Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Lunches

I enjoy fresh food, freshly prepared, as much as the next person. I'd really enjoy it every day for lunch if there were someone here to prepare it for me. No matter how hard I search my house when I get home for my lunch hour, though, there no one ever seems to be here offering me a plate of something they just whipped up.

So, I go for quick and easy. I heat a can of soup, reheat leftovers when available, slap some tuna and a pickle between a couple slices of bread -- that sort of thing. But when the grocery store runs a big special on frozen meals I happen to like (as part of a balanced diet, of course) I go armed with good coupons and really stock up. 

My Dad seems to actually like some frozen dinners, and I will confess that when I am on night detail with him they can be a real help. He eats well earlier than I ever do, so preparing a real meal for the two of us can be problematic.

When I fix one of these for him I plate it and add a little something else to balance things out nutritionally: a bit of fruit, some extra vegetables. I began to notice something after doing this for all these weeks: there was more food in those single serve meals than it seems. Until a few days ago when I would zap a frozen meal I'd just eat it out of the little plastic tray. None too elegant, and quite often I just didn't feel like I had eaten. 

So this week, using my fine china (which is now my everyday china because life is too short to save the good stuff for some other time) I have begun taking stuff like this: 

.... and putting it on something like this.

Well, you get my point. 

What's in Photo #1 one looks like a frozen meal bought on sale with a coupon, but what is in Photo #2 looks at least a little more as if someone went to the trouble to fix lunch for me.  I found I took my time eating it, and when I was done it felt more like a meal than a mad food dash. I've heard it said that we eat with our eyes first, and there is no doubt that the difference in perception between those two views, at least in terms of quantity of food, explains why I felt more fed haven plated and supplemented the dish with a little (gasp!) bagged salad. (I know my foodie friends and family are squirming. You are on your own to deal with it.)

Another new habit for 2012?  Most definitely!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! My fine china is just languishing in the cabinet - I'm going to try! So often I eat lunch or breakfast standing up!