06 June 2011

Thirty by thirty: food, #18-21

The list continues! To recap, I've covered Family (in part 1 and part 2), Service, and Personal Development (in part 1 and part 2).

Now I’m to the more fun sections that do not involve the plummeting housing market or homeless people or power of attorney, gaahh.

Today I’m going to talk about food! I cannot decide if it is normal or fantastic or ridiculous that I have devoted four entire items on the list to food, but there it is.

#18: Eat from a Nashville food cart

I know, I KNOW I poked fun at pad thai. So you have every right to make fun of me and say, “Really? Food carts are so important that you must eat from one before you are thirty?”

YES. Well, sorta. I had to specify “Nashville” food cart because I am 99% sure I have eaten at a food cart before, specifically when I was at a conference in Wisconsin and I met Mr. P’s sister for the very first time and consequently I was nervous and it’s all sort of a blur but I am pretty sure a food cart was involved.

Recently Nashville has had an explosion of food carts and I have yet to try any of them, because I don’t live in a neighborhood where food trucks roll, nor do I get out to the places they frequent – places like the parks and the big Farmers’ Market downtown (which I have never been to, either). So you see, this is exactly not about the food truck. This is about leaving the house to go someplace besides work. But come on, a food truck devoted entirely to varieties of grilled cheeses? YES PLEASE.

#19: Throw a dinner party

Because I bought a house near the beginning of graduate school, I’ve been fortunate to have a place for friends to gather over the years. I am also fortunate to have friends that are fantastic cooks, and are polite, and always bring a dish to share. Our potlucks are AMAZING.

Also this:

Yes. That is a birthday party with four birthday cakes.

Anyway, as awesome as a potluck or a party with four birthday cakes is, I would love to be able to serve my friends properly. An entire meal prepared by me (with Mr. P’s help, should he wish) and using real dishes (wedding china, holla!) and linens and seated at a table. I have had everything to accomplish this for years – including the friends which, let’s be honest, are sometimes the hardest piece of the puzzle – and until now I have lacked the motivation. Since my friends are also moving away, as we will be in a year or so, the time is now.

#20: Have Saturday brunch with my husband (preferably once a month)

I resisted putting any items on this list without a definite end, instead keeping it to things I could satisfyingly check off when they were done, like DONE-done, and not extend all the way to the deadline. I failed here because it’s sort of a recurring thing, but that’s ok. Once a month seems like a good goal so we’ll see how it shakes out.

Like the dinner party with the wedding china, a lot of this is motivated by gifts we have received and do not use. My mom’s church lady group hosted a bridal tea for me, which I assumed was a no-gifts sort of event and did not register for additional wedding gifts. Turns out I was VERY MISTAKEN and received a bazillion “nice things” and “pretties” and wrote over one hundred thank you notes.

In those notes I included lines like “This is perfect for serving company as well as weekend brunches with just Mr. P and me!” Which sounds absolutely charming! And yet I have done neither. There is just something about brunch and the fact that you are still in your jammies with bedhead eating fancy special brunch-specific foods. It’s so fun. We need to do this more often.

The other motivation for this is waking up less than three hours after Mr. P on Saturdays. Seriously.

#21: Prepare one vegetarian meal a week

Again, something without a specific deadline. That’s just setting myself up for failure. But worth including anyway.

There are so many reasons I want to get in this habit as soon as possible. There are the health benefits of eating less meat. There is the fact that we’ll likely try new things. And of course there is the cost benefit because meat is freaking expensive, yo.

I already do weekly meal planning, so it won’t be too tricky to just make sure one vegetarian meal is on the menu (we do that throughout Lent anyway). And I’m so looking forward to trying this over the summer, when vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive and so easy to incorporate into our meals. I am less excited about the winter, what with produce being less abundant and Mr. P and I having disparate typical-meat-substitute likes and dislikes (he hates beans, I hate mushrooms). But that’s where trying new things comes in. Then again maybe we’ll just eat meatless spaghetti every week, and quite frankly I am just fine with that.

We’re two-thirds of the way through the list. Travel is next!


CalcDave said...

I want to have a themed party like 80s or formal or togas or something. Maybe we could do that at our dinner party. -Mr. P