OK, as predicted, I was way too confident yesterday. Today, the Hunger Challenge got a whole lot more complicated.
1) I came into contact with other food, and I caved. Mr. Jolly Tomato, who had a work meeting for lunch (I will subtract $1.57 from the total grocery allotment for his meal), brought home a bunch of tamales and I couldn’t bear to leave them untouched. So I had half a tamal (prorated cost: $1.50). Also, I had been testing a pie that I’m entering in the KCRW pie contest so I had some of that too (prorated cost $1.00). Gulp.
2) I had to add to the grocery list. First, I had totally forgotten to add in money for mayonnaise that I was using for tuna salad ($1.99 for small jar). Second, it seemed like we were running low on fruit. At one point today I was within a block of a farmers’ market so I stopped to grab three large pints of strawberrries ($5). Also the kids were not down with having brown rice again so I bought one more box of pasta to go with tonight’s beef stew ($1.49).
3) Real life intervened. Last month I won a years’ supply of endive in an auction to benefit A Fund For Jennie. I am excited about this beyond words, but I hadn’t expected to receive the first shipment of six pounds of fresh endive in the middle of the hunger challenge. I’m going to use four heads of endive this week and I’ll estimate the market value at $3.49, added to my list.
So let’s review:
Current grocery total: $91.11
Half a tamal: $1.50
Slice of pie: $1.00
Revised grocery total: $112.82, out of a total allowed $130.59 (that’s also a revised limit, accounting for $1.57 less in meal allotments given that Mr. Jolly Tomato ate elsewhere for lunch today).
Umm…Maybe this was harder than I thought.
Today’s menu looked like this:
Breakfast: Oatmeal and nectarine slices
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly and veggie sticks for kids, tamale and leftover taco fixings for me.
To make this yummy stew, I browned some stew meat and then put it in a slow cooker along with a large can of diced tomatoes, three chopped and peeled carrots, two celery ribs (chopped), and one large diced onion. I cooked it on high for five hours and then brought it down to low for another two hours. When it was done, I added a teaspoon or two of salt, and it was perfect.*
*Unlike me, that is. Better luck tomorrow.