Perhaps experiment is a better word for what’s coming up around our house starting this week. But it’s definitely a project too.
Here’s the very quick backstory. On the way up to Yosemite, my parents and I (Brock came up a few days later), listened to No Impact Man. Have you heard of it? I saw an article about him in The New York Times a while back, but we just now got around to the book. On iPod. The only way to road trip, really. Anyway, he and his family spent a year making virtually no ecological footprint. In New York City. Which means, among many things, no paper products (toilet paper included), no non-human powered travel (including subways and buses), a worm composting bin in their apartment, and all sorts of other things that you have to be a real champ to endure. But it had me thinking about something that I’ve always wanted to try, but never do because, well, I don’t know why. I’ve just never gotten around to committing to it. So here’s the project:
We’re going to spend the next month with no disposable things in the kitchen, and no commercially packaged food. Of course we’ll be buying flour and essential ingredients… I haven’t found a way around that. We’re not milling our own wheat, after all.
But it means no store-bought bread, crackers, tortillas, canned beans, hummus from whole foods. I can only buy whole ingredients. Everything else we will be making at home. Exceptions include booze, coffee, and perhaps a bit of aged cheese if the meal REQUIRES it.
It sounds sort of silly when I see it written down, but it’s an extension of that Deborah Madison quote I posted a few weeks ago. It’s an effort to slow down when it comes to the kitchen. To only buy what we mean to consume and to really appreciate what it is we’re having for dinner. And to waste less. So much waste happens in the kitchen, doesn’t it? Paper napkins and towels, plastic baggies, shopping bags, uneaten food. It’s like No Impact Kitchen. Ish. Okay, LOW Impact Kitchen. Plus I’m secretly hoping it will make me magically lose the rest of my pregnancy weight (no chips and crackers, after all), and it might even save some monies. (No filling the cart at Whole Foods with all sorts of delicious pre-made treats.)
Plus it’s a fun way to force myself to try making things I rarely, if ever, do. Like baking bread, making crackers, maybe even making cheese? I hear fresh mozzarella isn’t that hard. And butter. Shoot. I forgot about butter. For baking and cooking I think we’re going to make an exception, but perhaps for eating on bread I will try making my own.
Doesn’t it sound like fun? I will be reporting in throughout the month with our progress.
Hope you all had a glorious weekend. We were prepping food for the week. AND someone got to leave for most of the day on Saturday to have lunch with her girlfriends. For the first time since February. Pretty big things happening around here. It only took six months, but my baby will finally take a bottle on occasion. Hallelujah.