Monday, August 22, 2011

Day One

This is our kitchen. 

I made the signs this morning.  I'm trying very hard to remember that I'm not allowed to snack!  As this is something I do nearly all day, every day, I am finding it rather difficult!  Add to it all that I am preparing food for Munchkin multiple times a day and the temptation to just grab something 'quick' or 'small' from the cupboard is very high!

Here I am first thing this morning, watching Breakfast on TV3 - they have one of their team doing Live Below the Line.  This is the only time I remember voluntarily watching TV first thing in the morning (I hate people jabbering on at me first thing!).

I soaked all my beans last night for the Challenge week.  400g of them.  This morning I cooked them while making porridge for myself (wholemeal oats, salt, water) and Munchkin (wholemeal and soft cooking oats, water, stewed apple).  I then weighed and bagged them into 10 zip lock bags.  I'm just slightly paranoid about running out of food at the end of the week!  I can have ¼ cup for lunch, and the same for dinner.  Needed protein, even if they don't taste at all exciting!

Now, someone living in extreme poverty would usually not have access to a calculator, kitchen scales, measuring cup, or zip-lock plastic bags to help apportion food across a week. They’d probably be highly reliant on their visual ability to guess quantities. And on their willpower to only eat today’s small portion in order to have some left for tomorrow. I can’t imagine how hard that must be! Already this morning, at my first Live Below the Line meal, I was wondering whether I should eat the whole banana now because I woke up really hungry and breakfast powers me up for the day, or might I need half later? I ate the whole one.  Then wished I'd saved it for mid-morning.  It was WAY too long between breakfast and lunch.  I was hungry for two hours.  Did pretty well really - I didn't feel faint, and I wasn't too grumpy either!

The beans were cooked without salt as I'd forgotten to allow any for them. It turns out, however, that I will probably have salt left over at the end of the week!  I used what I thought would be about right on my porridge this morning, to discover it was rather salty.  If I'd not been doing the Challenge, I'd have been tempted to throw it out and start over (or at least mix it with Munchkin's to spread the salt out further!).  Similar issue with rice this afternoon, only this time I was trying to add just a smidgeon after cooking it.  I'm so not used to using normal salt - usually I use a rock salt grinder!  So I managed to put one too many pinches of salt on my rice!  Similarly, I don't think I need nearly as much chicken stock for my dinners as I thought.  I'd imagined I might want a whole teaspoon.  Yeah, guess that might be the case for a pot of soup, but for 1/4 cup of rice I used just 1/4 teaspoon.  So now I'm wishing I'd bought a bit less salt and stock powder, and been able to buy some sultanas or something.  Even just a few!

Another thing I've noticed is how high-maintenance my food is.  I got home from a lovely morning at the park, and had to wait for nearly an hour to get my soup all cooked and prepared.  In the meantime, Munchkin had eaten, had milk, had his nappy changed, and gone to bed!  Cheap food invariably requires more human input.  I guess that's because we really do pay for convenience.  Of course, I could always have gone with Boyo's 'instant' Challenge food.  He has been perfectly happy on his diet of bread and wheatbiscuits today.  But there's seriously not enough protein and sustenance to last my high metabolism there!

 At least tomorrow all I have to do is heat up my soup for lunch. It's all made, sitting in the fridge waiting.  And for the record, it tasted okay.  A few too many lentils/barley/split peas and not quite enough kumara/carrot but otherwise quite edible. 

I licked my bowl. 

I licked the serving spoon. 

I even licked the blender.  Yup, I was hungry!  The soup consists of all my soup mix, 10Tbsp of split red lentils, and my 2 small kumara.  I added  a whole small head of broccoli, celery, silverbeet, parsley, thyme and rosemary from the garden.  I used 3 of my 9 small carrots from the garden too, and a tiny drizzle of lemon juice.  Not bad at all.  I will no doubt be very bored of it by Friday though!


1 comment:

MaxineD said...

This week is really going to be hard work - and no doubt monotonous. Congratulations on having a go.