Monday, April 12, 2010

Lemons and goat cheese

I lost the bet. Intentionally, I might add. See, I decided that losing year after year just wasn’t healthy for Mr. Handsome’s ego. It was my duty as a devoted wifey to ensure that he felt strong, powerful, and successful, like a true-blue winner. So, with only the noblest of intentions, I journeyed to Panera to buy a coffee.

I'm kidding, you know. I had some free time in town before I needed to pick up the kids from a youth group activity and wanted to write ... at Panera. It had been nearly three months since I had been there. That's a long time.

Handing over those two bucks was exhilaratingly refreshing, like I had been holding my breath for the last three months, and now, finally, I could breathe again!

Then I went to the grocery store and bought two lemons and some goat cheese so I can make one of my favorite asparagus dishes.

Just to be clear, I hadn’t been chomping at the bit to end the spending freeze for the sake of ending it. I liked how it was going. Really, I did. We were saving lots of money, and I was cleaning out the freezers and getting creative with the foods I had on hand. It’s just that spring had sprung and I needed to buy some special ingredients. There was no way I was living through asparagus season without goat cheese—it's just not feasibly possible. So I asked Mr. Handsome if we could each be granted fifty dollars of amnesty cash, just enough to provide a reprieve so the bet could go on, and you know what? He said no!

How about twenty-five dollars?

No.

Ten?

No.

He’s such a meanie.

The kids were ecstatic at the sudden spending thaw. They jumped around the room, running back and forth between us to give us hugs, squealing all the while. Mr. Handsome did a little victory dance, hips sashaying, fingers jabbing at the ceiling. As promised, supper was Five Guys burgers and fries. We ordered two large fries but got about six times as much and arrived home with more than half a gallon of leftovers—ridiculously obscene. (And delicious.)

After a spending freeze, my normal mode of operation is to run out to the store and buy all the things we’ve been missing: cereal, bacon, pepperoni, ground beef, spaghetti, pinto beans, coconut milk, etc, but I’m enjoying a more streamlined kitchen and method of cooking. So I have a two-fold plan: 1) to try to be more diligent about menu planning, and 2) to allow myself only two or three new recipes per week and buy the ingredients on an as-need basis—no stocking up allowed.

About one year ago: In all seriousness---Mr. Handsome is a goof and I have the pictures to prove it.

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