When I was admiring the strong beet seedlings last week, I began fantasizing about the full grown, first late-spring beets: medium sized, sweet, with delicious leafy greens. Then I realized that I still have beets stored in our basement. I have been eating beets for months now. That really took all the fun out of spring beets.
Add this to the fact that we still have butternut squashes and a freezer full of preserved food, and I decided to take action in the form of a challenge: To not purchase any food for as long as we can take it, a minimum of two weeks.
We are officially on day 5. Normally, we would have gone to the store on Sunday, but we have been trudging right along. Our meals have been a mixed bag. For instance, I would not wish tonight’s dinner on my worst enemy. Weird frozen udon noodles with frozen (over ripe) green beans topped with hot dried chilies (the best part) and a strange sauce made with an even stranger fermented black bean sauce (that basically came in a jar, why did I ever buy that?) . Most of the foods in our house that are still in the freezer or condiments that we still have after months are items that flabbergast me now. Like frozen (over-ripe) greens beans. I know now that I enjoy pickled dilly beans so much more than frozen green beans. The proof is in the pudding, we have been out of dilly beans for months and still have 5 or 6 bags of frozen green beans to go.
On the plus side, I found a bag of frozen, sauteed fennel (score). One last bag of roasted, diced eggplant (very nice). We now have enough room in our freezer for the six gallon-sized bags full of tomatoes that have been housed in a friend’s freezer. I am putting tomatoes in everything.
Some meals feel like cheating, like when we had black beans and rice for dinner. Others are glorious: kale and seaweed over soba noodles. I am actually looking forward to getting down to the wire, when we really are almost out of food, and have to be really creative. After all, we won’t have a good supply of spring greens until the very end of May. This challenge has already forced me to rethink feeding my food cravings at all times.
Update: Since I wrote this on Friday and am posting it on Sunday, I can add that Sam was excited that he might be able to buy cereal at the store today, since our challenge has lasted a week. “Cereal?” I replied, “Cereal? This challenge is not over! You do not need cereal!” I must be firm.