Welcome to the November edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Enjoyment cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. This month, we write about what food and how we simplify things related to it in our lives. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.
There's this noun I’m constantly searching for in every facet of my life. It starts with a B. I long for this noun some days more than others. Food's no exception.
When my husband and I were young, we focused on just cooking. Even if it came out of a box, we were satisfied with our "home cooking" and felt grown up after years of Ramen and empty pizza boxes. After our son was born, we discovered farmer's markets, organic food, and cookbooks. Long story short, the more we cooked and surrounded ourselves with information on food, the more we began to let box food stay on the shelves. We started really cooking, made our baby food, bought dehydrators and immersion blenders for Christmas, planted gardens, joined CSAs- after 14 years together, I'm pretty proud of our food story.
With that said, we've never had a lot of money, so buying only organic can be tricky. We've had to make local, often organic, whole foods a priority. This has meant no cable, keeping cars until they fall apart, lots of thrift store finds.
You know, it's all about choices, and we like these choices. Our food tastes better, we feel better, and being vigilant about our choices has helped us budget most of our income for our meals.
To make sure each dollar counts though, we've had to get organized so food doesn't go to waste, and we get the most out of each of the things we buy or grow. It means we buy as seasonally as we can, perserve, and buy foods in bulk.
What I can say about the "B" word, the word that some days holds my hand and other days runs from me know matter how hard I look for it, is that in order to find "BALANCE," some days we pull out frozen homemade veggie burgers and green beans and some days we bake bread and donuts from scratch. Some days soup simmers in the crockpot all day, and others days, when we don't even have time for that, it's made quickly, barely brought to a boil. Some days we just eat scrambled eggs and toast for dinner, and other nights our plates are filled with local meat and veggies and homemade dessert. Simply put, we do the best we can!
And regardless, what we've found is that fewer ingredients taste just as good, if not better, than many. Less means the meals we make quickly or all day long, are simple, less expensive, and better for us. There is much less packaging to throw away, if any, and we don't have to worry about which dyes are present or how much salt or fat has been added.
Cooking food, just plain ole from the ground or farm food, is how we create balanced meals, which in turn helps us keep ourselves- body and soul- the beloved "B" word as present as possible!
- Seeking Balance - At Sagetribe, Kelly speaks about how their journey as a family has very much been marked by their journey into finding and learning about real food. From veggie burgers made and immediately frozen to homemade breads and cheeses, they've found the best way to find balance in their food story, is to keep simple ingredients on hand.
- Keeping Holiday Food Simple - At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares how her family has developed a holiday tradition with food that allows her family to enjoy the day rather than slaving away.
- Grain-Free Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup Recipe - A hearty and delicious crock pot soup recipe helps to simplify food planning and preparation for any family. Amy at Anktangle shares her tried-and-true recipe for loaded baked potato soup—made without any grains or flours. What's more: it freezes well for reheating later!
- Feeing a Family in the Middle of Nowhere - At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about the many ways she has found over seven years of living in the middle of nowhere to feed her family paleo.
- The Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Taste - Zoie at TouchstoneZ sees cooking with her family as a mindfulness practice and as service to her family.
Share your posts on simplifying meals, great simple recipes, healthy eating, and more. Just link up any old or new posts between now and December 19, 2013.