have a “hard” copy of “Through the Looking Glass” that i would happy to lend you. Since I live nearby over on North More-than-I-can-really-Afford Street, I can drop it off when I taking Bucky out on a dog walk. Though the soup poem was perfect- And props for reading books!

    ~Since you mention listening to college hoops on the radio, and as I have been working on the TV crew on the much more costly and energy consuming televised broadcasts of many of the very same basketball games, I thought it IS indeed interesting to note how much fast food sponsors sports coverage… ACC Sunday Night Hoops is presented by Pizza Hut, Wednesday Night Hoops is made possible by the Hardee’s thick burger, there is the Hardee’s Halftime Report, the Chick Fil-a “Nugget of the Game”, oh those McDonald’s All-Americans, Quizano’s sub of the game, and now some really weird Gator Ade commercials- just to name a few. Indeed if wasn’t for fast food, cars, car insurance, car parts, banks, cell phones, and home improvement and home security devices, surely spectator sports as we know and love them would be in need of a bail out package (and of course I would be out of a great freelance job.)
    You may also be interested to know that sports media workers (newspaper reporters, photographers, editors, commentators and tv crews) are typically very well catered to where ever we go. No matter what arena we may roam to work in, there is usually a bountiful spread of free buffet meals, snacks, soft drinks and bottled water. The press dining here in the Carolina’s typically includes bbq pork and various other meats, an array of starches, vegetable of varying quantities and qualities and plenty o’ dessert. It is always free for the media unless it’s smaller and less endowed college. Or it hockey night at RBC Center where for $7.00 we can buy a sturdy plastic plate for a tasty gourmet smorgesbord where even a vegan could make a feast out of the immense buffet offerings. The mascot for our hockey team is Stormy a smiley plush pig, and pulled-pork bbq is a mainstay at our meals for which many a Canadian/Canadien and border-state broadcaster looks forward to on (mostly) his trip south to Carolina.
    A local crew favorite is the catering by Bullock’s BBQ present at all televised ACC games in R-DU-CH paid for by the broadcasting companies. Over 8 steel chafing platters with more a dozen dishes and an entire table just for dessert, insures that by March we are all quite full and sometimes moaning and in need of the leaner warmer days. I especially love the green beans, sweet potatoes, baked chicken and banana pudding and my oh my all those pies. In fact those Bullock’s juicey green beans are sooo good, that when they were on the tv crew catering menu at Duke men’s basketball games, one of the great statisticians (a UNC fan himself) used to bring a styrofoam take out plate with several of those long handled slotted steel serving spoonfuls to JJ Redick who loved them so much and would save it for the end of the game meal. All goes to show that in spite of the sugary excesses and bitter rivalries,that healthy food and cross-rival kindnesses are still a big part of the game (however unsung, behind the scenes, or with a tinge of bacon grease they may be.)

    Well Less, thank you for indulging my glutenous and pork barrel comment here. For letting me piggy-back my own February food musings, I would like to invite to be my word press guest for a free media meal and high-caloric snacks galore when ever during March Madness you break from your 30 day fast. In the mean time, I will think of you tonight with I mosey up to press row at 2nd intermission for a beef hot dog with mustard pack, a bag of popcorn and a bottle of Aquafina (i don’t do soda.)

  2. lessisenough Says:

    Wheat berries are very good, dense and chewy and tasty. They’re often used salads (there’s a recipe I like in the cookbook Vegetarian Planet that has wheat berries with corn, feta, capers, and basil — and maybe tomatoes, I don’t have the recipe handy right now — with a vinaigrette) or soups (I have a good minestrone recipe with wheat berries).

    I didn’t really use a recipe, I just soaked them for the afternoon then covered with water and cooked for about 30-45 minutes or so until they were chewy but not done yet then tossed in the split peas to let those cook and added some salt. If you soak them, they take around an hour to cook, without soaking they take two hours.

    Recipes from my mom often “cook until done,” which I always thought was really funny until I started giving recipes to people and saying things like that.

    Basically you just cook for a while then taste and if it’s too chewy keep cooking and if it seems good to you, take it off the stove and eat. It’s hard to do it wrong.

    I’m going to get those again for tomorrow and Monday, to make a pseudo minestrone soup with wheat berries and split peas and cabbage. Haven’t decided if I will splurge for garlic or a shallot or vegetable broth powder (which I can get bulk, so I can buy ten cents worth) or keep it bare bones stone soup for now. We’ll see how I feel as the day progresses.

  3. Anie Says:

    Cornmeal Mush for breakfast is called Yellow Grits. At least that’s what it’s called in the south. Regular grits of course being ground hominy (which gets bleached in the puffing process).

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