Lunch Time

I'm not much of a cook really. Salt is my favorite spice. But in spite of my limited skills I've been making a pot of Sunday beans that the cute guy and I scuffle over the next number of days for the remains.

I start with Rancho Gordo vaquero or pinto beans, saute onions, throw in garlic, a nub of ginger. This week I added celery and fennel, dried thyme from the yard. Then frozen slow roasted tomatillos and jalapenos from the summer stash. Co-workers two step around me in the kitchen at noon with my hot bowl of leftovers. "Smells good," they say.

The trumpet player praises the vegetarian soup in her hand from down the street. "Do you reuse that container?" I ask. "That's like something you would actually buy to store food in." We've worked together a long time and I practically grab it from her. She points to the stamp approving microwave use on the clear lid. The plastic bowl is heavy, black. Nearly designer.

"Why don't you wash it and use it the next time." She looks at me sideways and leaves.

Another co-worker comes in.

"Are you going to throw that away?" I blurt out. It's a huge clear plastic salad container with a lid from the organic place two blocks away. A dinosaur could fit in the damn thing.

"Recycle," she says.

"I used to take them back for my salad the next time," I offer. She returns to her office with container in hand. I keep eating my beans.

Which were originally wrapped in plastic too. And like the soup and salad containers likely did, went straight into the landfill after a single use.

There's got to be a better way to do this grown up fast city lunch thing. And preferably it doesn't involve me sharing my beans. At least not every day.


Anonymous said...

My husband takes plain yogurt mixed with jam to work in an empty jam jar. We store leftover soup or beans in pint or 1-2 quart canning jars. It works well and no leaching from plastic containers.


Lucy said...

It's such a quandry. One I'm still struggling with on a daily basis.

I stopped buying crackers, making my own instead because of the double-wrapped plastic and cardboard packaging, but I cannot find a co-op that has fresh flour in bulk that's close to home. There is one, but it would require a long car-trip to be honest (it took me 2 1/2 hours to get there on public transport last time I tried) and then I freak out about the fosil fuels I've wasted.

The beans sound great.

Theresa said...

I'm still trying to find some decent containers to microwave food in. It's hard to take glass to work safely. I do mix up my own 'instant' oatmeal mix though (quick oats, raisins, flax meal, brown sugar) instead of buying the pre-packaged kind - easy, tasty and much less $ and waste!

Kel said...

ive just come back to my office from the work kitchen. in the bin are 3 tetra milk carton (recyclable), i tin from sandwich tuna, apple peels (who doesnt eat apple peel?!) and 2 avocado skins.. Im about to go back down and fish out the recyclables and taking them home to put out in our recycling! Yikes. Work is difficult. ohh and for Theresa, Pyrex make great glass containers with lids , they are so thick Id challenge anyone to break it! i bring mine to work.

kale for sale said...

diana - I learned about yogurt with jam from Green Bean. I mean I know yogurt has come with fruit forever but it never dawned on me that I could mix in my own jam. So good!

lucy - I'm coming to appreciate quandries as they point towards solutions and mindfulness. I wish I could feed you some of the beans because you would make them into poetry. Really, you would.

theresa - My whole life and I'm only now beginning to appreciate oatmeal. I'll have to try some raisans with it. I carry food to work in the same polka dotted plastic bowls I bought years ago and then I nuke it in a glass bowl I keep in a file drawer. Filed under B of course. Not really but it sounded good.

kel - You're fishing in the garbage - You go girl! I pull out plastic bags but on the whole our office is actually quite good about recycling. The building management, 22 floors, has made it easy. It's the reusing that we need to inspire more of. LOL about the apple peels.

Going Crunchy said...

Yum! That sounds tasty.

O.k., so naughty. I've dumpster, or "trash can" dived to pick out recycling and put it in the right spot. I do look like the crazy lady in these cases.