Monday, May 30, 2011

"Necessity is the mother of Invention"

Some guy once said. Or maybe I'm paraphrasing?

I had two simples desires which started me on the path I find myself walking today. First was the desire to eat good food. Second was not to go broke doing it. Believe it or not, combining these two things is harder than it seems.

I know a lot of places where I can get good food. They range in price from $15 to $120 per person, after tax and tip. Even if I only limited myself to eating at the $15 places once a day, I'd go broke.

I know a lot of places I can get cheap food. A lot of those places would net me two meals (dinner and leftovers) for the same amount of cash I'd be spending at the "good food" places. But, after a while, I found it harder to justify spending my hard earned cash at those places. The food ranged from "bad" to "meh." That in itself wouldn't be bad, but I was paying money for it. Real money.

Admittedly, some of it wasn't their fault. I have the distinction of living in the Seattle-metropolitan area. The sales tax is 9.5%. Also, it's nice to leave a tip. An average tip, as I understand it, is 15%. Add those two up, and I'm paying 25% more for my food than is actually listed on the menu.

To me, that's a lot. So, I made myself a promise, I'd only spend that money on places that were really worth it - the good food places. That meant, I'd be doing a lot less eating out. A lot less.

That left me with a conundrum on what to do with the other 18 meals during the week. And that's what got me to cooking. Since then, I've grown a lot. My definition of "best" got better. I learned that food is complicated. I learned that if I really wanted to push the envelope and combine my two desires to the fullest, I'd have to do a lot of work. It's been three years now, and we're just getting started.

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