Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Challenge

I know that Lent is an old-fashioned tradition that many modern Christians do not practice, but it is one of the traditions from my Catholic upbringing that I like and hold on to each year. I enjoy the challenge and the commitment that it brings to the end of winter. It make the celebration of spring all the sweeter. Last year I gave up sugar and and limited my computer time to just 30 minutes a day. A fruitful challenge, but not with any lasting benefits.

This year for Lent, I have set for myself the challenge of making due with what I have and making everything I need. I want to reduce my consumption of processed foods and mass produced "stuff." If I can make it myself, I will or will go without. If I cannot making it myself, then I must question whether it is something that I really need. My short list of things I will be making instead of buying:
  • bread -- I have a bread machine in the bottom of the pantry that has been unused for about six months. I will also be experimenting with making it by hand.
  • yogurt - I have been wanting to make my own yogurt for a couple of years now. I keep chickening out on it, however. Not any more! I will first try it in my crockpot and perhaps try other methods.
  • tortillas - I've made these before but recall that they are quite labor intensive. I'll be on the look out for easy ideas.
  • soup stock (chicken, beef, vegetable) - I have always made these in the past, but never consistently. Those little cans at the store are so convenient!
  • breakfast - We usually have cold cereal for breakfast during the week. It's quick and the children like it. I like all breakfast foods, so this will probably be hardest on them and a treat for me!
  • juice - We usually have orange juice, apple juice or cranberry juice on hand. During this time we will be eating fresh fruits instead of juice and squeezing our own, if we must have it. Good thing oranges are on sale.
For all of these things, planning ahead will be crucial. I have made most of the things on the list before, but not consistently. We don't consume vast quantities of processed foods to begin with, but I really want to tweak to the extreme, for a short time, anyway.

By Easter, I hope to have reduced both my grocery bill and my trash production (fruit and veg scraps will be composted), increased my nutrition by eating more whole foods and improved my culinary repertoire by trying new things. I also hope to be made more mindful of what I eat, where it comes from, and how it is prepared.


  1. I am delighted that you're doing this. I have a similar practice at the change of seasons, to make and maintain a signifigent change. Some of them have been small, some major. It sort of depends on how much latitude I feel I have in my
    My advice to you is to make a batch of granola for morning emergencies, and to look into flatbreads vs. tortillias. I prefer making flatbreads. They're so versatile. Also, I'm rather lazy, and find them easier to roll out. :)

  2. I make granola quite often. The family loves it plain and with yogurt. My tortillas looked and tasted more like flatbreads than what we're used to buying at the store. They went stale quickly, too. Perhaps I should freeze the unused ones rather than refrigerate?


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