Monday night, April 1: I didn’t chop the veggies. Nobody chopped the veggies. No veggies were chopped in my house. At all.
We ate leftovers instead. And then I went for a beer.
Not chopping and then going out was kind of a weird feeling, because I’ve been chopping every single night, it seems, and not going out. Really my cooking discipline lasted only forty days, the forty days of Lent. During that time our family of four ate a healthy diet on a food stamp-like budget of just under $400 a month, which meant we converted many of the same hours we’d normally spend in the store making impulse buys into food preparation time. That is, even more chopping and baking, steaming and sauteeing than our already-handy hands were used to. We did a lot of reading about hunger and visited a food bank, and blogged about it all, to help get the word out there that most food stamp recipients aren’t lazy schlubs who are cozy in their life of dependency. And that foodies should be better advocates for universal access to healthy food. And that work should pay better. And, well, anyway here’s the link.
So, I celebrated Easter by meeting up with the Sacramento Bloggers at LowBrau beer hall on 20th street in midtown Sacramento. Because I’d somewhat re-wired my brain to think in terms of eating on less than $4 a day, buying a $5 beer felt very strange. LowBrau was offering dollar-off pints so I gravitated to the Stone Pale Ale on draft, rather than their pricier but very cool custom cocktail, the Pressed Word. Having a beer was refreshing and lovely and I tried to be mindful, attentive to the scent of hops and the gradual relaxation of my limbs and self-consciousness. Ah, beer.
And great surroundings too. I’ll point you to Margaret’s post on Sacramento Bloggers and Simply Evani’s for pics inside LowBrau. The natural lighting and long, rustic wood tables with benches were inviting for a grown-ups mixer but I’d bring my kids here too, on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
I enjoyed chatting with folks I didn’t know before and others I sort of did–but am especially glad I met Marita and Bridget of Food, Love & Tradition. Their subject matter is right up my alley (but their beautiful photos wouldn’t dare venture to my alley of bad angles and weird shadows).
Chatting with Marita and Bridget* on the way out to my car, I started to think of my grandma.
She rarely used a cutting board. I’m sure when it came to onions and larger items she had to break one out, but every time I see her in my mind’s eye, cooking, she is paring vegetables with a small knife, right over the already-hot pot or pan. Tiny yellow crookneck squash. Carrots. A green bell pepper. Did you ever cut your thumb, Grandma?
*and Bridget’s husband, and Kristin deNeeve–thanks for the escort, y’all!