I really, really want to go to Spain. Mostly so I can eat tapas and drink sangria, maybe ride a horse, do some flamenco dancing, see the sights and experience a new culture. I also want to do some cooking classes. So I was planning to go next year, maybe Easter, maybe September… But I don’t really know what I’m doing next year yet, and I don’t really cope well with uncertainty. So what’s my other option? Oh, I know! I’ll go in October! Yes I know October is only two months away, but I’d pretty much planned the whole trip anyway. The only problem was that, as I wasn’t planning to go for a year or so, I have not saved any money… I’ve been working really hard to pay off my car so there was about $200 in my savings account. I’m planning to buy my flights after I get paid next week. IF I only pay a fortnights rent instead of a months and IF I don’t spend any money between now and then, I MAY be able to afford flights. But we all know how hard it is for me to not spend any money. We’re talking no trips to the shop to buy pesto. No realizing the meal needs some sour and rushing out to get a lemon. I challenged myself to one week of using only what I had in the house. And considering I’d just run out of flour, this was going to be interesting.
I was actually surprised how much food I had accumulated. I had a few cans (2) of soup which I could take for lunch, a few slices of questionable bread, two slightly squishy tomatoes, a few frozen ossu bucco meals that my slow cooker had luckily cooked me, a large assortment of single cuts of meat (aka one lamb chop, one chicken…. Something etc) nothing was labeled so it’s a bit hit or miss, but I certainly had food. I just had to resist the lure of ‘it would be so much better if I just had ‘x”. Fresh food was the hardest. Along with the soggy tomatoes I had some wrinkling eshallots, some very I’ll looking basil which I’m yet to use and is looking more deathly by the hour, a few eggs which I’m suspicious of their edibiliity, milk (thankfully), a slice of bacon, Parmesan cheese and I think that’s about all… So here goes, a week without shopping:
Day one: The bread isn’t too sad yet and a toasted sandwhich for lunch brings it to life. Dinner is pasta bake. Thankfully I have not yet ejected all bought pasta from the house after my first encounter with home made stuff. I have a sauce that’s been in my cupboard for as long as I’ve been in the house and it’s topped with Parmesan. Pretty nom.
Day two: I’m sick, so I eat left over pasta bake. ALL DAY. It’s nice and squishy going down my sore throat. Usually sickness brings a desire to go to the shop, get chips and juice and retreat, but I have will power! I make iced apple tea instead. I have two chicken sausage roll type things from Lenard’s that I cook and I eat them plus corn on the cob for dinner. I’m newly obsessed with the corn which you an buy in a bag in the frozen isle. Cook in microwave for instant deliciousness.
Day three: can of soup for lunch, it’s my favorite- pumpkin and red lentil from country ladle. I tutored my least inspiring student this afternoon. Dinner is left over ossu Buccu.
Day four. I feel like something different for breakfast. Make a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. Yes the bread is now too old to be saved even by toasting. Throw in bin. Lunch is a piece of corn and Tuscan tomato, vegetable and provincial bean soup. Yum. As I’m at work I remember the existence of a pizza base in the freezer. I think I may have some mince too. Don’t forget that piece of bacon. Pizza for dinner. BBQ sauce base, mince (I think it may be kangaroo?), diced bacon, eshallots, lots of garlic, sliced green capsicum, Parmesan. Should I put capers on this? I think yes. It’s pretty good but I do prefer my pizza nowadays with less, but more carefully selected, toppings. Think lamb, rosemary, potato and lemon or basil, cherry tomatoes and fetta. Mmmm. I still have to make my own pizza bases- task for after flights.
Day five. It’s Friday. I’m still recovering from a cold and opt out of going to a friends housewarming in brisbane. I know I’m too sick to go when the idea of driving that far makes me feel vaguely nauseous. I am overjoyed at the thought of the weekend though and I crack at the idea of simply cooking something uninspired at home. All my energy today went into inspiring children to do the bits of their gross motor assessment that they didn’t want to. I want some good food! The deli got me. Danish fetta is on sale. And those tequila, lime and chilli stuffed olives need to come with me. As do some cherries. And some dates. I consume this conglomeration of delicious items for dinner.
So what did we learn from this experience? Yes you can live on what is in your house for a week, I could have feasibly gone another 5 days had I the self control or they closed the deli. More importantly though, I learned that you don’t deprive a foodie of good food. They crack and do all sorts of crazy things. I’ll make it to Spain. Hey, maybe after I buy flights I’ll HAVE to live on what’s in the house as there’ll be no money left! But now I have a really strong urge to make a banoffee pie, who’s keen?