Monday, 14 September 2009

Week number #3 and Making More-with-Less

We are now entering week three of our Thirty Days of Almost Nothing Experiment. Life has not stopped but it feels like we have been able to slow the pace a little. We believe our experiment has allowed us more time for each other. Things are a bit simpler and we seem to have more time.  I even attempted to beat my son at a game of basketball today. Our home school life is back in full swing and the kids have really stepped up to plate but reusing duotangs and supplies from last year. They have even found some things that did not get used last year because they had gotten misplaced. It was amazing to see today how fast things turned up when there was not the option of getting more. Instead of defaulting to wanting something new the kids are coming up with another idea on their own of something that will work for them. This is less stress for me as I am usually the one they ask to get them things.

The pantry and the freezer are getting low on supplies but we still have enough that I was able to plan a week worth of menus again. Our grocery list consisted of some fresh fruit & veggies, milk and bread. I have not attempted to make bread yet but that might be a project for next week. Some people have asked me about laundry detergent and supplies. I started to make my own laundry soap this summer so I have come up with a simple recipe that seems to be working. I will share it this week on Free Recipe Friday.

In order to come up with some simple and yet nutritious meals for our gang this week I have turned to a great cook book that I have had in my collection for a few years. The "More-with-Less Cookbook" (by Doris Janzen Longacre) has lots of recipes that are simple and use things that you usually have on hand. The recipes range from whole wheat bread and corn cheese bake to tabbouleh and Egyptian Taikh. I am pretty sure they still sell this cook book at the store Ten Thousand Villages and you can probably get it on-line somewhere. It was commissioned by the Mennonite Central committee of Pennsylvania, in response to world food needs. The book has been around since 1976 but I find not only recipes good but the added notes and reflections from the author and contributors thought provoking. The foreword states that the cookbook, "... was born from a compulsion that someone, somehow must prod us over-fed North Americans to do something about our over-abundance in relation to the world food crisis." It goes on in the revised forward twenty five years later to ask "Does what you eat affect who you are spiritually? Does your belief in God affect your way of Living?....this book speaks, not only to our physical bodies but also to our souls. It is soul food and we need it now more than ever. " Hmmm makes you think doesn't it?

Today we made yummy no bake cereal cookies from pg 287. TJ helped me and the kids have been enjoying them all day. It has over three hundred pages of recipes so there really is something for everyone. Anyway, it is a great book that I highly recommend so if you get a chance pick it up.

I will leave you with a quote today that has had me thinking about our individual role as a citizen of the earth.

"Life is like a huge spider web so that if you touch it anywhere you set the whole thing trembling"

- Frederick Buccher

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