Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Slow Start

Alix and I, while both highly motivated, are also expert procrastinators. It should surprise no one that knows us that this ambitious plan of ours is starting rather slowly. Or not yet. At all. See, the problem is that Alix just had a birthday. And I, well I'm a sucker for birthdays. We spent her actual birthday at my parents' house upstate where I made her a blueberry pie. Once we were back home though, I wanted to make more of a day of it. I didn't have to work on Monday so we slept in, took the puppy to his favorite dog park, and then went to see the Bodies exhibit at the South Street Seaport. Right before we were about to enter the exhibit, Alix stopped dead in the street, pointing wildly to a spot about twenty feet in front of us and started yelling, "Look! It's here! It's here!" She was referring to the famous Wafels and Dinges cart which has been eluding our grasp since I saw it featured on the Food Network. Our plans to spend no money that day went out the window as we decided to sample the famous chewy warm waffles covered with toppings of your choice (Nutella and strawberries for me, just Nutella for Alix). It was worth every penny spent, and every gooey bite before we entered the shadowy halls to contemplate the waffles' journey through the epic disassembly line that is the human digestive system.

Later, I made the dinner that Alix had chosen: chicken served on a bed of wild mushrooms (from The Silver Palate Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins with Michael McLaughlin), steamed artichokes with Hollandaise sauce (from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck) and chocolate chunk cookies for dessert. Nothing about this dinner was cheap or particularly healthy - Hollandaise sauce is butter with egg and a side of butter and, oh yeah, butter - but it was special and delicious. I've been told before that one of my greatest attributes as a cook is that I am utterly fearless. While I have a hard time believing most of the compliments I receive, this one I acknowledge as true. I taught myself how to make bread, pie, and almost everything else I can do in the kitchen by assuming that if one follows a recipe, has good intuition, and isn't afraid of messing up, anything can turn out delicious. This was true of the birthday dinner since everything I made was new to me (except the cookies, those are old stand-by's in our home).
The birthday feast
Next on our mission: order our DVD workout plan with its accompanying diet guide, figure out shopping lists based on said diet plan, and stick to the following budget guidelines:
Rent: 40%
Groceries: 10%
Utilities/Phone/Transportation: 6%
Pets: 4%
Miscellaneous (healthcare, car insurance, extra unexpected costs): 11%
Debt: 15%
Savings: 14%

I realize that's pretty convoluted, but this is a work in progress. Things they do not teach you in a liberal arts education...

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