Cooking from scratch has been the norm for the past six weeks, and one of the reasons we're doing this is because the previous repertoire was just so damn boring. The parameters used to be: easy, fast, and sort of healthy. Which basically meant packaged chicken or fish, grilled or pan-seared with a swap-out of marinades, with semi-raw veggies, five nights a week, with the occasional pasta dish thrown in to break up the monotony, and oh my god does it get old.
Now, I was not remarkably unhealthy before. I eat a whole grain breakfast and I'm no stranger to fruit. Fast food for me is Subway and the occasional burrito joint. But I don't think I've been in any position to pat myself on the back, either. (Everybody goes through that Hot Pocket phase, don't they?)
I did do a sweep of the fridge, tossing out all the expired yogurt and the sour cream, but I pretty much ignored the freezer as there's really nothing in there. Well... almost nothing.
--I have clung like a wimpy baby to caffeinated coffee and also cow's milk, as I've given soy milk several shots and I really can't get on board with it. (No, I haven't tried almond or coconut milk yet.)
--As it turns out, beer is vegan. Well, not all beer (pig tendon preservatives, really? these are things you learn), but the brewer I buy from brews a perfectly cromulent beer.
--We've found a bunch of new recipes to add to the mix. Awesome ones, like butternut squash and apple soup, pad thai, vegan burritos, bean chili, tahini pasta salad, etc. etc.
About a month in, though, being left to my own devices all day and lacking any endurance for actual cooking, I found some chicken in the freezer. You know, that brand name breaded chicken with the questionable meat interior possessing disturbing sponge-like qualities, which could be made of .... pigeon lungs and elbow meat, for all I know. I had no idea how old they were, but it's in the freezer, and according to my logic, everything survives indefinitely in a freezer, suspended in a perfect cryogenic stasis.
But I was hungry and lazy. So, I cooked them, and I ate them.
Two hours later, it felt like I'd eaten drywall screws and crushed glass, seasoned with lye. I can't remember ever feeling so awful. I almost passed out.
"Curse you ..." I squeaked out in agony, fist feebly shaken at the universe, "... tiny chicken sponges."
The rest of the bag went into the garbage after that. I may be a fool, but I am a teachable one.