I’m afraid I left last week’s update of my Hunger Challenge with a whimper instead of a bang. That’s kind of how it felt too. Thursday night’s dinner did include a really tasty posole, but unfortunately I had to leave off all of the yummy toppings like avocado and homemade salsa to fit into the budget easily. Friday started all well and good with another round of oatmeal and a pear, but then, I have to be honest, I fell off the wagon. I had a bit of good news… really good news… and I decided that I didn’t want to miss the moment, and went out to celebrate with some friends. Obviously, that was well beyond the rules of the challenge… in that evening, we easily spent more than I had spent the entire week. As I said in my last post, I’m quite lucky. All in all though, I’m quite glad that I was able to participate, and I have found that day to day, it has affected me and how I think about food. I have started thinking about the costs of what I eat, and thinking about ways I can give back.
I’ve already been a big fan of programs like FareStart, a group that does a miraculous job of blending education, aid and delicious dining. But, now I’m thinking about other things I can do. And, I’m getting started by donating what I would have spent on meals last week (but saved by the $7 per day budget) to help fight local hunger. Rough guess is that on a typical week, I spend $25 to $30 per day. So, for the week, that’s about $100 that I saved, which can buy 180 pounds of rice or 240 cans of oj or groceries delivered to a couple of homebound people. It’s not a lot, but it’s a start.
I’ve also been thinking how much I really hate to waste food (not digging in to my CSA box last week killed me!). So, a few nights ago, after making a little bit of broccoli blasted, I decided rather than chucking the left-over broccoli stems, I’d make them into a little soup. Chopped up into small, evenly sized pieces, slowly simmered in some chicken broth, along with a potato to give it some thickness, this soup came together beautifully (so beautifully, I couldn’t resist grabbing a few kale blossoms from the bolted kale in my garden). What a waste if I had thrown away those stems!
Speaking of garden… help! My chervil is taking over! Friends living near me be warned… I may be bringing big bags of it over to your house very, very soon!
And speaking of friends… If you didn’t get a chance to attend the amazing talk last night at the Palace Ballroom, where Shauna, Matthew, Molly, Kathleen, Erica and Maggie all chatted about writing about food, I thought I’d share a few of the photos. I quickly learned to have my camera up whenever Matthew said anything, because there were sure to be big smiles and laughs all around. If you ever get a chance to hear these folks do a reading… go! (And, of course… buy their books!) I said it on Twitter already, but bravo all you guys… and thanks Kim Ricketts for pulling together such a fun event.
Finally, here’s a little sneak of things to come: