I have stopped eating on $4 day. I had hoped to go for 30 days and demonstrate the potential of food but…I ended early. It wasn’t that eating on such a little amount made me hungry. Many days it was a fun game. Let’s go see what good food I can find in the hood. But the constant measuring everything to stay within budget and the sense of limitation was tedious. Additionally, I was sidelined by a few things:
I got mild food poisoning from eating food at a buffet followed by excess sugar (all free) and so, the next day I ate what my body wanted. I attended the Eat Real Festival, went to another SF festival and had social outings. Afterwards, I tried to start-up again, for at least another week on $5 per day.
I excitedly procured smelt at Foods Co for $3.86. Wild fish for so little. I had just eaten fried smelt at Eat Real and was optimistic about eating more. I looked up recipes. Some said to fillet and others said it wasn’t necessary. I made a batter with whole wheat flour, cayenne, garlic and salt. The recipe said to fry in olive oil, but that wouldn’t have been affordable and I did not have enough. I used coconut oil. It was given to me when I worked at the Berkeley Bowl so technically I could use it on the challenge. I knew it would make for a heavy flavor but coconut oil is a good oil for frying because it can handle high temperatures without burning.
The smelt did not turn out well. The texture of the bones and heads were gnarly and the frying resulted in mush. I tried two meals of corn tortillas with beans and avocado but it was weird, especially with the spines included. I am all for reaping the benefit of animal bones, sardines are a great example of that, included bones=calcium, but this didn’t fly. Granted, I think I need some lessons in frying, but frying is a minus on the health spectrum so it’s not on the top of my kitchen projects.
Around the same time, I had a lack of sleep and helped clean a friend’s house for 9 hours. The next day I felt awful, I had a terrible headache. I needed the respite that a good Chinese restaurant would give me. Salty shrimp with lobster sauce over white rice and lots of soy sauce. I immediately felt better. Thank you, Asia–you do it for me every time.