In Ruth Reichl’s fabulous memoir Garlic and Sapphires, about her tenure as the New York Times’ food critic, she describes a dim sum experience she had in Flushing with a graduate student from Hong Kong. The student’s advice was to begin by ordering fancy tea.
Hi Billfold! I am preparing to go back to working in an office after five (!) years of working from home, and I am a little panicked about lunches. Help me!
Bringing your lunch to work is a personal finance staple, but Mark Bittman doesn’t talk about it in the context of saving you money in his recent column in the Times’s dining section—he talks about it being rewarding and as a way eat stuff at work that’s of “higher quality than almost anything you’re able to buy in your neighborhood.” Make a couple of sauces or vinaigrettes in advance, roast some vegetables or a chicken, make a good pot of beans and the lunches you bring to work are soon going to be something you look forward to eating, he argues. Ah, but here the thing: People who enjoy cooking will no doubt do this and are already the types who have less of a problem of bringing lunch to work. It’s the people who find cooking a chore that he needs to find a solution for; it’s unlikely that they’re going to roast a chicken or mince a shallot to make a vinaigrette. They are going to spread some peanut butter on some bread and call it a day. [Thanks to Anya for the link!]
When I was in elementary school, lunch at the cafeteria was $1, and I’m pretty sure it was worse than shoving a Flintstone vitamin into ground beef.