I’ve been in Marburg for three weeks now, and I’m finally getting tired of eating out at the same greasy döner kebab stands, watered-down Indian restaurants, and fruit-fly infested bakeries. What, that doesn’t sound appealing? Actually, it was for a while. The time has come and the wallet alerts me that it’s time to start cooking. Cooking is something that is always hard for me to wrap my mind around. To do it right, you need quite a few spices and oils on hand, plus you need to plan ahead to know when you’re going to buy which vegetables so that they don’t rot in your fridge and so on. This amount of forethought is what usually discourages me from cooking in short-term situations, which could be anything up to 3 months. : ) But no matter how many times I have to re-purchase olive and sesame oils, I now believe, given the garbage alternative, that it is worth my effort to cook. This time I’ve decided to actually put in the preparation necessary to have 2-3 balanced homemade meals every day. The result is a table on Microsoft Word saying what I will eat when and when I need to buy which groceries in my 3-times-per-week grocery runs. Choosing what to cook is always a pain as well. Unless you want to take the whole grocery store home, you had better stick with 1-2 sources of protein per week and a maximum of 3 principle vegetables. This week is shrimp and eggs with baby bok choy, kale, and garlic (no dish with them all together, thankfully). If at the end (or maybe even half-way through) the week I discover that this is a financial/practical disaster, I shall abandon the plan and continue to eat street crap. If, however, it works out flavorfully for around 50 Euro a week, I will keep up the challenge for five more weeks, in which I will cook chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, scallops, crab, mussels, and oysters plus a ton of assorted vegetables. Each grocery store trip and recipe will be an adventure, but I’d like to think that the flavor along the way will do me some good.