Feel better about getting a hotspot accomplished in your home? I do. Didn’t get a chance to tackle last week’s? No worries at all. Today, we’re starting a new one for the week.
Head to the kitchen, because this week we’ll declutter, clean, and organize the pantry and fridge. And I mentioned this during last year’s Project Simplify, but it’s worth repeating: there’s an aspect of physical, mental, and habitual clutter we’ll be clearing here.
Or maybe you need to start from scratch, toss a bunch of stuff, and start with a fresh plate of real, quality, seasonal food.
Either way, there’s something for everyone in this week’s project.
I’m a big believer in eating seasonally, locally, and in putting actual food into our bodies, not stuff made in a lab. But eating this way doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it require a complete conversion in lifestyle.
If you mostly rely on boxed, prepackaged food, might I encourage you to try two weeks of eating from scratch? Then repeat this two-week menu again—a full month of eating real food. See how you feel.
I love desserts as much as the next gal, but we make a big deal out of it when we make them, so that it’s special. We put on music, cook together, and sit down with plates and forks to savor our concoction. Don’t feel like you have to completely swear off chocolate for kale—it’s all about moderation and quality ingredients.
There are so many good resources available to help you re-think our food system—here are a few places to start. (Please note that I can’t vouch for every single thing endorsed or prescribed with these resources, but they’re good on the whole.)
- Simple Bites (check out all the contributors’ sites as well)
- Simple Organic
- David Lebovitz
- Frugal Granola
- Joy the Baker
- Kitchen Stewardship
- Keeper of the Home
- Mark Bittman
- Modern Alternative Mama
- Saving Naturally
- The Well-Grounded Life
- Use Real Butter
- Local Harvest—for finding local farmer’s markets or CSAs
- Plan to Eat—a nifty website that makes it super easy to menu plan
- Nourishing Traditions
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma
- In Defense of Food
- Real Food
Documentaries on Netflix:
- Food, Inc.
- Food Matters
- Deconstructing Supper
- To Market to Market to Buy a Fat Pig
- Broken Limbs
- Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
- What’s On Your Plate?
- Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution
We eat well, for the most part, but we could do better. Since we moved to Oregon, we’ve sorta been on survival mode—in all our moving, we’ve learned that it takes awhile to locate the best sources for food. Plus, it takes awhile to completely move into a house, so sometimes, creating new recipes and having a completely organized pantry isn’t always first on the list.
Our current home is temporary, and we knew that the day we moved in. I haven’t given much attention to the pantry and fridge, I’ll confess. But we’re moving soon—to a longer-term home (for us, anyway), and I know it’ll be easier to set up an inspiring cooking environment with a well-stocked, well-organized kitchen.
So my focus will be on shaping up our food storage, tossing the old stuff, and inventorying what we need. I’ll also use this week to research the right CSA, meat, and egg sources in our area.
Like last week, you’ll have Friday and Saturday to upload your before and after photos. A number of you have asked if it’s okay to not have “before” photos. You don’t need to take any photos at all, of course—if you want to silently and steadily follow along from home, you’re most welcome.
But if you want to be entered for this week’s giveaway, then yep, you’ll need to show us both your before and after shots. Nothing complicated—just a quick snapshot is fine.
On Sunday, I’ll draw the winners for this week’s prize—ten copies of my friend Joy‘s new cookbook, the Joy the Baker Cookbook! I’ll share more details about this scrumptious book on Friday—I love it already. And I’ll also share ideas on how to organize your pantry logically, use what you have, and make it as easy as possible to eat well.
What part of your kitchen will you focus on this week?
Update: See my before and after photos from this week’s hotspot here!