So far, working for myself is turning out pretty well. For one thing, I don't have a boss. It took me 36 years, but I finally realized I have a problem with authority. For another, I don't have to attend pointless, interminable meetings, or have to pretend to be a team player. I'm not part of any team and I don't have to act like I am. I fly solo, and I like it that way.
That's just the beginning. There are about a million other things I like about working for myself, including spending about 20 or so hours a day with Frances; working whenever I feel like it, maybe early in the morning or after dinner; and guilt-free breaks in the middle of the day to swim, blog, bake, or grocery shop. And, I get to eat lunch at home almost every day.
It's not that I don't enjoy going out to lunch; of course I do. But eating lunch at home is one of the ways in which my thriftiness manifests itself. Even if I have no obvious leftovers to turn into lunch, I pretty much refuse to go out. I'll eat sliced turkey on crackers or cobble together a lettuce-less salad with celery, olives, and canned tuna, all for sake of saving money.
What a cheapskate, you're thinking. Totally. I admit it. I'm actually weirdly proud of being able to scrape together a lunch of misfit food that ends up looking pretty good. I don't know why I am the way I am, but there's no changing me. I'll spend plenty of money on dinner with the husband or friends, tossing back oysters and bottles of wine, but I'm perfectly happy to scrounge for lunch.
It's best when you have some fresh ingredients to work with to balance out the questionable food. The other day, for example, I had some several-days-old bread, peppery arugula, and fresh mozzarella, which I thought would be a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Left it unattended for too long, but you have to admit this looks pretty nice.
I also had some leftover soup to go on the side. Curried cauliflower, to be specific. It was delicious the night before, but tragically unphotogenic. When I served it for dinner, I slid a spoonful of sour cream into the bowl and grated lime zest over the top, which improved its appearance slightly. For lunch, I abstained from the sour cream, but since the soup still looked like liquid cardboard, I busted out the lime again. Yes, the same lime from the night before. That's another instance of my thriftiness: I'll cling to lemons and limes as if they're the last ones on earth, until they're dessicated little nubs. The husband will periodically pick one up from the counter, half zested or split in two, and ask, hopefully, "Compost?"
"I'm going to use that," I'll reply peevishly. "I'll squeeze it in a glass of water or on a salad."
Anyhow, it's amazing what a tiny sprinkling of green can do, even to a soup that lay somewhere between beige and ecru.
It's hard to rival the soup and sammie combination. They're a perfect pair. Dip, crunch. Dip, crunch. Let's zoom in on that grilled cheese for a moment.
Yes, indeed. I've gotten used to these working lunches.