Issue #89: What I Cook and Spend on Groceries During a Busy Week
Plus the salad I make most days for lunch.
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📺 “Love & Death” on HBO Max: This stranger-than-fiction limited series tells the true story of Candy Montgomery, a 1980s Texas housewife who is accused of murdering her best friend with an axe after having an affair with her husband, played by Jesse Plemons. The first three episodes, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Candy, came out last Thursday and already promise to be as addictive and talked-about as shows like The Undoing and The Sinner. New episodes come out each week!
🎧 “Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus” Podcast: At this point, every actor and their mother (and brother) has a podcast. But! This is one of the good ones. In this ten-part series, Julia interviews women who are older than she like Fran Lebowitz, Isabel Allende, and Jane Fonda. It’s insightful, funny, and humble in a way most celebrity podcasts are not—Julia is warm and forthcoming with her central message that we have so much to learn from older women. I’ve already listened to every episode, some of which I feel compelled to re-listen to for their lessons. For example, Jane Fonda shared that “No.” is a complete sentence, Fran Lebowitz reflected on her friendship with Toni Morrison (I had no idea!), and Isabel Allende talks about her enjoyment of sex. One of my favorite new podcasts I’ve listened to in a long time.
🎥 ‘Wild Life’ in theaters: The latest outdoor documentary from Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin is a bit different from their classic mountain climbing endurance stories (‘Free Solo’ and ‘The Rescue’). It centers on millionaire conservationists Kris and Doug Tompkins’ efforts to buy land in Argentina and Chile to convert into national parks. Their later-in-life love story is beautiful, and I was particularly touched by Kris’s shares around how she “exploded” her personal life because she suspected there was something bigger... I was lucky to see it in Portland, with a short Q&A by Chai, where she talked about how many ways she could have told their story. It also starts streaming on Disney+ later this month.
At the height of summer, I convert my weekly CSA into invented dishes or recipes from the cookbooks I read cover-to-cover. I keep my keep my fridge and pantry well-stocked and regularly drive across town just to pick up my favorite bread. I love to cook and usually make an event out of dinnertime. But many weeks—like last week—tend to be far more utilitarian, with more five-minute dinners than feasts.
I had “Dinner Diary” in my calendar for months, placed as a banner across this week as a gentle reminder to record my meals in the break between semesters. My vision for this post included photos of gorgeous dinners made when I had all the time in the world, but as the week approached, it became clear that it was going to be much busier than I’d anticipated. Plans with friends, book edits, myriad meetings, a spontaneous coast trip, advance work for the semester, and podcast prep took over and made quick meals a necessity. While I promise to share a Dinner Diary soon that highlights summer produce with involved-but-worthwhile recipes, I hope you find value and ideas in the meals I made during a week limited in both time and budget (including what I spent on groceries).
Please note: I’m intentionally omitting mentions of most workouts, snacks (which are plentiful), desserts, and serving sizes to discourage any calorie comparison. This post it not meant to be a record of exactly what I ate in a day, so much as it is to share my meal and budgeting strategies. There is nothing restrictive about these meals, but if you are worried that reading about what someone eats for dinner will trigger disordered eating or any bad feelings, please skip this post! You may enjoy this one on my budget or self-care instead!
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