Sunday, February 13, 2011

this is the little kitchen

Welcome to the little kitchen.  By DC standards, it's actually pretty generous (never mind that I can't reach half the storage space).  And, practically every surface is magnetic, which is probably my favorite part.  Anyways, the little kitchen actually has a lot of potential, I just haven't taken advantage of it one bit in the year that I've lived here. If you don't believe me, obviously you stumbled upon this blog and don't actually know me (which, by the way, is totally cool--hi there, new friend).  If you did know me, you'd know that the most action this little kitchen sees is typically in the form of boiling water for one of three things: plain pasta, peas, or mac n cheese (yes, the kind that comes in a box sold by kraft).  

If you're still not convinced, consider this (Chiari flashback, anyone?): I had to call my parents and ask how to make a baked potato tonight.  (I know what you're thinking, and yes, I could have just googled it, but I actually like an excuse to talk to my parents.  Crazy)

My eating habits have long been the source of amusement for my friends, family, and coworkers.  One of my bosses recently walked past my cube, did a double take, and said "every time I walk past here, you have your hands in the goldfish."  Guilty.  One of my friends saw an ad for protein candy in a magazine and immediately thought of buying it for me to supplement my diet of snack foods strung together to create meals.  

It's not that I don't like good food in the form of legitimate meals.  One look at my credit card bill will certainly convince you that eating out has replaced shopping in my life (yes, I know those black flats are falling apart and I need some new sweaters. shhhh).  But I really loathe cooking.  I mean, I don't think you understand how much I hate it.  I do not find it calming or rewarding at all.  I hate how long and messy prep work can be.  I dislike culinary disasters after said prep work.  Oh, and I reallllly hate doing dishes. 

But people, I'm going broke eating out in DC (those Chipotle lunches add up almost as fast as those Restaurant Week dinners).  There's also the more serious concerns--namely that I'm always feeling run down and I'm genuinely concerned about the long-term damage I'm doing to my body.  I might have an especially generous metabolism now, but I highly doubt I'll have these legs forever if I keep going at this rate.  And, the cruel situational irony of watching Top Chef while eating cereal for dinner (for the millionth time) is getting old.  

So I'm giving up eating out for Lent.  I realize this sounds insane, and maybe a little less than feasible.  In order to avoid turning into a total hermit, I do still plan to allow myself happy hours with friends.  But no, I repeat NO, food.  The goal is to figure out how to cook for myself like other normal adults.  I imagine there'll be a few nights of ramen, kraft mac n cheese, and plain pasta.  I'm not delusional enough to think I will cook creative meals for myself every single day for 40 days in a row (no Sunday cheating for this girl).  But I will make a conscious effort to scout (easy) recipes and plan out my weeks in advance.  I also hope to have people over for dinner more often.  And Allie is joining me in this pledge, so I know we have some dinner parties in our future.

I realize Lent is about a month away right now, but I need to get a head start on this whole adventure.  Namely I need to broadcast this plan well in advance to ingrain a sense of accountability in myself, and I need to solicit meal ideas (especially those that do not include pasta).  

Now, excuse me while I go check on my baked potato (which sounds like it's whistling in my stove) and submit a work order request to figure out why the little kitchen's stove won't light...


  1. Ah little humming-bird, I hope you don't mind an old co-worker following along in your adventure. Best of luck!! (and you may actually serve as an inspiration for me along the way!)

  2. I forgot about the humming-bird thing! And yes of course I'm happy to have an old co-worker along for the ride (although I miss the in-person story time in the Sunni Lounge...).

  3. good luck Jenny! I am planning to give up chocolate for Lent as usual. I just stocked up on a bunch of 50% off Valentine's Day Dove hearts that I am going to have to eat before then :)

  4. You might want to consider the source of my (crazy) menu binder:

    This could be a nice way to ease into cooking for yourself: menus, recipes, and shopping lists! She sends you a different weekly dinner menu that can be scaled so it's not too much, even if you're just cooking for one. And there is a lunch menu. They're usually very simple to cook.