“I read the news today, Oh Boy” we are in trouble.
I tend to wake up early, somewhere around 4 AM, but usually don’t feel well enough to get out of bed. Sometimes I get the morning newspaper and read it for a while. Yes – we are the last human beings who still subscribe to a newspaper. I start by reading the comics, as that is often the most meaningful and informative section of the paper. I might read the advice column (Dear Abbey on some days, Carolyn Hax on others). I do my best to fall back asleep before the fun stuff in the paper runs on into actual news. The news is far less entertaining.
Soon it’s time for The Wife to get up. I make coffee and assemble her office lunch. I have to put modesty aside and say this is one area where I excel.
The Wife’s lunches are the best in her office, perhaps excepting a few Asian women who make pho (modified to reflect each person’s individual tastes). They maintain stocks of broth and solid pho stuff in the office refrigerator.
Making lunch every morning is more of a final assembly project than cooking. I do almost all our cooking on the weekend. That works well because I like to have lunch ingredients prepared in advance and I need to leave the DMIL with some basic prepared food for her week. She will not subsist on Lean Quisine-oid make-believe food as long as I draw breath.
Today’s lunch is a salad. Lunch entrees usually take the general form of either rice bowl or salad. More salads in the summer and rice bowls in the winter. I pack some bread and fruit along with the salad.
The salads start with greens. I have had great luck with the embarrassingly named “Organic Girl” greens we can buy at Whole Foods. For about six bucks we can get a good base for a week’s worth of salad lunches for both of us.
I also hit the local farmers market every Saturday. That’s the source of all our fruit vegetables. Using the farmers market keeps our eating varied, since what we eat changes with the seasons. We are just beginning the move from tomatoes and cucumbers to squash and cruciferous (cabbage-oid) vegetables. Fruits are in the pear and apple stage right now.
Tomatoes and cucumbers go in next. I add some canned artichoke hearts in chunks and add diced boiled potato. You need something fun and something substantial. Otherise The Wife will be tempted to philander in the direction of the downtown Tamale Lady. The "Total Man" must take good care of his mate to keep his world in order. The Tamale lady is my mortal culinary enemy, except when I happen to be downtown around noon. Then she might become a friend bearing four-dollar lunches that are out-of-this-world.
I add a little bit of minced onion, seal the containers, and lunch is assembled. The wife keeps dressing at work and adds it at lunchtime.
A quick breakfast (usually toast and peanut butter or a boiled egg and fruit) and The Wife is off to work. The Wife is in charge of breakfast.
Really the morning in the only consistent part of a day in my life. After this point, things procee in their own way.