Dexter and I are starting a new experiment. Or maybe it’s a challenge. It started when I was SO tempted to increase our budget for eating out so we could eat out once a week and go out for coffee and Bible-reading dates on weekend mornings.
I have a great, new after-school job tutoring at my school through a fantastic program. Working three afternoons a week at my “teacher’s hourly pay” will provide a great source of debt-reducing income, but it also means that I don’t get done tutoring till 5:00 and I might have to stay and plan for the following day. Some days I won’t get home till close to 6:00, and on those days, eating out or ordering in sounds tempting. And I feel like I deserve it.
My friend Leah said something on her blog several months ago. She decided to “give herself the gift of 10 fewer pounds” for her birthday. That made me look at dieting from a whole new perspective. It’s not depriving yourself of food–it’s being responsible and making sacrifices so you can treat yourself to good health and self-confidence. I have taken this line of thinking into other areas of my life as well. I can choose to think about paying off our debt as depriving myself of things I want right now, or I can think of it as giving myself the gift of freedom from debt.
This new resolve to really channel all our funds toward paying off our debt led to the decision to budget enough for eating out twice a month. We’ll have coffee where we can get it for free, use our personal spending money, or make coffee and yummy pastries at home on our weekend mornings. Since we won’t be eating out two or three weeks out of a month, we needed something to do on date nights for free or very cheap. Cooking together is something we’ve wanted to do for a while, but never got around to, so we decided to commit to trying it out.
We thought it would be fun to get a cookbook to cook from that would have lots of great recipes. We found one vegetarian cookbook with a “cooking for two” theme, but it was out of print. We looked at aphrodisiac cookbooks for some romantic ideas, but some are a little risqué, and we didn’t want to have to hide our cookbooks whenever we had guests over. We looked at some seasonal cookbooks, but realized that we don’t want a cookbook that has too many meat recipes because we eat so little meat.
That’s where the idea of How to Love an Omnivore was born. This blog is a joint project in which Dexter and I will cook together, hopefully on a weekly basis, take pictures, post about our culinary adventures, and share tips about cooking, marriage, and life in general. You can read more about us and about the project here.
This week, we made our first recipe together, Spaghetti Squash Pizza. It was a rough start, but challenges are much more interesting to read about than huge, easy successes, right?
By the way, I don’t plan on replacing Mrs. Dexter with HTLAO, although one might think that by the infrequency of my posts. I actually set a goal (during a goal-setting assignment for my students) that I would post at least once a week on this blog. Hopefully I can set a good example and make good on my goal!