The Challenge: Day Twenty-Three

More server setups today. More ordering of equipment, including the last rack that will fit in the current cage at the NOC (and as soon as that arrives, the NOC guys will start building out the next cage for us). More paperwork. More cooking.

Tonight’s menu: sauteed marinated shrimp with a sweet garlic sauce, steamed brocooli with lemon (my sister’s request), sliced fresh tomatoes, and rice pilaf with shallots and parmesan (again, yes, and in place of my sister’s request for mashed cauliflower, since I didn’t feel like going back out to the store for a head of cauliflower).

Just three of us for dinner tonight, and a very informal, serve yourself kind of affair.

The shrimp, after marinating for ahwile in honey, soy, fresh lime juice, and red pepper flakes and then sauteed in a touch of olive oil.

Serve yourself in whatever fashion suits you.

The sauce was made of rice wine vinegar, sugar, water, a touch of salt, thinly sliced garlic, and about half a teaspoon of a chile-garlic paste. It went very well with the shrimp.

I’ve noticed of late that my mouth is ultrasensitive to foods on the spicier side of the scale. It’s probably due to one of the rinses I have to use, and it’s bumming me out a little, for two reasons: first of all, it’s painful and burns when I eat something even a little spicy or with a good amount of vinegar, like this sauce, and second, I like spicy foods but can’t eat them right now. I suppose I should be thankful I can eat anything at all, considering everything, but I suspect my recovery would be more enjoyable (and go more quickly) if there weren’t so many damned limitations relative to my ability to eat. As it stands, my weigh-in yesterday was at 107, probably because I couldn’t eat anything all day before the PET scan. In two months, it will be a year since I got the feeding tube. While it helped save my life during treatment, I’d really like to say goodbye to eat, but at this rate it will be with me indefinitely.

Where was I? Ah, the shrimp. I ate one, with some sauce, and it burned a bit. It sure did taste good, though, for what I was able to taste. If I ever start packaging foods, I’ll have to remember this sauce for the roster. Some steamed broccoli with real butter, a bit of rice…and a post-dinner cappucino and a Reese’s cup. Not a bad little meal for me, although I suppose I should dump some formula down the tube, as I’m way low on calories the past couple of days.

Our breakdown for tonight’s dinner.

Shrimp (one pound): 6.70
Tomatoes: 1.40
Rice (with shallots and parmesan): 2.00
Sauce: 1.00
Broccoli: 1.50

Total for the meal: 12.60
Total per diner (3): 4.20

Someone asked me if the diners included myself in these calculations, since I don’t really eat that much of the “real” food. Yes, the count does include me unless I note otherwise. Technically, I am participating in the meal, even if I’m not eating as much as a person usually would. Since the leftovers are usually eaten for lunches, and I’m not including those in our tabulations, most dinners are new creations with new costs and the leftover factor is eliminated for those dinners. I think it evens itself out.

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