No, I'm not dead and neither is this blog. I've just been stupidly busy and the blog has been hibernating. I'm actually cooking up the next installment right now. (Well okay, the oven is doing the cooking. I'm just waiting for the timer to go off at the moment.)
So, where am I going now that I've run out of all those fantastic secret ingredients? That's an excellent question. Glad you asked. Years ago, my mom gave my sister & I cook books of our favourite family recipes. Sadly, many of those recipes call for things which contain MSG, which is something I can no longer consume without experiencing crippling migraines. What has MSG? Many canned soups, dried soup mixes, processed meats, and those damn seasoning packets - which I now "affectionately" call "death packets". (Thanks for that one, Cy!) Because of this, many of these meals I haven't eaten in years. This makes me sad because, damn, they're tasty. So I got this brilliant idea...
Rather than just trying to recreate these recipes while substituting a couple of ingredients - which I've learned rarely produces satisfactory results - I'll completely recreate them. I'll use the methods and major concepts from the recipes but with a whole new flavour pallette. I've tested this with a few recipes, and the results have so far been spectacular, if I may say so.
So that's where I'm going for now. No, they won't always last a week, but they will at least go for a few days for those of us living alone. Or provide dinner one night for four, which also isn't too shabby for around $20.
That's another thing... I've considered hedging my price baseline up a bit more since things are seeming to cost more now. I've decided against that. Sure, that may make things a bit more challenging, but I like a challenge. At the same time, I'm not going to rake myself over the coals for going over $20, so I'd appreciate it muchly if you wouldn't as well.
I've also considered asking the local grocery store how they'd feel about me video taping my shopping process so that I might be able to offer some additional tips in that direction. So far I haven't had the guts to ask for a manager and bring it up, but I've been shopping there for nearly 5 years now. Most of the staff know me at least by sight. I'd like to think it wouldn't be an issue.
So there you have it. That's where I'm at for now.