Over the weekend, slightly terrified by what I was seeing on the credit card statement, I instituted a handful of Austerity Measures for the Cheung Household. One of the biggest budget offenders is Going Out For Lunch and instead of throwing a little hissy fit about it (because you know it is not ME going out for lunch) I decided I would try to help a dude out. And that meant cooking.
My husband is not big on, say, sandwiches. When he deigns to make himself a sandwich, which he only does after determining that there is nothing left in the house, he stacks it super high, Dagwood-style, so much so that one package of deli meat produces MAYBE two sandwiches. And then he complains about having to slice cheese. SUCH A BABY ABOUT THE SANDWICHES.
No, what Phillip wants to eat is Leftovers. And I... hate leftovers. There are very VERY few things I want to eat the next day, I almost never want to take my food home from a restaurant, and it never occurs to me to make so much food that we have leftovers on PURPOSE. I am the person who LIKES sandwiches. Actually, just give me a loaf of bread. Maybe a cup of yogurt. And I'm good! Cooking is for high maintenance people!
My poor husband, huh? Now his MOM would spend her entire weekend making all sorts of nice Chinese dishes and she'd put four or five cups of rice in the rice cooker and he'd be set for the week. But Phillip chose to marry a white girl who cannot stirfry beef to save her life. IT'S HIS OWN FAULT.
But I thought I would TRY, you know? I make this [ridiculously easy] baked pasta thing that he likes, so I thought I would put that together this afternoon and he could bring it for lunches. Then it ALSO occurred to me that I knew how to make something else that leftovers well - fried rice. I don't make GREAT fried rice, but even amateur fried rice is yummy. So I went grocery shopping with Leftovers in mind and set out the ingredients and felt better about the whole austerity thing.
The kids stayed with Phillip's parents this weekend [there was a local Chinese school performance for Chinese New Year - Jack and Molly were smitten - am I going to have to send them to Chinese school? - A POST FOR ANOTHER DAY] and P's parents only planned to stay a few minutes when they brought them home. But! Phillip was busy trying to attach his new television (SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE. WE NEED THE AUSTERITY MEASURES.) to the wall and I was trying to not look because THAT IS MY WALL. Anyway, it ended up that MIL hung out with the kids and FIL helped Phillip hang the TV and then I decided to suck it up and just ASK my MIL how she makes her fried rice. Because MIL's fried rice? Like everything else she makes? DELICIOUS.
Turns out the only difference between my fried rice and MIL's is, well, SHE makes hers. That somehow infuses the tasty magic? I don't know. And then without me suggesting it or implying it or anything, MIL waltzes into my kitchen and takes over the fried rice-making. After they left Phillip asked me if I was okay with that and I was all, "IT WAS THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED ALL WEEKEND."
So now I have a giant vat of fried rice in my fridge in addition to a giant pan of baked penne and I have high hopes for the budget. Is this a problem/issue/item of concern in your house? How do you combat the siren call of the lunchtime Indian buffet on 4th avenue?