The work week is almost over, I’ll admit, the first week avoiding grocery stores and drive-thrus, it has been much harder than I thought. While I have managed to pack my lunch each night (ok, that is not that hard!), the complexity has been in finding the balance between a few long days in the cube farm and realizing how easy it is to slip into the convenience of, well, a drive-thru morning.
For example, yesterday, I made went into the office at 7:00 am. I left my house at 6:10 (ah, those long city commutes!). I left the office at 11:30 pm. Yup, roughly 16.5 hours in the office. Now, we did break for dinner (a local sushi place which was fun given my seafood allergy but fantastic spicy eggplant!) but by the time I made it home, packed my lunch, showered and crawled into bed, it was 1 am. Normally, this would be the ‘excuse’ for catching about 30 minutes more of sleep, hitting a drive thru on the way in and probably on the way home tonight, I dug in and decided I wasn’t going to cave over a long day (but oh it was so tempting). I managed to eat breakfast at home (the safe yoghurt and some granola one of my adorable nieces made for me), take my packed lunch in to work and pick up my CSA share on the way home (up for this weekend, more bread and butter pickles to can, some more potatoes, corn to be frozen and a few different types of squash for a squash casserole). I stopped by a local farmers market that I normally miss: it was ok but right now we are frustratingly in between seasons in New England: the tomatoes aren’t quite ready and what I really want are blackberries.
Tomorrow, is delivery day for Mass Local Food Cooperative. Think of the co-op as a collection of mini-farmers markets where members can order items from local farms and pick up in a few central Massachusetts locations. They are usually my source for cheese, eggs, pesto and a few random things. I managed to remember to order some of the ‘missing’ items (namely, garlic and onions) from my kitchen. I’m still on a quest for finding celery that is either organically grown or via IPM and at a farmers market/farm stand or local grocery. An avocado would be nice but let’s face it: avo trees don’t do well in New England.
What have I learned? There are a lack of small businesses on my commute. Yes, Dunkin’ Donuts is franchised (so is McDonald’s, Burger King) but on my 25 mile non-interstate commute, there is not a single indy coffee place: it’s a virtual strip mall nirvana of CVS, grocery stories, Dunkin’ Donuts and various gas stations. I live in a well populated area – I was stunned. I hadn’t noticed the lack of indy businesses. I’m sure an argument could be made for Dunkin’ Donuts and New England being joined at the hip: for me, it became an eye-opening event.
The upcoming week will be interesting: a week packed full of meetings and probably working all weekend means I have to coordinate my schedule a bit better to prepare for those long work days. I need to hit a farmers market this weekend to find some tomatoes, lettuce and other items. I will give that rationing the Coke Zero has probably been better for me but oh, I could use an unlimited supply in the morning!