Hunger

I love Sunday morning.  It is a time of quiet reflection after a vigorous walk in the neighborhood with Hannah.  Yesterday was no exception.  I sat in my comfortable chair and thought, “What am I going to have to eat today?”  Yes, I have a slight food obsession.  As I reflected on this topic, I went to the kitchen to check out my options.  And realized that my cupboards are full of stuff. 

This might not seem like such a big deal, except I went on a 21 Day Fast in January and didn’t buy groceries for the entire month – that’s 31 days, vowing to eat what I had instead of making weekly (and sometimes daily) trips to the grocery store for this or that. 

Here’s what I have on hand, in no particular order:

Quinoa, red and white (because you need both colors, right?)

Lentils, brown and French green (apparently I needed the fancy French green ones?)

Flour

Sugar

Brown sugar

Honey

Crystallized ginger (for the world’s best ginger cookies)

Chocolate chips (in case I want to make some truffles)

Cacao

Barley

Dried beans

Ginger tea

Faro

Oatmeal

Olive oil

Tuscan herb olive oil

Four kids of crackers

Strawberry jam

Popcorn (lots and lots of popcorn)

Breadcrumbs

Kosher salt

Pasta

Tuna

Lemon juice

Vinegar

Red wine vinegar

White wine vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Cranberry pear, Meyer lemon, and raspberry vinegars (what is with all the vinegar?)

Cocoa, not to be confused the the earlier entry of cacao

Tahini

Baking powder

Baking soda

Peanut butter

Coconut oil

Sea salt

Vanilla

31 assorted herbs and spices

Butter

Milk

Riesling (to go with the truffles)

Maple syrup

Yogurt

Salsa

Avocado

Flax seeds

Brewers yeast

Eggs

Walnuts

Pecans

Yeast

Cornmeal

Mayo

Catsup

Dijon mustard

Yellow mustard

Lime juice

Soy sauce

Worcestershire sauce

BBQSauce

Garlic

Onions

Potatoes

Carrots

Apples

Molasses

Blueberries

Peaches (I picked 42 pounds last summer for some reason . . . )

Mulberries (there was a huge crop in the backyard this year!)

Whole wheat flour

Wheat germ

Parmesan cheese

3 kinds of cheese

Ice cream

Tomatoes

Peppers

Bananas

Barley flour

Chocolate candy bar

Two whole chickens

Assorted beef

Assorted pork

Corn chips

And a unopened, pristine bag of Lay’s Low Salt Potato chips

Pretty much everything on the list (with the exception of those pristine chips) is either organic or pasture raised, so this is no small investment.  The list doesn’t include foods that I have cooked and stored in the freezer like beans, pesto sauce and chicken, soups and stock.  I have all this in my cupboards and fridge, yet I still went to the grocery store at least once a week this month.  Add to this the fact that I lamented to a coworker on Friday that since I’m alone, I sometimes eat leftovers for three, four, five meals in a row.  Poor, poor me!

I’ve never had to worry much about having enough to eat, even when my kids were at home and I had a much, much smaller income.  I tend to think that people that are hungry are in some far away place, but that’s probably never been true and it’s not true today.  50.1 million Americans struggle to put food on the table and more than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger.  (learn more here

I enjoy growing things and buying from farmers and making delicious, healthy meals.  I don’t think that there’s anything inherently wrong with having food in the freezer or in my cupboards – in fact, I think we should have some things put by in the event of an emergency.  Even so, I think there are changes I need to make.  Do I really need so many varieties of things?  Could I limit my food to what I can grow myself or buy directly from a local farmer?  Would it be the end of the world if I ate the same things week after week after week for the rest of my life?  And if I had a finite list of food, what would be on it?  Could I give up my Lay’s potato chips?  Would I even want to?  Giving up chips is crazy talk! 

It’s time for another grocery store fast – I haven’t been to the grocery store since April 18 so I will try to go a full 30 days. Yikes, I hope I’m not out of some critical item – I should have checked on stock levels before I decided to write all this! As you can see, there’s plenty here to choose from and I will likely post more of my culinary creations, which could get interesting given what I have on hand. But I don’t think I’ll be complaining about eating leftovers any time soon.

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