Change of plans

Instead of taking up The Challenge on Sunday the 18th, we’ll begin on Monday the 19th. This is due to a pending daytrip out of town for me. Since that daytrip will involve good quantities of food prepared by someone else and will not involve me returning until late that night, there will be no cooking here that day.

On the other side of things, I had an appointment with one of my ENTs Tuesday, and the results of my latest biopsy: nothing to see here. More granular tissue and chronic inflamed mucosa. At its most basic, it’s scar tissue. I also have a swollen area on the right side of my tongue that’s a bit painful, but which is likely due to all the eating (because I tend to eat on that side of my mouth, given the handicap on the left side). We’ll have to monitor that, of course, just like we monitor everything else.

I’ve been pretty well fatigued lately, with a distinct lack of motivation to do the things I need to do. El doctor told me that I am likely on the verge of clinical exhaustion, because even though I feel relatively well (relative to where I was, anyway) I am still recovering from major medical trauma, so I am trying to live the way I used to while ignoring/disregarding the limitations that still exist. I couldn’t very well argue with that, since I know it to be true. The prescription for that is rest, calories, rest, nutrition, and oh yes, rest. Today I was almost completely unproductive, but now after a bit of rest and some food, I am once again ready to work – but I am going to try and limit what I’m doing this evening.

What food you ask? Earlier today, grits, formula, ice cream, formula. Tired of formula, I hauled myself up to Biscotti’s again, where I know the menu and know there will always be something I can eat. Sweet potato-roasted red pepper soup (which I am going to try to recreate in the next couple of days), tuna tartare with anchovy crostini (didn’t eat the latter, because I still can’t really eat crunchy bread), a capuccino, and a peanut butter mousse mini. Not a bad way to break the monotony of formula, and plenty of calories. I’ll be there tomorrow night as well, to meet up with a couple I met on one of my trips. Nice pair, those two.

And there you have it. All the current dirt on your favorite cook. Lucky you.

Taking the plunge

After some discussion with myself – I talk to myself quite a bit, and it’s probably the reason I don’t speak as much to other people as they might like, something my very dear friend has chastised me for in the past day or so – I’ve decided to take The Challenge. This is also after some back and forth with the person who proposed it, with the ground rules previously discussed in this very space.

We will kick things off on Sunday the 18th. This will give me a few more days to get some planning in. Last week, I did some comparison between Publix and Costco, and of course, buying in bulk really does save quite a bit in the wallet area. If you’re really serious about saving a few bucks, a membership to one of those warehouse places like Costco, Sam’s, or BJ’s will pay for itself in no time.

Before I get started on some of the comparisons I made, though, an observation about “popular” cuts of meat. Flank steak, in particular. It’s amazing how much this cut costs these days now that everyone and their brother has decided it’s the latest in thing. Last year, pre-cancer, we did a cookout at my mom’s place. One of the things I made was a rubbed flank steak with several different sauces. I can’t recall how much that cut cost at the time, but I’m sure it was not the 5.69/lb I saw at Costco. Publix had no flank steak that was not already wrapped around something the day I went. By the way, one of those sauces – which got great reviews from the guests, including my (now) ex’s parents – was a peach-bourbon sauce. I’ll have to see if I can dig that one out of my brain again, because that was quite good. The blueberry wasn’t bad, either.

As usual, I digress, and will do so a little more. The ex before last and I actually got the Costco membership and used it mostly for paper products, laundry stuff, and so on, and not so much for food – at least not frozen/refrigerated items, as the fridge in the apartment where we lived was not as large as it could have been. We also ate out quite a bit because we both worked quite a lot, and the things we cooked tended to be rather uninspired. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Certainly nothing worth blogging about.

When I found myself alone again, I found myself in an apartment with a single person’s fridge: small. Once again, not suited to storage of the bulk-type packs of food that required freezing or refrigeration. When the cancer diagnosis and all the assorted treatment came – surgery, healing, radiation and chemo, more healing – and I landed in my mom’s house so she could care for me, I really couldn’t have cared less about what the fridge could hold, as I was in no condition to wonder about it, shop for anything, or eat anything.

But now…these days, with two fridges and a freezer available, and a FoodSaver at my disposal, it makes it easier to be able to pick up those bulk packs of frozen or refrigerated items and not have to worry about how they will be stored. Your mileage may vary, as you may not have the luxury of the storage space I have available to me. Do what you can with the space you have, though. In the end, it will be worth it.

Now, on to our little excursion to compare some prices that I’d never really paid attention to before.

Continue reading Taking the plunge