One of the things I tracked in 2014 was what we ate for our evening meal each day. Why did I do this? Because some time ago Jo was criticizing herself because she thought we didn’t have enough variety in our evening meal selections, so I thought I would prove her wrong.
I did pretty well with this one, there was only two days when I forgot to record what we ate. The days that particularly mattered were those when we ate at home. As the graph below shows this totalled 223 days, which excludes the 31 days when Jo was back in the UK and I fended for myself (well maybe not exactly as you will see below), and the 75 days on which we ate out (that’s where the money has gone!).
It also excludes days when we had a BBQ (either at our house or a friends’ houses), deliveries, night flights, camping, eating at family or friends, and one or two other categories.
So what did we eat on those 223 days? We ate more than 40 different dishes, the 22 listed separately below plus a further 20 which make up the “other” line. Without going any further I think this proves that Jo’s perception was wrong as we do have a very varied selection. And for the record I didn’t reveal to Jo that I had been recording this data until 26th December so there was no opportunity for her to cheat!
It is fair to say, and no surprise, that there are certain dishes that appear more frequently. My favourite dish is chilli which we had 34 times (sometimes with rice, sometimes nachos, sometimes salad, and often on its own – do let me know if you want the analysis!), so I am very happy about that. I’m also happy that steak appears 15 times, especially the occasions when we had it with chips – as Jo makes the BEST CHIPS EVER. Scanning down the list I think the main “new entry” is crunchy chicken noodle salad – not sure if that’s its official name but that’s what I call it anyway – which is lovely.
From an early point of the year we made an effort to sit down as a family for a “Saturday roast” (the UAE equivalent of a “Sunday roast”), so it is good to see those appearing 26 times (17 chicken, 7 lamb, 2 beef (more beef in 2015 please!)) meaning we managed this on average every couple of weeks, and probably ate out or had a BBQ on a fair proportion of the other weeks.
A quick aside on deliveries. Part of me is surprised that there were relatively few of these (10) because there is a real culture of deliveries here, pretty much every restaurant has a fleet of mopeds pottering / driving suicidally around Abu Dhabi delivering at all times of day and night.
Anyway our ten deliveries comprised six curries and four pizzas. The curries reflect our, so far unsuccessful, mission to find a high quality curry available for delivery. We haven’t yet found anything that comes close to our regular Friday night providers in Bolton, which is something of a disappointment.
To complete the picture I should probably cover the period in the summer when Jo and the kids were back in the UK, a total of 31 days. Jo was very organised (and kind) and left me a freezer full of chilli and shepherds pie, so these feature heavily.
Mind you, they would have accounted for an even higher proportion if it wasn’t for “freezergate” which resulted in me losing a number of portions, and accounts for the deliveries and some of the other dishes shown above (and it rather sticks out that I rapidly developed a habit of stir frying chicken and slapping it in tortillas).
So there you go. I’m conscious I haven’t said anything about the 75 times we ate out, I’ll save that for another post. But before I go I should thank Jo for looking after us all so well, and cooking such wonderful and varied food.
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