When I arrived to house sit, the next door neighbor had a tree full of apricots. Literally hundreds. When you looked up, it seemed there was more orange than there was green from the leaves. There were so many apricots that the squirrels had plenty of them to mock me with, but that is no longer the case. The squirrels have decimated the fruit in less than a week and the tree now stands fruitless:

apricot tree but no apricots

I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing — on the one hand, I get a reprieve from the squirrels spitting out their half eaten leftovers at me, but on the other hand it means that I no longer have apricots to easily scavenge — and now will have to find alternative fruit if I want to continue making my morning smoothies…

I did manage to find some cherry plum trees at a local school and was able to gather some cherry plums off the lower branches. They are really ripe so I'm not sure how much longer I will will be able to continue to gather them, but now with the apricots gone, I will have to get by with what I can find.

cherry plum tree

I did take an afternoon walk to the nearby Walgreens to pick up another 4 of the free Ritz crackers meaning that I now have 8 bags to snack on if I choose (I think that I will end up donating these):

walgreens free Ritz

Apricot Banana Smoothie

It looks like this will be my last one of these unless I can find another apricot tree that hasn't been ravaged by squirrels (doubtful). I'm finding that the blender here where I am house sitting makes the smoothies much thicker than the blender I had been using. I haven't really alternated the recipe (fruit, banana and ice) so I am not sure why this is happening…

morning apricot smoothie

Cherry Plum Oatmeal

I used the cherry plums I found to make myself some oatmeal which was pretty good. I added a touch of cinnamon and brown sugar because the previous cherry plums I found had been a bit tart, but adding those wasn't necessary (although they would make the oatmeal much better if I do run out of fruit at some point) since these were quite sweet:

cherry plum oatmeal

Chicken, Broccoli and Egg Pasta

I decided to make some pasta and added chicken, broccoli, tomato and an egg. The chicken was a left over piece I had already cooked, the broccoli had already been steamed so it was a quick, easy and filling meal — just the type of meal that I like. I put Italian dressing on it and it made an quick and tasty little meal. In fact, there was plenty left over that I can use as another meal in the future:

chicken broccoli egg pasta

Chicken Spinach Broccoli Omelet

I decided to try and make an omelet now that I had a bit of cheese. I cut up more of the leftover chicken I had, took out some of the broccoli, sliced up some spinach, cut up tomato and took out a small handful of cheese:

omelet ingredients

All was looking good as I had it cooking in the pan:

omelet cooking

But the flip didn't work and the omelet fell apart:

omelet flip

So when it all ended up on my plate, it didn't look much like an omelet, but it still tasted wonderful:

omelet  wreckage

This is the current list of food I still have
This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $47.70
Money Left to Spend: $52.30 ($5.83 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1341.86


The Beginning ::: Day 74: With Compliments Like That…


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  1. I’m wondering if you are still tracking your weight. Id imagine since your diet is very solid compared to a typical American diet. So id imagine you must be feeling better and lost some weight.

  2. @Peter

    I have actually stayed at a pretty consistent weight. I definitely wasn’t overweight when I started and I haven’t lost any weight (expect in those first few days when I was in the emergency room and couldn’t eat anything).

  3. Pick and freeze fruit for smoothies. Frozen fruit works great for smoothies and will store excess fruit from foraging and tide you over the lean times between harvests of trees. If squirrels can store food you can too!

  4. I wouldn’t worry too much about the flipping. I can never get mine to flip correctly, but they still taste good.

  5. Blending some yogurt or milk (or both) with your smoothies will help thin it down alittle and tastes wonderful!

  6. I was going to say pick extra and freeze them as well. Just prep them first..wash and cut them up, lay them on a plate/cookie sheet and freeze them for a few hours (may want to line the plate with wax paper or aluminum foil first). Then just stick them in a ziploc bag in the freezer..this should keep them from freezing into one big clump.

  7. Flipping omelets is an art…maybe it just means more practice. As long as it tasted yummy, that’s the important part!

  8. I also can’t flip omletes but many in my family like them, and I can cook them well up until that dreaded point. I always try sliding it onto a plate, and flipping it upside-down back into the pan. It works!

  9. A friend who flips perfect omelets told me that he trained to flip them (he worked in a restaurant) by flipping pieces of bread in the frying pan. I haven’t tried his method, but you’re welcome to try it!

  10. Jeffrey:
    Boil a pot of water. Put two eggs in a ziptop freezer bag (not the kind with a zipper on top, but the kind that you have to put the two sides together and press them to seal the bag). Squish the eggs until they look sort of mixed. Add whatever other ingredients you want — cheese, spinach, ham, chopped bacon, whatever. Seal the bag almost all the way and get as much air out of it as you can, then seal it all the way. Carefully place the bag in the boiling water and boil for exactly 13 minutes. No more, no less. Open the top of the bag and the omelet will roll out onto your plate perfectly cooked and more or less omelet shaped. (I picked this up on the internets several years ago and use it several times a month.)

  11. I just found your site yesterday and I already read a bunch of it.

    I have really enjoyed it and posted a link on my blog for my readers to follow along on your adventures.

    Keep up the great work!

  12. Alton Brown does a nice job explaining blenders and smoothies, and might provide you some tips. Blender talk starts at 2:00

    link first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PKUC0SmaFY&feature=player_embedded

  13. You can also try a frittata. Just get to the part just before you were going to flip, and instead, pop the skillet under the broiler to finish the top. Be sure it’s an oven proof skillet. Slide it out onto a plate, it will cover the whole plate! It makes the eggs fluffy and you can cut it into wedges, making you feel like you have more food.

  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmvfUKwBrg

    My boyfriend and I found this omelet tutorial by Julia Child very informative and fun.

  15. I think maybe your putting too much filling into the omelet. If it’s too bulky, it will fall apart. Also, try mixing the eggs and filling together first in the bowl instead of putting the eggs into the pan first and then putting the filling on top.

  16. It also might be you aren’t cooking the egg fast enough, omelets should be fairly thin, and ideally cooked in less than 2 min(I’m not that good yet).

  17. I can’t flip an omelet either to save my life, but I have been very inspired by your challenge and have started my own challenge as well. It’s early days as I’m tracking where I’m spending for a month first. Then, once I have those numbers I can get to saving on groceries.

    I always used to just buy whatever, and pay whatever, but with your inspiration I actually used a coupon the other day. 🙂

  18. I have the omelet solution for you! I believe I learned this on Alton Brown. Scramble your cold eggs before adding to pan. I like to spread put butter and EVOO in the pan, but you could spray with nonstick if you’re being good 🙂 Just make sure there’s enough to prevent sticking… Turn the pan on to medium to heat up just a little. Add eggs. Add toppings. Cover with lid. BAM! Your omelet will cook on both sides in no time at all! You will have to play with your burner temp a little to find the right heat to cook evenly – my stove likes to cook omelets just below medium heat. This is a great way to make a nice, thin omelet. Then, you can just slide onto the plate and fold in half while you do it, or you can do it Ihop style and put a little cheese and sour cream down the middle then roll it up! Just be careful not to use too much egg or it takes a while to cook and is thick and more like a fritatta! I would also recommend not adding any liquid (ie: milk, water, etc.) to the eggs. Good luck – hope it works out for you! 🙂

  19. The key to a good cheese (or any other type of omelette), is NOT to add the chesse or other ingredients to the omelette.

    In the case of cheese, the cheese simply melts and softens the structure of the omelette. With chunky ingredients such as onion.’shrooms etc, they simply create structural breakages.

    The only way round making an omelette with stuff in it during cooking, is to overcook it to buggery, which of course is criminal.

    Saute or roast off the ingredients in a separate pan. With mushrooms, i like to put them sliced on a backing tray and put them in a cold over and preheat it to 200C` and maybe a few more mins.

    The simply add the fillings to the omlette after and fip it over. The latent heat witll melt the cheese.

    For omelettes themselves.
    Add a spoon of veg or sunflower (neutral flavoured hi heat) oil to a non stick pan, swirl it arond and discard any extra.

    Whisk the eggs up in a glass until they start to lighten in colour (this is air being mixed in which makes them go towards white).
    Add a small splash of water and whisk a bit more. Thsi creates steam and fluffiness to the omelette.

    Get the pan near smokign hot. Pour the whisked eggs in , and sswirl aoround the pan. Keep the heat high.
    Keep swirling.

    When it starts to set, the bottom will be a little “wet” and liquid looking still. You cannot flip at tis stage. You dont weant to leave it either to get overcooked.

    Get a spatula/slicer underneath and lift the omelette up SLIGHTLY. Tip the pan and allow the unset egg to run UNDER the omlette without lifting it. Drop the omelette down, leave 5 secs or so, then get the slicer under, slide it allthe wyay round the edge to loosen it from the pan if required , and flip it quickly. Hesitate and you coudl see it fall apart.

    As I always say, the ideal number of eggs for an omelette is entirely random. Just make sure its more than 2 and no more than 4. 🙂

    If this is too many for one sitting, share it.. or eat it cold – its actually quite good cold.

    Otherwise -WARM YOUR PLATE – or it will go cold quick. Place flat ona plate. Add the filling and fold it over into a half moon shape.

    last tip – one of my afavbourite ingredients for an omelette is left over cauliflower cheese. Its awesome.

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