Once we were a family of five in a house and any food item that entered our house was soon consumed. I bought economy size. Now, we are not a family of five, as chickens grow and make their own nests. Economy size is no longer required.
Once, I would buy a large bottle of mayonnaise knowing it would be consumed well before its use by date. Now, it won’t be. Even small sizes aren’t always consumed before the clock ticks over.
My problem is that without warning those chickens can return, a phone call on a Sunday morning and news they are on their unexpected way. Lunch? Of course!
Also, a couple of days of heavy rain can see us cut off by flood waters, thankfully not frequently, but it can happen. Last time our Village centre was out of action for weeks, not just days.
Now I find that I am making more elements of our meals, the basic elements, than I ever have. Mayonnaise, just a few minute and I have a fresh version. A well stocked pantry is getting me through most events. What the pantry doesn’t handle a little creativity and substitution often makes up the difference. It is almost fun, pulling off the Flamingo Dancer’s version. Failure is not a fault, it means that I tried!
The benefit that I never realised until recently, well, when I started thinking about writing this post, is that this has served to simplify our meals and even our lives. No longer do I run to the supermarket for costly ingredients that will only be used once. I choose recipes that I know I already have ingredients for in the pantry. And no, we do not eat the same thing every meal.
I think we are also eating a healthier diet. I do have to think and plan more, but that is a positive. I also order our groceries online, so the spontaneous buying of “new products” no longer blows out the budget, and in turn cuts down the unnecessary extra salt and sugar of processed food.
When I make something from “scratch” I feel as though I am caring for my family in the best way. I also feel a link to all the women in my family from previous generations who have done the exact same thing. I guess, I am trying to say that I feel it all a very holistic experience, and that has been a surprise.
It is getting to be a very overused adage, but once again it proves to me that the simple things in life really are the best. As though I didn’t know that already!