Eat food that is good for me and my environment.
Learning to love the one I'm with (food, that is)...
Shopping my pantry, week one (plus) complete!
I have successfully bought no things! No food or drink, and also no other things (except bills, obviously. So, I guess you could say I bought shelter. Though, really, I rented it. But I digress...).
It's been pretty easy, really. So far, I've made: chili, vegan butter chicken, purple sticky rice (...a very odd, licorice flavored rice. I will not be buying that again, but I was not going to waste it!), tortillas, custard in filo dough cups topped with aquafaba meringue (made from navy bean aquafaba leftover from the chili, definitely preferred over my previous attempt with chickpea water), salads, and some strange chocolate peanut butter stuff that I spread on graham crackers.
I did go away over the weekend, and I didn't bring food with me. I also eat snacks at work that are free for us to munch on, which are not remotely healthy, and I'd like to cut back. I don't consider that cheating because I didn't buy food, which was the goal. However, I will be officially cheating in two weeks, when I have a weekend away where I am responsible for cooking for the house one night. I don't feel comfortable asking everyone to eat my leftovers. But even so, I don't really consider it a failure because friends and food are really important to me. I may extend the challenge for an additional three days to make up that time.
The two things I've noticed in the past nine days are as follows:
Harvesting, even a tiny bit, feels like creation. Growing and foraging food is something we don't have to think about anymore. However, when I didn't have the option to go to the grocery store, my focus changed, and I decided to take another look outside. I have a garden populated with naturally seeded plants from last year's garden - some lettuce and tomatoes. Those are worth harvesting, for sure - the lettuce is going to be the only fresh produce I'll have for most of the month. But I've never really thought past that. That changed when I was taking the dogs around the yard the other day and noticed the black raspberry bush.
I knew it was there before. It just didn't feel like it was worth it to harvest the few berries that were ripe at any given time. But, with the change of knowing that I had no options but this for fresh fruit, it felt like an accomplishment - as if, instead of just picking a few berries from a bush, I had created them myself. I felt a burst of pride in my foraging (a whole five steps from my back door), a joy I can't really describe. In a few minutes, I collected half a cup of raspberries, perfectly sweet and perfectly juicy, and perfectly grown in my very own yard.
If you don't have it, make it. I don't have much in the way of starch. Having made the sticky rice, I only have about ¾ of a cup of rice and some pasta to keep me going the rest of the month. I was making tacos and nearly ran out of tortillas, so I decided to make my own. It was easier than I'd thought, they taste good, and I know exactly what went in them. Now...they don't fold well, but a few seconds in the microwave helps. I also have the option to make bread if I want it, and I will definitely be making seitan, because I have wheat gluten and it's burning a whole in my...oven. Or something. Making it from nothing but ingredients is another step in self sufficiency, and it feels amazing.
I'm really enjoying the challenge and I look forward to seeing how else my view of food changes!