If you were to be able to look at our biggest non-essential expense, it would be dinner out. Hands down. There are a few reasons we go out to eat. The first is that we didn’t go grocery shopping so we have to get food to make food and that seems like too much work. But the second most common thing is that the food out at the restaurant sounds so much yummier than the food we would make at home. Over the years I’ve found a solution to that problem: Instead of being places to feed one’s self, restaurants become places to do research, and then you cook at home.
Take the photo up above. This is a red curry tofu we’ll be having for dinner tonight. We go out for Thai food a lot – it’s one of our go-to cuisines. After going out so many times for Thai food I decided to learn to cook it at home. I took a basic Thai cooking class to get some of the basics and then afterward relied on recipes and Youtube channels to figure out how to make the dishes. I estimate the ingredients for this cost $6-7 but give me enough to feed three people two meals worth of food. In other words: $60 worth of take-out. For me to get to the nearest decent Thai restaurant I would be 40-60 minutes by transit and then I would have to wait another 20 minutes to actually eat. Compare that to the alternative: with the ingredients already in my fridge (and really, if I have fish sauce, curry paste, Thai red chilies, coconut milk a few staples like lime leaves, and some sort of protein I can make this) it will be ready to eat in 30 minutes. So it takes 1/4 of the time and 1/10th the money.
Now why am I talking about this? Because I am stagnating. I’ve got a handful of really easy (but delicious) staples we eat on a regular basis but the time has come to add some new items to the dish. And so over the next little while I’ll be not only sharing some of the meals we’re having out, I’ll then share my research as to how to make it at home, and how successful my attempts at mimicry are. So watch this space…
Update: I found the original source for the recipe. If you’d like to make this for yourself, you can find the recipe here.