Perhaps the week at the Franciscan renewal center brought me clarity. Over the past several days the goals of my blog have become clearer.
For one thing, I decided to give myself a year to complete all the recipes in Simply in Season. I had thought about giving myself a shorter time frame; after all, the Julie & Julia project did more than 500 recipes in a year, whereas SiS has just over 300. But you know what? This isn’t a competition; this is about learning to eat locally, mindfully, and simply.
Local means different things to different people. If you’ve ever read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver or the 100 Mile Diet . . . well, let’s just say that I for one am not ready for THAT level of commitment. What I will try to do is buy most of my vegetables from a CSA or co-op, my milk from a herdshare, and the rest from farmer’s markets or locally owned grocery stores. My yard is too shady for a garden except for one spot that my husband Troy has already turned into a hops garden for his homebrew hobby.
What we eat impacts our own bodies as well as others. Troy and I both have significant amounts of weight to lose, and we know that it isn’t going to happen overnight but will require a lifestyle change. Eating healthfully is one piece of that puzzle. Another aspect to eating mindfully is being aware of how animals are treated, how our eating choices impact the environment, and how that in turn affects people in developing countries.
One of the reasons I love SiS is because the recipes are simple. No cow hooves in jelly here! In this economy, aren’t we all looking for ways to cut down on our food costs (yet still eat healthfully and in ways that are mindful of how our eating choices impact others)? More and more people see cooking at home as a way to trim their budgets, but basic home economics are rare skills indeed these days. SiS provides basic building blocks and explains how to adapt them to suit personal tastes and regional and seasonal availability. So while the recipes might seem basic to more advanced cooks, I hope that people reading this blog who aren’t cooks will see that even people like me who didn’t grow up cooking can learn how to cook and even enjoy it. And for more advanced cooks, I hope you will rediscover some of the classics.