Everything went reasonably well today until 4pm - the traditional hour of the trip to the chocolate dispenser. I then started getting what I can only describe as chocolate withdrawl. It was thoroughly unpleasant and gave me a degree of sympathy and understanding for the lot of a "Biggest Looser" contestant.
If you've ever tried to give up smoking - you may relate to the 4pm chocolate pangs. Unfortunately, unlike a tobacco craving - which when I gave up, I controlled by drinking water and reading until the feeling passed, the 4pm chocolate craving did not dissapear.
The chocolate craving grew and grew into an intense feeling of hunger - and whilst I've had some off days, I cannot remember feeling anything similar with regards to food before. It continues to build, even whilst I am in Aldi - which I called into on my way home.
Some time ago, I promised myself never to go shopping hungry. I doubt I'm hungry now - not in a true sense of the word - but the feeling of wondering around a supermarket with this intense food craving is somewhat - I'm not too sure the word to describe it - surreal, narcotic. I manage to complete my shop and head to the checkout. In addition to the planned Super-6 purchases, I grab a jar of pasta sauce - out of a percieved urgent requirement to grab something ready and easy to cook as soon as I get home.
|Item||Cost||Servings||Cost per Serving|
|Savoy Cabbage||39p||1 Cabbage||39p|
|Tomato Puree||35p||4 x 50ml||9p|
|Pasta Sauce||39p||2 x 1/2 jar||20p|
Errands at home delay cooking dinner. I'm not looking forward to opening and draining the tinned tuna. I try to make a habit of avoiding tinned fish as I find the odour quite unpleasant, and I'm hoping that my appetite wins in the battle of Dining Vs Nausea.
Dining wins. The pasta cooked, I add half a tin of tuna and half a jar of sauce to the pan, and stir to heat. The taste isn't great, but the senstation is overwhelming. The taste of salt is absolutely delightful. I've finished the bowl before I even pause to contemplate the fact that I haven't taken a picture ( the one above comes from the future )
Whilst browsing the web at lunch, I stumbled across a recipe for vegetarian minestrone soup. This recipe excited me greatly, as the only ingredient I cannot see a way of substituting that I do not have is the Savoy Cabbage. I feel elated to the point of suspecting devine intervention, when I double check todays Aldi Super-6 offers. A savoy cabbage for 39p.
Excitedly, I emailed a URL to my wife - without pausing for explanation. My wife misunderstood and replied apologising for me not being to enjoy such a dish until after my diet, but asked me to fetch her a cabbage when I called into Aldi so she could try the recipe. Unfortunately in my excitement I have ended up dissapointing one of the people I care most about, and whose support is vital if my plan is to succeed.
The preperation is rather time consuming. I'm not ashamed to say that I tucked into the carrot peelings and enjoyed every mouthful. Given the pile of ingredients, it feels like quite a gamble. I know it's going to be mostly on budget, but I kid myself into not caring about the cost. I remember thinking "If it's going to be 60p a serving I'll just have to budget other meals"... My wife remains still slightly dubious about the cost - asking me a couple of times how much these meals will cost, and if I am sure I can afford it.
I make a few adjustments to the soup based on feedback from the bbc website. I reduce the potato count. I coursely chop one of the carrots and sticks of celery in order to add some texture, and I replace the beans with drained kidney beans. I'm initially uncertain if one serving of butter is sufficient for cooking, but this is proven unfounded.
I ended up cooking until gone ten. The finished soup tastes devine to me - I had asked my wife to taste test earlier. Diet or no - it's a damn fine meal. My earlier regret over the purchase of herbs has been substantially mitigated by the addition to the soup.
Whilst I'm typing this after doing the maths - I didn't get to discover how much the soup costs per serving until after my wife had gone to bed and I sat down to blog the days activities. I had a vague idea that it cannot cost a great deal, though I had my suspicions that this might just be "vague" optimism.
|4 Celery Sticks||£0.20|
|25 g butter||£0.10|
|2 Garlic Cloves||£0.04|
|50 g Tomato Puree||£0.09|
|3 Stock Cubes||£0.12|
|Tin Kidney Beans||£0.23|
|1/2 Savoy Cabbage||£0.20|
|1/4 Jar herbs||£0.10|
|Cost per serving||£0.31|
My optimism looks like it's founded on reality - I managed to make 6 generous portions of soup for £1.81 - resulting in a cost of just 31p per portion. A fantastic result!
It's been a long, grueling day. I go to bed tired, yet optimistic.
|Cost of Food Eaten||£1.96|