Matt stands at the pantry, staring at the remnants of store-bought food that remain. “It’s going to be a cold reality once this all runs out.”
“Yeah, it will be different,” I agree. But inside, I can’t wait until it is all gone. I’ve been anticipating the food challenge for 7 months, but this first week seems pretty normal. I woke up on Tuesday and ate rhubarb bread, the same thing I had for breakfast the previous few days. I fixed an eggs and greens quesadilla for lunch, had a strawberry-goat-milk shake for snack, and brought a huge garden salad to our friend’s house for dinner.
This is what we eat, but our pantry is cluttered with jars of beans and grains and other random ingredients, most of which rarely get used. I’m not sure how long some of it has been in there, or where it came from. What to do with a life-time supply of star anise? I’ve been trying to use up as much as possible before the start of the food challenge, but I think there has been net-zero change. A part of me wants to toss it all out, but I can’t bring myself to do that, so I will wait until I am out of other spices and have to figure out what to do with star anise. And hopefully by the end of the year, I will know what is truly important and what is clutter.
I also know that until we force ourselves to do without the non-local ingredients we rely on, we will not come up with truly creative solutions. Our first test came yesterday when we unexpectedly hosted my family for my mother’s birthday dinner. We couldn’t run out to the store to get any special ingredients, or even a loaf of bread or ice cream. We made do with what we had, and enjoyed a fantastic dinner with Alaskan black cod from the farmer’s market, baby turnips with their greens, herbed quinoa (one of the useful items in the pantry), goat cheese and baby beet salad, and rhubarb pie with Matt’s frozen goat milk custard.
I think we will be ok. 😉