Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cooking, cleaning, state of mind

I've seen Rambo and Cloverfield for free. At the last showing, the Regal
Cinema very often does not have a person ripping tickets. When I see
that, it's tempting to just not pay $9. Steve was along to see those
movies. "Sneaking in" is sort of an every man for himself proposal,
but he didn't have trouble sauntering right in either.

If you're worried about me not eating enough - because you know me and
you know that could happen - don't worry. According to the scale at
Winn Dixie, I'm about 15 pounds heavier. I attribute this to bad
habits formed almost immediately upon arrival down here. Specifically:
buying pre-made food and eating the known too-big portions. Buying
between one and three donuts with my coffee. Drinking tall beers all
the time. I'm setting this straight now, and finally getting back to
my original plan of cooking more, and being reasonable. I have an a-list of regular
groceries. I get Life Cereal with apple juice, and soft bagels and
peanut butter. Sometimes bananas, and I'm thinking about getting
apples. I recently got broccoli and that was positive. For stuff to
cook, I get pasta - preferably the whole grain kind - and pasta sauce.
One of my favorite easy meals is made by Lipton - get those pouches of
noodles or rice that cook in 7 minutes. I, Chris, am telling you to get them.
There are at least ten different flavors, and it's a 'just add water'
affair. Don't even need the right amount of water - just go for it.
I also eat Chunky soups, and canned chili. Other food comes up,
but that's the main stuff. It's easy and you don't need a fridge.
Let me tell you - for that stuff you don't need much. I didn't pack a
fork, and curiously I've realized it's not worth the effort to get
one. Where would I keep it? My spoon goes in my mug that I eat
cereal out of. That all gets squished between two bed sections near
the wall, and a fork would really crowd up the mug. I'd have to put
it somewhere when I eat cereal. And I'd have to keep the fork with
the spoon - and I like the spoon where it is - so I'm not really
itching for a fork these days. When I do some rearranging of this van
later on up north, I'm going to have a really good idea of what I
actually need, and where I'm going to put it.

I don't do the dishes very much. Here's a solution that works. I
have two little cooking pots, one little yellow colander, a ceramic
cereal mug, a plastic drinking mug, and a spoon. The cereal mug has
bits of cereal stuck to it. I get what I can, and let the rest just
dry up and stick. When you have cereal later, it'll come unstuck and
other bits will take over. If you drink water from this mug, you will
get some of that cereal. This works fine. When you cook in a pot,
then finish eating your food out of it, it is usually still warm, and
you can wipe it out with a paper towel. If you can't get it with a
paper towel, or two in some circumstances, then leave it. Next time
you cook, the problem will take care of itself.

I'm happy. I've gotten used to sleeping and cooking in my van. I
like it. I think part of this personal success is tied to the
simplicity. I have no worries, no real errands, and I know that this
style of living is a cinch to sustain indefinitely.

6 comments:

Casey Serin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BadjerJim said...

Similar to you, I live alone on a sailboat in Western Washington. I say similar because the space is a bit bigger, but we have similar challenges with cooking and refrigeration (I've got an ice box). I'm in a small town and walk to the local market.

I've learned that the butcher marks down the "near expiration date" meats at about 10am... and they're real bargains. Yesterday I had a 1-lb New York steak for about $3.

If you buy it and cook it the same day, refrigeration isn't an issue.

Food for thought?

Jonas said...

Glad for the update. Still no laptop? What's the Klopf situation? Maybe Steve should start a companion blog. I could read about this shit all day.

Steve said...

Hey,

I think jim has a great idea about food. Though you'd have to buy a fork. While I'm on the topic of food (when you do buy that steak) here's how to cook the son'bitch:

http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/08/28/how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks/

Also, I suppose you can listen to music when you get your laptop up?

Jay said...

Looking forward to more frequent posts! Hope all is well in Fla!

Carrot said...

That's totally my dish strategy too.

Tara (the Hobo Stripper)