Matt at Home, Chapter 1

March 14, 2009

Hello everyone, it’s Matt blogging tonight.  Since Kath’s across with world with intermittent and unpredictable web access, I thought I’d try to keep the blog going with some ramblings from my day.  A lot of Kath’s readers have sent me emails asking about my eating habits and what it was like for a guy to lose weight, so I thought I’d finally give you a glimpse into what I do when left at home to my own devices!

After dropping Kath off at the airport, I came back home to try out my newest homebrew that had just finished carbonating.

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It’s a hoppy honey lager, and it’s definitely the lightest beer I’ve made yet.  It’s pretty mellow – would be good on a hot day after mowing the lawn.

Next I took a stock of the food in the house so I could figure out what to eat for the week.  Besides plenty of kashi crackers, oatmeal, and nut butters (where do these keep coming from!?), the selection was pretty good.  Whenever Kath’s away from the house, I always make it my goal to buy as little as possible and use up the pantry supplies.  Here are some highlights:

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Frozen chicken went from the freezer to the fridge – in a few days I’ll butcher it into pieces and use some for a meal.  Hey, while I’m at it I just noticed there are a lot of yeasts in this picture – the yellow package is champagne yeast, the purple is german wheat yeast, the yellow jar is instant bread yeast, the mostly obscured packages in the very back bottom of the fridge are active dry, and the purple topped container is my sourdough culture!

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I was encouraged to eat some canned soups during the week – these’ll make a nice base for adding some other fun ingredients later.

Finally, the fruit bowl is looking pretty bad:

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So I went to the grocery store to pick up some stuff.  Here’s my loot:

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Lately I haven’t been in a meal-planning mood, so I just buy whatever is cheap and/or looks good and decide in the moment what I want for meals.  I think I can figure some creative things out with these fresh veggies, and all the dried beans, rice, and of course bread we have in this house…

Having gotten the horrible burden of grocery shopping out of the way, I decided to celebrate with a beer – New Belgium’s 1554.  You can find my review of it here!

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I had to make some corrections to a beer I brewed last weekend, so there was some mini-brewing going on in the kitchen:

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Later, my mom and I went to Cantina 1511 – a sorta upscale Mexican restaurant in the cool Dilworth area of Charlotte.  This place takes pride in attempting to replicate authentic Mexican food rather than the typical ‘ritos and tacos you can find everywhere.  Still, you gotta love the chips and salsa plopped in front of you, even when you’re just getting a quick drink at the bar while your table is being prepared!

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I started with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – as good as ever.

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My mom got some $12 margarita that a friend recommended to her – it was tasty, but the only margaritas I really like are the ones my dad makes at the lakehouse.

I worked on an archeological site in Yucatan, Mexico one summer during college, and I always loved eating the food that the Mayan guys we worked with ate.  One of the classics was called pok chuc.  It was grilled pork that was shredded, and then served in a runny adobado sauce.  Like every Mexican meal, you threw in some tortillas, beans, rice, and whatever veggies you have around the house.  On Cantina’s menu they had a Barbacoa de Puerco which seemed to somewhat replicate pok chuc, and that’s what I got (sorry for the terrible photo quality):

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It was pretty amazing – the pork had a great charred flavor, and that big pile of white stuff in the foreground is CHEESE, not some disgusting lettuce.  Because I felt obligated, I got a Dos Equis lager.

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It’s not that I dislike Mexican beers – in fact, I find them really refreshing.  They’re almost like drinking a Coke with your meal.  But I never feel like I’m having a BEER when I drink them.  Gotta admit, they really are a great complement to spicy food.  It’s the same way with Japanese beers and wasabi.

Last I spoke to Kath, she was in Detroit about to board her insanely long flight to Amsterdam but seemed to be in high spirits.  I eagerly await her next update!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt March 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Hmmm, guess I should figure out how to remove the “Kath” signature…


2 Amanda March 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

thanks for the update kath #2!!!!!!!!!!!!


3 VeggieGirl March 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm


Glad that Kath’s trip is going well so far!!


4 Oh She Glows March 14, 2009 at 9:10 pm

haha I love how Kath still has her signature at the bottom!

Glad you are taking over the blog while she is gone…you are such a nice hubby!!


5 Sharon March 14, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Hahah, awesome!


6 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Matt, good to see you are holdin’ down the fort. Glad Kath is doing well!


7 makenna March 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm

How great how you are taking over the blog for a bit! I love reading your entries!— kath’s too, of course!


8 Rachel March 14, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Matt, it’s great to get your perspective! I’ve been shying away from beers for awhile since I’m trying to lose weight, but I recently decided that the calories are WORTH IT, and will certainly be tuning in for some reviews.


9 Meg March 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I totally enjoyed this post Matt!


10 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Great post!


11 Nancy March 14, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Okay, that is quite a beer festival you had going on today! How in the world do you stay so thin while still enjoying all that? Especially when it’s your hobby, and it’s around all the time?!! And all the bread!!! I hope I don’t sound cranky, I am just sooooo jealous!!! 😉 I would love to have a beer and bread diet!! I’m kidding because I do see how you and Kath eat a pretty balanced diet and exercise all the time. I guess it’s all about balance.
I hope Kath is having a great time on her trip! I wonder what she’ll bring back for you Matt!!!!!!! No airport presents!!


12 Sarah (Tales of Expansion) March 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm

oooooh, what a fun twist on the blog. thanks for the update, matt :-D. you seem to be keeping quite busy in kath’s absence!


13 Lisa March 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm

You worked on a dig? How cool! One of my favorite professors is an archaeologist who specializes in Mayan culture in Honduras. She has great stories!

My boyfriend’s a homebrewer, too. Try as I might, I can’t stand being in the apartment when he’s got stuff boiling on the stove.


14 Mom March 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Great post! She called me from the plane and read me the menu. Something about gingerbread pancakes for breakfast? Sounds very Dutch! (Since she’s flying on a Dutch airline, I think.)

Tell your mom I said hi!


15 Amy March 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Yum, Dos Equis is the BEST. LOVE that Mexican beer.


16 sue March 14, 2009 at 11:37 pm

great post- i’m craving a beer now!


17 courtney March 15, 2009 at 1:43 am

thanks for the update! i’m about to go and catch up on my beer reviews now… :)


18 Kath March 15, 2009 at 2:10 am

This post had me grinning from ear to ear!

First off, you are NEVER in the mood for meal planning.

Second, that’s a LOT of beer!

Third, I really thought the cheese in the pork was onions…




19 coco March 15, 2009 at 3:18 am

Great job on keep updating the blog Matt! You’re just as fabulous as Kath! Looking forward to read more about your eats when kath is away! :)


20 Meaghen March 15, 2009 at 7:24 am

You dinner looks amazing! Not sure if it’s just the picutre, but the portion looks huge!!! $12 margarita? Whoa. I hope it was a massive one.

Thanks for taking over for Kath while she’s gone. Looking forward to the next post. Your honey beer sounds and looks amazing by the way!


21 MLT March 15, 2009 at 8:08 am

This was so great! That first beer looked delicious…hoppy, light beers are my favorite. I too, am wondering how you stay so thin, what with the beer-drinking, bread eating and mexican food! Any insight into that? Thanks for sharing your day.


22 sarah (ghost world) March 15, 2009 at 8:53 am

ooh, i see golden monkey! victory is my fave brewing company, and golden monkey my FAVORITE beer! packs a huge alcohol wallop, though. but so delicious.

have fun holding down the fort with kath gone! i am so excited to read about her adventures, but yours (the bachelor life!) will be interesting, too. keep posting :)


23 Amanda March 15, 2009 at 9:24 am

You should try Negra Modelo… its a Mexican beer, but its a dark lager, and tastes more like a craft!


24 Anne March 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

Your posts are always entertaining – I actually lol’ed at the yoga one last weekend!

Authentic mexican food is amazing – just came back from Mexico and got to try some ‘real’ mexican when touring the mayan ruis in Yucatan (Chichen-Itza)

And I agree – mexican beer feels more like a hydrating beverage than an alcoholic one!


25 Becky March 15, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Matt, please help my fiance’ brew better beer. Yours look delicious! (

Also, I think its great that your “groceries” included a 6 pack of Golden Monkey. Perhaps that what is fueling all these shenanigans?? That stuff can be pretty dangerous! :-)


26 Jordan March 16, 2009 at 9:15 am

Its really interesting and fun to see your point of view on the blog. Thanks for filling in!


27 Newman March 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Thanks to Rick Bayless I have realized how much I love Yucatan style food, Thinly sliced red onions pickled in lime juice, brightly spicy roasted habenero salsa, and pork shoulder slow cooked while wrapped in banana leaves might be the best meal ever.

P.S. I enjoy the blog a lot but have to ask, how do you get such wonderful pictures of the food?


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