Just as a glimpse into the way I live these days, let me describe dinner for ya.
Arrived home a little after 5, already starving. Munched Corn Nuts while surveying pantry and fridge. (Side note -- Hanukah gift from mom was a giant bucket full of foodstuffs. Quite the care package. More of that when I go to school next year, plus some time in the Fitness Barn, and I'm in good shape).
Contents of fridge include skanky au gratin potatoes made from scratch four to five weeks ago, in need of disposal. Milk, past expiry date by more than 10 days, in need of disposal. Film on bottom of pitcher where sugarless "-aide" style drink evaporated. Rice and beans, made from scratch like the potatoes, and similarly skanky due to dearth of preservatives, plus lots and lots of time. Eggs, reading 'Sell by Oct 5.' Mushrooms, fresh two days ago. Shredded cheese, fresh two days ago. Onion, sorta fresh, sealed in zippy-bag. Leftover salmon-in-phyllo-dough deals made-- hm. Over a week ago.
Oh, and wait, some of mom's turkey-and-stuffing (another thing that I hauled home from the Open House of Lights this weekend), a goopy and delicious concoction that is more souffle-like than many other, inferior stuffings. But at the moment, I was not thinking of it much. It just sat there, looking bored. Also, jaunty seafoam green boxes containing vials of Enbrel, plus syringes for reconstituting and injecting the drug. Much as I'm pleased with what recombinant live cells derived from Chinese hamster ovaries can do for me, a dose costs my HMO like $200 to $400. So that's more a specialty item, not part a wholesome winter meal.
Pantry: pasta, instant brown rice, popcorn. Mac & Cheese mix, but that would mean going out for milk. Did I mention at this point it's about 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside? The guy from the TV Weather said (by way of the phone recording one can call) "Wind chill, 4 degrees." Four flippin' degrees. As I walked home from the bus, about 10 minutes previous to this, I had decided I'd be staying in for the night. If I'm going for milk, I may as well go to the airport and fly to a hospitable part of the world.
Inspected coupons for local chicken/pizza joint. Yes, I'm curious about the broasted chicken, but keep those eggs long enough and maybe I can broast one here. Feeling like cooking, dammit.
Inspiration: olive oil plus 'shrooms plus onions, over rice, little shredded cheese, there we go.
Checked freezer. One pork loin, frozen. Hallelujah. (Yes, I did say "Hanukah" earlier. Also, "cheese" and "pork.")
So, when all was said and done, I carbed it right up by oven-broasting the pork at 400 degrees for 35 minutes over a pile of the stuffing, which gave a nice moisture to the meat. I stirred the stuffing back together, the crunchy bits and the juicy bits, together with some of the sauteed mushroom/onion mixture, the rest of which adorned some rice. With cheese on top.
There are times, usually those rare occasions when I bring lunch in to work, when people talk as though I was a good cook. Maybe there's something to it. I really could use a bunch of steamed broccoli, I don't mind saying. And a tall beer.
But it is freakin cold out there.