Let me just preface this post by saying my husband is out of town. Now, I don't know what you do when your husband is gone for several days but I have a routine I rarely change when he's going to be out for the week. The first day I run all my errands and buy whatever groceries I need to make it through the week without cooking. I do the laundry, pick up the house and balance my checkbook. (That's so I'll be reminded that shopping is not a good thing just because he's gone.) The rest of the week I stay home and sew, or I visit friends and sew, or I go to a movie and eat all the popcorn by myself, or I sit in the swing by the lake and read quilting magazines, or I read a book from start to finish without stopping. But I don't cook and I don't clean and I don't do laundry again until he gets home.
Today I fully intended to follow my normal plan. And it started out really good. The Bug Man came at 8:00 to do our annual termite inspection (my husband made that early morning appointment knowing he wouldn't be here, can you believe it?) so I got up early, showered and dressed. And really, the day does go better when I do that instead of hanging out in my pajamas till noon. It's hot here - in the low 90s every day with little to no chance of rain so I sure didn't want to be cooking every day and have my stove on heating up the kitchen. With that in mind I planned meals that required no cooking. My Daddy used to make a dish he called Peco de Gaya that I just love so those were the first ingredients on my grocery list. My husband is one of those redneck southerners who thinks you must have meat at every meal so I always take advantage of his absence by eating several meals of vegetables.
These are the Peco de Gaya ingredients:
2 or 3 stalks celery
2 or 3 green onions
tortillas (whatever kind you like)
Chop the veggies (hold the tomato over the bowl while cutting so all the juice runs into the bowl. Add the juice from the lemon and a little olive oil (of course I don't know how much! I don't really know how many veggies either cause it's a matter of taste and see), salt and pepper and stir gently till mixed. I added a little fresh cilantro today 'cause I they had some really nice herbs today at the market. Let this marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours. Put a spoon full in the middle of a warm tortilla, roll up and eat. Yum!!
The first glitch in my plans, besides having to be up and dressed at 8:00, was the avocados. Those babies were $1.38 apiece! Have you ever? They were nice, just the right stage of ripeness and a good medium size, but good heavens - $1.38 apiece! That quick trip to the grocery store to get just a couple of things ended up costing $134. 49 - and I had coupons! I could quote several other prices that were rediculous but you're buying the same stuff I am so you know.
I had decided to make chicken salad, too, so I bought a rottisserie chicken. I figured if it was already cooked I wouldn't be heating up my kitchen - good thinking, right? Wrong on two counts. First, when I got home and opened up that chicken it was cooked all right, cooked to death. I was not happy. But I was stuck be cause you can't very well take a cooked chicken back and because it's a good 20 minute drive to the grocery one way and the price of gasoline meant it wasn't worth it. Second problem: I'm one of those lucky folks who have an extra refrigerator in the garage. Trust me on this, I'd give up my dishwasher, my good black dress or my first born child (sorry, Tammy) before I'd give up that fridge. I went out to put the extra gallon of milk in it only to realize there was a large piece of ham there that I had forgotten about and which absolutely had to be cooked right now. So much for not heating up the kitchen. I put it on to boil and spent the next 3 or 4 hours making 15 bean soup.
By the time that was done (and ready to go in the second fridge!) I had 3 loads of clothes to fold and my checkbook still wasn't balanced. Not only that but I had sewn not one stitch. :( But things started looking up when I checked the mail - not one but two new quilt magazines! I fixed a chai latte and took my magazines out to the swing by the lake to relax (see picture below) and listen to the birds. It seems that they have started building a new house one block over. Sound carries on the lake. Tomorrow has to be better....right?