Monday, August 16, 2010

The Challenge Gets Real

Back at home, the day started something like this... awake, brush teeth, shower (ah-ha, I did it, this is bound to be a good day), eat oatmeal, begin sipping a cup of coffee, consider meal planning, stare blankly at my scrap paper, settle two kids at table eating oatmeal, continue staring at my scrap paper...

Despite the early morning bathroom pep talk about reducing our grocery spending and enjoying the challenge, meal planning this week seemed daunting. I am tasked with planning based on what we have in the cabinets. Eat it all (and I mean all) before we spend more at the store. Of course we need some of the basics from the store today - fruit, veggies, meat - but the meals need to come from the depths of lower cabinets. Old lentils, beans and rice. My recipe catalog is intimidating. Not that the recipes are intimidating, for they are glorious, scrumptious and divine. Rather the price of the ingredients can be downright scary. So I took to the internet for inspiration. 7am - My heart was pitter-pattering in my chest.

Ah-ha. Eureka. The Mennonites have come through for me. The influence of coffee in my veins must have stirred sweet memories of our time at the Netherlands L'Abri where delicious food was served morning 'til night, and where I was first introduced to this cookbook. Years ago The More With Less cookbook fascinated me with the simple premise that "There is a way of wasting less, eating less, and spending less which gives not less, but more. The gain is so great that the phrase 'cutting back' doesn't fit at all." Yes. Yes. Yes. This is the kind of inspiration I need this morning.

The grocery trip was a success. I spent half of what I normally do. Tonight was orange lentil soup over quinoa with lettuce salad. Feeling proud.

Let's see how I feel when the morning comes and I need to pack a lunch. No bread. Aghhhh!

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