March 7, 2016

On Books, Food, and Being Intentional

Pickled Beets

There are a bunch of things I should be doing right now, but my immense talent for procrastination is flexing it's muscle.

It's a cold and rainy day here in So Cal, which is rare and I'm enjoying it so much. I love hearing the sound of the rain pattering right outside the window. I think it's a good day for blueberry muffins.

The last time I went to the library I picked up two books by Sharon Astyk - Making Home, and Independence Days. I devoured Making Home and now I'm doing the same with Independence Days. Two wonderful books that talk about being a less consuming household, more intentional in how you live and your place on the earth, and preparing for emergencies, but not in a doomsday sort of way. Very practical, a little snarky, and delightful.

While Making Home is more about living lightly and intentionally, with a small focus on emergencies and preparedness, Independence Day is all about being prepared (at least food-wise) for whatever life may throw at you. And even though the whole message is "be prepared", she offers it up in a way that makes sense - Don't stock MREs for "the Big Crash", just change the way you buy and cook food to accommodate storing it and having it available if something happens. It makes no sense to just have dry beans on hand. You have to change your cooking to include those beans on a regular basis.

These books have been such a nice reminder for me, and have kind of kicked my butt back to where I was a few years ago as far as buying storable foods in bulk and cooking from the pantry, rather than my fridge (or fast food).

Trying to bet back to making all of our bread.
I'm now working on getting an inventory of what we have, what it would take to feed us for an extended period of time if something happened, and researching my options for buying in bulk again, but this time from more sustainable & local sources.

I began doing this at the beginning of last year a bit, and I'm so thankful I did because we had stores when Ben lost his job. Now it's a matter of using what we already have, and filling in the gaps.

I know it sounds weird, but I've really enjoyed Ben being without a "formal" job. It's been so fun to see how creative I can get again. And it has helped discipline me to get out of the laziness I had adopted so easily. Life is more complicated in some ways - mainly in that more work is required when it comes to growing, cooking, preserving, etc. -  but it also seems a lot more simple now. And I love when life is simple.
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