I was broke. I lived in a teeny tiny apartment on campus with three other girls, and we were all college poor. My workstudy position paid $230 per month, my part of the rent was $190. And we had a little luxury called electricity. My car was paid for, but gas for the Geo wasn't free. And this was all before we had to buy groceries.
But we were resourceful. My suite-mate and I lived on cereal and ramen. Some months we could even indulge in milk for our Captain Crunch. We figured out how to make a dollar jar of spaghetti sauce last a week. We would each buy a jar (she liked alfredo and I am a marinara girl,) and we would cook a fistful of noodles a day to eat with a few spoonfuls of sauce. This was living. I could go on for hours about our college savings plan....Split orders of fries from the truckstop for dinner, stolen toilet paper from the Garrison (gasp!), and a great friend who fed us weekly from the restraunt he managed. Cooked dinners every now and again were the trade. Because, cooked noodles and sauce is very marketable.
After college ( I call these the student loan reality years,) I was STILL poor. My roommate and I had moved up in the world, and thought we were living large because our ramen upgraded to hamburger helper. That's right. Meat. We were ballin'.
We ate the helper so often, and about 2 years out I swore it off. Done.
Fastforward 10 years. My culinary skills have grown in leaps and bounds. I even manage to cook real meals for my family once or twice a week. Meats, vegetables, soups...real food made from real ingredients.
This is my big setup for what transpired last night...
Brad: "Do you know how to cook Hamburger Helper?"
Me: "Um...yes? But I don't really know if that counts as cooking..."
Brad: "I love Hamburger Helper! Why don't we ever have it?"
Me: "Because I really cook. Like, food. Why would you want that?"
Brad: "Let's have Hamburger Helper tomorrow night! The cheesy kind with........."
I tuned out. I don't get it. I have learned to speak his languages. There is hunting, fishing, the basketball and football talk, random bits of redneckedness that he has amassed. But this was my limit.
I don't think I can speak ground beef soaked in processed cheese powder.
Guess what was for dinner tonight? Guess who decided to just eat bread and salad.