The defining theme of this experiment, at least for me, has been boredom; sure, it was tinged with more than a bit of desperation when all I had to eat was tallow and rutabagas, but even now, when I have plenty of beef and pork and all sort of vegetables, I am still overwhelmingly preoccupied with what I do not have available to me. No doubt this is largely a product of being a full ten months in, but I can't cook a single meal without thinking how nice it would be to have a piece of good salmon or some butter or curry powder or cheese or mustard or balsamic or olives or lemon or wine or any of a hundred innocuous items that go a long way to make food more varied and interesting.
I've worked at a number of restaurants, and there's always a point when the food becomes much less appealing. Part of it is seeing the same buckets of fries and chunks of halibut fly out at assembly line speed - there's a certain volume at which food can become a little unsettling to me - but there's also just the sameness of an unchanging menu. While I still have a healthy appetite for all the food Alanna and I make, I nevertheless find myself noticing what's absent more than I ever have in the past.
Perhaps something good will come of this. I enjoy cooking, and I'm reasonably good at it, but all this time dwelling on the ingredients I don't have at my disposal has me thinking along more ambitious lines. I don't think I'll try to work my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but in my first weeks of culinary freedom I intend to make each of the mother sauces at least once, and I plan on eating butter on everything it can reasonably be applied to.