Not Eating Out in East Tennessee

If you remember my recent post about my latest reads, you’ll know that I just read Cathy Erway’s book “The Art of Eating In”, based on her successful blog “Not Eating Out in New York”.

It was a great read. I’m not about to go on any restaurant-fast anytime soon, but as someone who eats out minimally (only weekends IF I’m travelling or spending time with friends, but at the farm it’s home cooked meals 24/7!), it reaffirmed my decision to eat in.

  • You save money. If I’m not eating out, I can easily go for a couple weeks eating my way through my pantry, and only having to buy perishables. I use coupons and stock up on things when they’re on sale, so my grocery budget is usually pretty low. Plus, it helps when you work for the foodservice department of a hospital and get free leftover meals at work :)
  • You use less trash.  Prime example: today after work I went through the Sonic drive-through for a $1 vanilla cone. Along with the cone I got a stack of 8 napkins. Really? I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have used all 8 napkins if I tried. Now, this argument is mainly for take-out, drive-through type restaurant eating. But, you could also say that there is a lot of waste at your normal sit-down restaurant meals, since no one can really eat the monstrous portions anymore.
  • You eat healthier. Ditto about the monstrous portions. When I cook dinner, I make a normal serving. I measure/weigh ingredients. I don’t deep fry anything, use cream sauces, or smother things in cheese. I find the “ignorance is bliss” idea works a little too well at restaurants – I seem to be able to more easily order a “heart attack on a plate” –type meal at a restaurant because I don’t have to see how it’s prepared.
  • You learn new skills.  Did I mention that after reading the book I finally conquered the no-knead bread recipe that I’ve been drooling over for years? For my first attempt, I made an awesome bakery-quality loaf of bread (and devoured it in less than 36 hours…)

Tonight’s home-cooked dinner was nothing special – more like eating up leftovers, with some sliced cheddar and triscuits.

Tomorrow I’m trying a new cookie recipe from Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” that features one of my ever-abundant garden vegetables :) Hopefully it’ll be a hit with my new friends at game night!

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