Humility files: free food for a month.

I started this post over the summer and never finished it. Day after Thanksgiving is a good a time as any to publish it.
***
Late winter, I realized how often I was eating for free. On the phone with my (free) health coach Lindsay, I whined about being over-offered sweets, complaining, “I can’t go a day without someone offering me something.” How terrible…of me, for my annoyed entitlement. I started a list of the free goods on a legal pad, but I’m never going to retype it and got lazy with my recording. Having had a rather grand amount of free food in the intervening time (birthday drinks! dinner dates! more than one multi-course dinner I didn’t cook :P!) I’m recording all of the totally gratis foods I get for a month here, published at the end of said time. Context: I have two jobs, one in an office, and one at a restaurant.

Sunday, May 18, 2014
Everyone is going away. I go to a party and contribute hummus and a veggie tray (both of which I got for free via a work meeting) and a six pack of Modelo cans, which I bought a month ago but haven’t drunk. While there, I eat a portobello burger with pineapple and kale salad, a bunless hotdog, chips and every dip ever invented (red salsa, green salsa, guacamole, bean salad), an alcoholic spritzer, and one of Kael’s Victory summer ales. I drive to Caryn’s for her going away, too, and have cheese and crackers and also a homemade chocolate cupcake that Caryn makes me pause eating so that she can add homemade peanut butter frosting.
Monday, May 19, 2014
I run out of the coffee I bought when brewing it this morning, but then find a bag of ground beans that Dan left behind in the move. I add it to the filter and drink it all day at work.
Chris is moving to Montana so we meet up for lunch. He buys my breakfast stir fry bowl from Heirloom and shares his bizache chocolate-hazelnut torte.
At second work, Zach makes Family Meal: palm-sized crostinis with chicken, veggies, gouda cheese, and balsamic onions. Everyone eats 2 to 3.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Tasting Notes rehearsal! One of the kitchen partners has cooked brioche buns and the a capella group rehearsal is going on, so we get to try them. Later, for second work family meal, it’s more brioche buns, casserole mac n cheese, and chopped vegetables.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Coca-cola can and three slices of Yellow Brick pizza for a staff party that I helped organize.
Monday, May 23, 2014
I bought an Italian coffee maker, so Marla and I share a cup made from Dan’s leftover coffee.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Mary brings in Buckeye Donuts to work! I have half a chocolate glazed and a jelly filled. Before shift, Lauren pawns off a ripe clementine. Stacy makes berry galettes for the afternoon and I have one of those, too. I eat a free banana at some point during the shift.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I bring coffee to work–Dan’s. Cup of Butter Rhum tea from tea Tracie brought me back from St. John. Also family meal at second work–half a brioche bun with two meatballs and sauce.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Two cups of Butter Rhum tea at my desk. My bank branch re-opens and they’ve upgraded with lollipops, which I take and eat even though it tastes like a cough drop. At second work we have salad (!) and tortilla soup with chips for family meal. Norm makes so much food!
Thursday, May 29, 2014
At the gym, I have four tootsie rolls.
Friday, May 30, 2014
It’s Liz’s last day at the office because she’s moving to New York. Bummer but good for her! Tracie brings in pastries and I have half of some almond-creme-ganache concoction and a bit of strawberry tart. Later when I make a cup of butter rhum tea, Chris tells me to try a piece of his homemade carrot bread with imported French butter. I love both fancy things and Chris, so of course I say yes. It’s delicious, no surprise.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Cookies! I have a huge peanut butter cookie that a partner brought in to work in the morning, along with a coffee, which we can make for free at work. It is delicious. Family meal is a corn casserole, also wonderful. When I meet up at the bars after work, I have a tiny bit of Lisa’s drink, and her friend’s, Brooke, because they are ready to head home. I am definitely not. When I run into the cookie partner out, she buys us each a jello shot and a Bud Light. We keep partying back at her apartment and her boyfriend opens up a Victory Headwaters for me and pours a heavy glass of Bulleit. I’m driving, so basically just sip each.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
I eat the rest of the blueberry tart that I took home from work on Friday.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Lisa comes over for drinks in the backyard. My new favorite wine is a vihno verde–so fresh for summer! She brings cheese and we share that, too.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Jean brings in a huge flat of strawberries! I have … probably too many.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I drink black chai tea that I found at work. Family meal is SO good at second word. Chicken fajitas with brown rice, black beans, smoked gouda cheese. I have peppermint tea at second work, and bonus! a partner brings in cafe flatbreads and I have a slice of those, too.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
I have organic chai tea from my desk; I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the one who bought it. At my other office, there’s a keurig and I have a coffee. I go to a friend’s for backyard happy hour and he’s pulled out all the stops: baked chicken and broccoli as we start the night, then we share a couple of witt biers and have whiskey on the rocks. We’re all very hungry by the end of the night, so he makes a scramble: bacon, eggs, kale, cumin, curry, salt, pepper, goat cheese, and something else I’m forgetting. It’s so good.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Ballpark date! Dude buys me a huge ballpark beer, and his friends share their funnel cake fries (!). I share deluxe nachos. Is it bad that I’m not listing the things I get for other people in this? I swear that happens, too. It’s not really the point, though.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
At restaurant work, I have a banana and share a french press coffee with Rey. I’ve also asked to do a wine tasting to refresh my knowledge, so taste one white and six reds. At 1 AM, I meet friends out, and at 2:30 AM, we decide on after hours at Ben’s. Ben shares beer (Victory bottled) and we make a drunk meal: texas toast with roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and onions, fried eggs, and sprouts. Also cereal, while we’re waiting on all the food to cook.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I’m sunbathing out back and my neighbor, James, brings me a glass of lemonade. He also says ‘take an orange,’ referring to a huge box of them on his back porch, several times, so…I take one. It’s father’s day, so Nora and I go to the grocery store and shop and cook for my parents (c/o Mom’s wallet). We have wine, guacamole, green salad, grilled chicken, corn, and asparagus, tomatoes, and grilled peaches over ice cream for dessert.
Monday, June 16, 2014
I have arugula salad with my egg in the morning–the greens are from my parents’ house.
***
I know this list wasn’t complete even for the days I covered, because I used to have scraps of paper floating around with ‘free food’ notes to add to this post. This list makes me feel rich. Rich and ridiculous. Happy Thanksgiving.

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