Whole Living Daily

Breaking Up with Takeout: My Home-Cooking Challenge

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This is the first in a summer-long series on home cooking, seasonal foods, and other kitchen adventures:

Ordinarily, there would have been Indian food. Obscene quantities for just one person of Indian food. Samosas and panir bhurjee (shredded panir cheese cooked with tomatoes, peppers, and onions), garlic nan, raita (yogurt sauce flecked with cucumbers), and three different kinds of chutney.

The Indian food—the lovely Indian food—was the thing around which my Thursday night pivoted. (Thursday night being the night my husband works late and I stay home, blissfully glutting myself on takeout while catching up on Glee.)

But lately, this once excellent ritual has started to feel more than a little routine. And tasty though all that panir bhurjee has been, I have to admit there's something kind of sad about eating takeout Thursday night, after Thursday night, after Thursday night, before getting into bed and reading cookbooks like this, and this, and this, to say nothing of spending great swaths of my day trolling for recipes like this, and this, and this, all of which make me want to get back in the kitchen so badly, I swear sometimes my fingers itch.

Time for a Change
That's why I've given myself this challenge—that, and the fact that Thursday night bears an uncanny resemblance to Monday night (Mexican), and Wednesday night (the pizzeria), and often Tuesday night, too (the diner)—to cook every single meal I eat from Memorial Day to Labor Day (unless I am eating at a restaurant or a friend's house).

Stay tuned next week for my first cooking adventure, and for many more in the weeks thereafter. I am counting on all of you to keep me honest; in return, I promise to share whatever delicious things I find and hope you'll do the same ...

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