This week in gob


Perhaps against my better judgment, I decided to partake in Sam at Becks & Posh’s challenge to photodocument everything we eat in a week. (Update: See the roundup on Becks & Posh.) It’s an interesting experiment, to say the least, and made all the more so by the fact that it was Thanksgiving week. In our case, our Turkey Day proper was a small affair, just the two of us at home. However, we attend a friend’s orphan’s Thanksgiving the Friday after every year, and this year was no exception.

I’m taking this one step farther by not only documenting what I ate blow-by-blow, but including estimates of caloric intake according to the fantastic resource (Thank you Kat for turning me on to this!) These are largely guesses at quantities, albeit educated guesses, and I think I was fair in my estimations. On the upside, few of the days seemed to exceed the standard Ameriocan 2,000 calorie diet. However, if I am to lose weight as I would like, I am meant to keep my intake under 1,500, which I did only on two days. Still, I somehow managed to lose one pound between last Monday and today.

Given that this was a holiday week, I would venture to say that much of what I ate was a bit pumped up from the norm. Yet, still, there is evidence of the monotony of everyday eating, most apparent in the almost total homogeneity of breakfast — that is, until the pecan pie got the better of me. It also exposed how much time we actually spend in our kitchen, though to be fair we are talking about mealtime here. Still, other than Saturday, when we made an expedition up to Carneros to pick up one of our wine club shipments, we spent pretty much the entire weekend in the kitchen doing something or other.

Although many dishes and meals were planned for this week —
Thanksgiving proper, the pies we made for Friday — much of it was
spontaneous and generally indicative of our dietary patterns. The best
example is Wednesday night’s dinner, involving a baked pasta dish we had
in the freezer, salad greens carried over from our lunch and a
persimmon and some walnuts we had in the house. One of the most
satisfying meals we had all week, plucked from thin air.

When my great aunt and uncle had their 50th anniversary, my cousin’s husband asked them to what did they attribute the success of their relationship. Without skipping a beat, my great aunt Laura said, a cocktail every day at four o’clock. While this is hard to pull off when you’re in the office, DPaul and I do like to have the occasional cocktail … again, as is well documented here. In retrospect, we would have stocked up the bar. The Cape Codders got a bit repetitive.

Speaking of booze: Sorry, Sam, I did not capture every single glass of wine individually, and it’s just as well. Repetive would not begin to convey the landscape of the mosaic had I done so.

I am not an artful photographer, particularly when under the gun to
capture something in its ready-to-eat state while I am ready to eat it.
But I have tried to offer some diversity in depiction of the foods,
especially when there was little actual diversity in them (like, for
example, breakfast).

Some of these meals I will be posting about retroactively this week.
I spent most of my time creating, consuming and documenting them,
leaving little time to actually write about them. Watch for a
retrospective of Thanksgiving week meals over the next few days.

It’s a worthwhile exercise to keep close tabs on your intake.
Photographing it is somewhat another matter. It’s been extremely
interesting, but also utterly tedious, and I am looking forward to
eating with my mouth and not my camera again.

The meticulously documented diet follows after the jump. Or, if you just like the pictures, you can just jump in and see the Flickr photoset here.

Monday, November 20




  • My usual lunch salad from the salad bar at RJ’s Market, comprising lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion, cabbage, edamame, bleu cheese crumbles, salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil
  • 1 bottle Tejava


  • 1/2 a half-breast of chicken, roasted (skin on, but I only nibbled at it)
  • 1 c. Korean slaw of black Spanish radish
  • 1 slice Acme bread
  • A lovely chablis

Estimated caloric intake: 1,153

Tuesday, November 21



  • 2 shots of espresso, with 1 tsp sugar each
  • 1 slice Acme bread, toasted, with 1 Tbsp pear butter

Mid-morning snack:

  • 1 lovely fuyu persimmon, freshly plucked from the farmer’s market (plus a wee taste of one at the market itself)
  • 1 cup of Tazo Zen tea


  • A smaller variation on my usual lunch salad from the salad bar at RJ’s Market, comprising
    lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion, cabbage, radishes, edamame, bleu cheese
    crumbles, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and no olive oil
  • 1 bag Baked Lays KC Masterpiece BBQ flavor
  • 1 bottle Tejava

Early evning:

  • Making banana bread for some friends — tasted a walnut to make sure they weren’t overtoasted (they weren’t).


  • Cannelini and kale soup with fresh chicken stock and cubed leftover breast meat from the night before, with a nice grate of parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 slice Acme bread, toasted
  • a lovely sauvignon blanc


  • Friends dropped by, so add on a couple glasses of a lovely syrah
  • Had to taste-test the cornbread (just one crumbly bite)

Estimated caloric intake: 1,418

Wednesday, November 22



  • 2 shots of espresso, with 1 tsp sugar each
  • 1 slice Acme bread, toasted, with 1 Tbsp pumpkin butter


  • 1/2 each grilled chicken panini with jack cheese and sun-dried tomato spread and smoked chicken panini with jack cheese and pesto, from Caffe Ponte (I ended up eating them open-face — too much bread)
  • 1/2 oz Kettle chips, honey Dijon flavor
  • 8 oz. Coca-Cola

Note: Calorie bomb!

Cocktail hour:


  • 1 serving baked rigatoni with mozzarella (that we just happened to have at the ready in the freezer) and a nice grate of parmigiano
  • A nice salad comprising the small side of lettuce from Caffe Ponte’s lunch, dressed up with some chopped walnuts and a slice fuyu persimmon with a dollop of Amy’s Caesar dressing
  • 1 slice Acme bread
  • Hey Mambo "Italiano style" Napa Malbec
  • Gerolsteiner sprudel

Note: Meals like this make me very grateful indeed.


Estimated caloric intake: 2,176 (ouch)

Thursday, November 23



  • 3 shots of espresso, with 1 tsp sugar each
  • 1 crab cake from Drewe’s with one poached egg atop, dollop of Dijon mustard and a dash of Tabasco


  • Nothing

Cocktail hour:

  • Bouchaine ChΓͺne d’Argent chardonnay 2005


  • Turkey breast marinated in fresh pomegranate juice, wrapped in bacon and roasted
  • Brown gravy
  • Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon
  • Mixed Acme bread and cornbread stuffing (also with bacon)
  • Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Linley’s Vineyard pinot noir 2003


  • 1 pumpkin mini-cheesecake and 1 lemon tart, both from Noe Valley Bakery

Estimated caloric intake: 1,878

Note: It pays to skip a meal…

Friday, November 24



  • 2 shots of espresso, with 1 tsp sugar each
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread from Caffe Ponte, toasted, with 1 Tbsp pear butter


  • Reruns of Tuesday’s kale-bean soup

Cocktail hour:


  • A few oz white and dark turkey meat
  • Approx 2 Tbsp jellied cranberry sauce
  • Probably a cup of mashed potatoes
  • Maybe a little less than a cup of cornbread stuffing with gorgonzola
  • A spoonful of white bean salad with onion
  • Some cooked chard


  • 1 thin slice each pumpkin and apple pies
  • An infinitesimal slice of low-sugar pumpkin chiffon pie with pecan-chocolate crust
  • A square of homemade halvah (which I barely touched)

Throughout the evening:

  • A lot of wine of varying provenance

Estimated caloric intake: Hard to peg, but optimistically around 2,000

Saturday, November 25



  • 2 shots of espresso, with 1 tsp sugar each
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread from Caffe Ponte, toasted, with 1 Tbsp pumpkin butter


  • 1 sandwich comprising leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing between two slices whole-wheat bread from Caffe Ponte
  • Roughly a glass of wine tasted at Acacia winery


  • 1 piece bread, dipped in a small amount of olive oil
  • 1 glass prosecco
  • Octopus, potato and artichoke salad
  • 1 clam casino, sampled from DPaul’s plate
  • Poached sea bass with braised fennel, arugula and sunchoke, with a dollop of tapenade and a drool of romesco sauce
  • 1 forkful of spaghetti all’aglio e olio, also from DPaul’s plate
  • 1 glass trebbiano
  • Rather a lot of olive oil all over everything


  • Cannoli
  • 1 bite tiramisu, from you know where
  • Grappa di moscato

Estimated caloric intake: 2,199

Note: Even though I thought I was eating "light" at Pescheria, the numbers tell otherwise.

Sunday, November 26



  • 3 shots of espresso, with 1 tsp sugar each
  • 1 slice pecan pie


  • 1 oz sharp cheddar

Cocktail hour:

  • 1 Cape Codder, with lemons instead of limes (we ran out)


  • 2 pieces pepperoni pizza from Noe Valley Pizza
  • D’Aragona Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2005


  • What the hell, one more slice of pecan pie

Estimated caloric intake: 1,881

  • sam

    you been eating well boy! Thanks for taking part.
    How many calories does a glass of wine have?
    I don’t count calories per se since I do weightwatchers who present everything as “points”, but I might try and do a comparison of points to calories one of these days because I do find it intriguing. I have no idea how any calories I consume.

  • Indeed, we ate like kings this week. According to, a 3.5-oz glass of wine has a mere 74 calories, so consume without guilt. πŸ™‚
    WW’s points use some more complex algorithms to come up with the calculations. A glass of wine is, if I remember, 2 points? Yet something else of equivalent calorie value, but perhaps with some fiber or other nutritional value, might be a 1, and something fatty might even rank a 3.

  • >>I spent most of my time creating, consuming and documenting them, leaving little time to actually write about them. << Hear, hear! You said this much better than I did. Glad to see DOTW Cape Codders well represented. They're so vivid -- I was guessing Campari & soda when I peeked at your Flickr stream. πŸ™‚

  • 1- I love the layout of your collage!
    2- I love your tables
    3- I love your dishes/flatware/glasses
    4- Love your precise style here with the realistic look at the numbers!
    Happy thanksgiving!

  • Very nice. I love the recurring breakfasts: toast, coffee, toast, coffee, ooh! pie!, coffee.
    Well, you’ve made me hungry. I’m skippin’ off for a 2-pointer somewhere. With the doggie; it’s his third birthday today.

  • Enjoyed reading about your week of gastronomic consumption. If only I have the will power to eat better and wiser, I would be a svelte guy too. But alas, I love junk food. And I refuse to dirty my kitchen with cooking. πŸ™‚

  • Amy

    I love your round-up, and the fact that you tracked calories.
    I was really sick of taking pictures by the end of the week as well. I found that the picture-restrictions did really cut down on my snacking though. It was usually too much trouble to go get the camera so I would just skip eating all together.

  • Brenda

    I love it! Even the pics. Nice.
    Thanksgiving is a hard week to get through without binging! But I think, too, that watching, tracking, reporting every morsel really helps to eat a lot less. I mean, would you really have tried to eat so lightly at your dinner out if you knew you wouldn’t have to report it? And, it’s easy to forget topping up a glass of wine once or twice…
    I know. I do WW and, man, sometimes it kills to have to acknowledge everything that goes in my mouth!
    Good job!!

  • Alyson and The Delicious Life

    We were as impressed by your lovely week of food as we were by your revealing that the pecan pie was breakfast. Good show.

  • Anita: In retrospect, the occasional Campari soda would have been lovely.
    s’kat: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and you too!
    CC: Happy birthday doggie! I’ll hoist a two-pointer to him myself.
    Ming: Don’t get me wrong — I love me the occasional junk food. But as we were basically chained to our kitchen the entire time, it was actually easier to eat home-cooked food.
    Amy: Yes! There were so many occasions when I reached to grab something, like a scrap of something while cooking, or just wanted to nibble on something, and held back cuz I didn’t want to deal with the camera. In a way, it’s an ideal diet mechanism, no?
    Brenda: The funny thing about Pescheria is that I did want to eat light that night, as I was full from two full Thanksgivings. The food I selected was psychologically light, but turned out to be rather calorie-intensive in large part due to the copious amounts of olive oil they use. I mean, I really like that, but it’s a killer on the waistline.
    Alyson and Sarah: Pie is the ultimate breakfast food. Especially pecan pie.