When I agreed to do the challenge, I really thought we would have a hard time - not because we don't have enough food, but because our lives are so incredibly busy. A couple of years ago, I went to see my doctor. We chatted about my health and my concerns - one of which was my increasing waist-line. The issue is that we eat so late at night. Some nights, dinner (my primary meal of the day) is served as late a 8:00 PM. I know families whose kids are in bed before then.
My doctor agreed that eating so late was probably my biggest issue and asked if I couldn't change it. Three years later, nothing has changed. We're still eating dinner really late on several nights during the week.
Which is our other issue, because some of those late nights end with carry-out, and we can't have carry-out during the Pantry Challenge.
Luckily, my daughters are very committed to this challenge - interestingly - and on those days when I just wanted to cheat (who would know? :)), they would keep me in line. The fact is that we have a lot of food, and we managed, for the first week of the challenge, to make dinner at home, even when our busy, busy lives would have encouraged us to take the easy way out.
We officially started the challenge on Monday, April 6. That night, we had chicken soup. Tuesday, we had pasta. Wednesday, we had sandwiches and chili (from the freezer).
Thursday is a crazy-busy day. We leave home in the morning, drop Deus Ex Machina at work, and go to co-op. After co-op, I drop the girls at their dance classes, and go home to let the dogs out and check on things. Then, I pick-up Deus Ex Machina, and we go back to pick-up Precious at the dance school. On a usual Thursday, there would be just enough time to go to the grocery store before Big Little Sister and Little Fire Faery were finished for the evening, and then, back home.
We walk through the door, after that whirlwind day, at 8:30 ... and then, it's time for dinner. It's always been very easy to pick-up something quick at the grocery store (they have a salad bar and some prepared foods in the deli area), or to stop and pick-up a pizza. This week, we just came home, and we had eggs for dinner. It was delicious.
Friday, I cooked the last of our stored Hubbard squash. Big Little Sister made squash bread, and we had the bread, some of the cooked squash and pork chops for dinner.
Saturday was another of those crazy busy days. Big Little Sister and Little Fire Faery have dance until after 3:00 PM. In the morning, Deus Ex Machina usually has music, and Precious has group music lessons right after. Usually, Deus Ex Machina plays chauffeur, because he also has music lessons, but this Saturday he stayed home to boil sap. Saturday night we had a dance show for the girls, but we had just enough time between them finishing their dance classes and us having to travel back out to the dance show to put the maple syrup into jars, douse the fire, clean the pans, and gobble a couple of bowls of curried squash soup.
I picked up our cow-share from the butcher today, and so this week will feature beef in the latter part of the week. We're almost out of potatoes and carrots (clearly, we don't store enough of those!), and the cheese is just about gone - much to my daughters' dismay.
But we still have a lot of food! We just may end up with some very odd combinations for dinner in the next two weeks. Steak with corn muffins and pickled green beans, anyone?