For nearly five years I worked from my apartment, wherever that was. I moved from one place to another and yet I still was working in the privacy of my own home with no one to tell me that I couldn’t work in my boxers if I wanted to. Somehow, boxer working never lost its appeal to me. It all changed when my main client could no longer afford to pay me and I had to get a job in “the real world” — a scary place where people wear trousers and can’t stroll into their kitchens for lunch.
Much like the spring of 2002 before the ill fated move to Australia, I was now working in an office environment and had the choice of trying to buy food outside of the office or to bring it in myself. As I was trying to save money (losing a big money client will do that to you) I knew that bringing food would be substantially cheaper – especially the way that I make it.
Starting in April of 2002, I was working every day at a law school in lower Manhattan. I had discovered the beauty of buying food from the bulk bins at grocery stores and so every day I experimented with simple combinations. My mother helped me in that she bought gargantuan bags of Craisins — that fantastic invention by Ocean Spray involves taking cranberries and drying them like raisins — with a hint of sweet. I would cook a cup of quinoa or millet or spelt and mix it with craisins and olive oil. That was pretty much it.
That was fine for then, but the Gordon of 2008 wanted more out of his food. I began experimenting with different things that I found in the supermarket. I decided one day to mix brown rice, kidney beans, cubed tofu, and about two teaspoons of teriyaki sauce and was bowled over by the results. It was absolutely spectacular.
Over the next few days, I tried other combinations such as mixing in other sorts of beans and sauces and have almost always been enchanted. This week I started out with brown rice and kidney beans and have been adding things and ended up with a huge mix of different foods that taste great together.
I find the process of making food to be a bit like chemistry. I take different tastes that I know to be good and see how they taste when I put them together. More often than not, I am pleased with the results.
What makes me a little sad is the reactions I have always gotten from my coworkers, whether it was 2002 Gordon or 2009 Gordon. My coworkers, who have regularly questioned my eating habits and why I choose to make and bring in my own food, have pretty much always ridiculed me. These same colleagues have no problems with spending nearly ten dollars — sometimes twice a day — to feed themselves. Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, Chipotle — you name it, they have probably bought food from there and eaten it in the office.
Today, I look forward to finishing my three bean, brown rice, cole slaw with olive oil salad. It’s going to be delicious.