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Life Without Recipes . . .

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The terrific At Goal and Maintaining: Transition to Maintenance Team is encouraging a recipe exchange. And of course I'd like to support my team!

Have to say, however, that I "don't do recipes"much anymore . . . so I've been thinking about why that's so.

Because I do make soup every week -- a big pot that sits in the fridge, ready for suppers. Every pot different. This week: salmon and shrimp with celery, onion, /carrot, potato, spinach in broth with Greek seasoning . . . it's delicious! (Had a taster bowlful for breakfast!).

But: my soups don't follow a recipe. They're based on what I have on hand that needs to be used up before I buy the next week's salad veggies. And yes, I do make salads every day for lunch: but again not from a recipe. The focus is on what's fresh at the grocery store: probably 8-15 different veggies and fruits at each meal. But: I don't have a Betty Crocker gene.

I'm a "fueller" focusing on nutrition . . . and infinite variety within that soup and salad pattern.

And I'm a frugalista focusing on not throwing stuff out.

My house is "decorated" from a whole bunch of stuff that more or less arrived here: stuff that had belonged to my parents, and an aunt, DH's parents, or was acquired from friends or Salvation Army. Right down to the tea towels, dishes, paintings on the walls. I've rarely ever bought a piece of furniture in over 33 years of marriage. Do buy paintings, however, and always have fresh flowers on the kitchen table -- in summer, random bunches from my garden and in winter from the grocery store. This week: white hyacinths. So although I love my old Victorian house, I'm more or less indifferent to its persistent shabbiness. Just don't have a Martha Stewart gene.

My "wardrobe"? Same thing: mostly acquired from kind girlfriends who passed along items they outgrew, or thrift stores, consignment shops, ebay and etsy. Love fashion: rarely buy anything substantial and never at full price. I'm way more Annie Hall than Cindy Crawford, that's for sure. And don't repeat an entire outfit much oftener than I repeat a soup . . .

Food, furnishing, fashion: I get a kick out of odd combinations that arrive in my life by serendipity. What postmodern theory calls "bricolage"; assembling something new out of the random.

Why does this work for me? It feels freeing -- I suppose it's my version of that "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" thing which nevertheless coheres with the "peace, order and good government" thing too. Because as we all know, maintaining weight loss AND financial responsibility do require so much discipline. Life without recipes permits eternal vigilance together with a certain subversive quirkiness that doesn't derail the fundamental enterprise!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KANOE10
    Enjoy your recipe free life. You are happy. You are staying healthy and maintaining!

    1886 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Ah, I love your free spiritness. (is that a word?) Now don't get upset with me... but as I read your post your words reminded me of my grandmother. She cooked on a wood stove all her life. Yes even into the 1960's and 70's. She didn't have recipes, but could she cook.
    Some folks, like you, are blessed with that talent. Me .. not so much, I do need the guidelines of a recipe to start me off.. then I tweak.
    You have skills, girlfriend and you inspire me.
    1886 days ago
    Some of us live better without a plan, while others do better with a plan and recipe file in hand.

    I'm with you on the serendipity side of living. And cooking. Although baking needs more of a plan (or the bread doesn't rise) - but life without a plan works better for me too.
    1886 days ago
    I am so "with" you in this philosophy and approach to soup and so much more. I do soup in a very similar way, tossing in whatever and try to make the most of what I have. I like my music that way too. Don't know when I last listened to an album straight through...I hop-scotch from pop to far-eastern world music to funk to Brasilian bossa nova to Springsteen to mountain music to Joni Mitchell to who knows what? It works best for me, keeps life interesting....! :-)

    1886 days ago
    Interesting blog. Lots to think about.
    1886 days ago
    Great blog!! I like what you have to say. Now, I do occasionally like trying a new recipe, but for my Pineapple Salsa Mahi-Mahi we bought pineapple not on sale for the first time in several years. On sale we get whole pinapple for $2.99; not on sale it is $4.99. I tried another new recipe this week and the family loved it, but using up all the ingredients while they are fresh will be a challenge! There is economy in cooking up what's in the house and buying what is the best buys at the store.

    I don't do soup and salad as often as you do, but I do a plain veggie or two, plain meat (pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, etc.) or beans, and plain carb (brown rice, sweet potato, potato cooked various ways) often. Salmon loaf, meat loaf, Boca burgers, and several pasta dishes I do create no waste. One other advantage of plain foods is that the little girls will eat it and the adults can add A1, tabasco, BBQ, honey mustard, ketchup, cocktail, ranch, vinegar, lemon juice, etc., from the fridge if they want.
    So, I plan to balance. Some recipes we will include in the rotation IF there isn't too much waste.

    Thanks for another great blog!!
    1886 days ago
    Cool way to do things...........FUN and FREEDOM!

    1886 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    I operate on a very similar wavelength. Shopping has always been near the top of my 'things I do not like to do" list. Enjoyed this blog.
    1886 days ago
    Frugalista! I love it! I used to say that our house was decorated in "early marriage" - hand me downs from whomever. Except for my running shoes, everything else is "clearance sale"
    1886 days ago
  • DALID414
    Wow! I hadn't realized the furniture thing about myself! Every piece I own came from someone else's house! I'm really emoticon right now
    1886 days ago
    Love it! Here's to freeing (although I love going through my grandmother's recipes)... She was a cook to your taste, bake to the recipe person.
    1886 days ago
    emoticon Once in a great while I'll look up a recipe, but for the most part... I'm with you. Toss it together from ingredients that you know will fuel!
    1886 days ago
    I'm on your team!
    I'd much rather spend my money on travel or something than the latest look.
    My sister gets new furniture and repaints rooms so often it's not even funny- when will she be happy?
    1886 days ago
    Delightfully subversive!
    1886 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I am right there with you. Why buy something if you can get a hand me down someone no longer needs? I really hate shopping if truth be told, so anything I own, I hope it lasts. Like my stereo that played records and cassettes -finally sold it to upgrade to a more modern one, but would have kept it if I could find records I liked :P
    I have the same dresser set I had as a kid. I still like using the fall jacket I have had since my 20's in which the zipper no longer works (but the snaps do) The hardest thing was parting with my clothes I have had for so long when they no longer fit me. Simply can't find stuff like that anymore.
    I don't cook so no recipes either as I prefer raw and natural freggies. Miss having soup in these cold winters, but won't buy canned.
    Have a Super Sparking Saturday!!
    1887 days ago
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