I find this time of year to be fascinating. The twinkle of the lights has dwindled. The Yule log has burned out. Kith and kin everywhere are waking from their sugar induced holiday comas to find themselves planning for a new year. A new start. A chance at changing their daily experience. At attaining that seemingly unreachable goal. There’s an electricity about it. We might not believe that we can lose those 20 lbs in August, but by God, when January rolls around, fueled by our pounds of holiday guilt and egged on diet riddled magazine covers, we find new resolve.
And yet, this year I am content to start with small changes that will hopefully lead to more small changes. And I am sharing that journey with you.
Food is a beautiful thing -it nourishes us. It has to die that we may live. It gives us everything it has. Yet, we treat it with both reverence and disdain. We savor it with friends, only to stave off pangs of guilt later because we got lost in it. But maybe, getting lost is exactly how we find where we are supposed to be. Why is it that the French can savor cheese, incredible bread and wine on a daily basis and be healthy? Because they get lost in it. And then they move on, tummies comfortably full, with no guilt. They wouldn’t dream of spreading diet bread with chemically altered fat disguised as butter. Yet, we Americans, with our fat free muffins and our baby carrots by the bagful, are the fattest nation in the world.
Something is wrong here, non? We buy more and more and more food – filling our cupboards and refrigerators to the brink and then proclaim, defeated, “There is nothing in this house to eat”.
So, I am embarking on a journey. In the course of a month, I am going to use what I have in my pantry and freezer to make meals for my family that I can be proud of. I commit to using it until it is gone. One meal at a time for the next 30 days. I have pulled out every out of date food I had and I am left with the remnants of one large pantry, a side by side fridge/freezer and a deep freezer. I will add herbs, fresh fruits and veggies, and dairy as needed. I will work to make the meals balanced, healthy, beautiful, and elevate the ingredients to the highest level of respect that I can.
Oh, can of baby beets, why have I avoided you so?
I can almost hear the pantry door creak as it is opened. I’m going in. Are you with me?