February 3, 2011

Day 3—February Eat from the Pantry Challenge

The first two days of the challenge were a breeze—a potluck on the first day and a series of freebies on the second day helped a lot.  With the momentum rolling, today we really started the challenge in earnest.

Breakfast—Hubby was at a conference today and had his breakfast, lunch, and supper free as a result.  Our daughter requested scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, and I was happy to oblige.  We opened a jar of my homemade strawberry preserves for the toast and drank milk and tea as our beverages.

Snack—Daughter and I each ate a banana. 

Lunch—Our daughter requested a tea party for lunch, and since we have been having a pretty low-key day, I thought it was a great idea.  Her idea of a tea party means that she has a tea sandwich and tea to drink.  All the other accoutrements that would normally be associated with a tea party aren’t as much of a priority for her.  She likes the girl time, as do I.  She ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich, ginger tea, and a little milk.  We split some organic carrots and hummus.  I ate leftover tuna noodle casserole that I made on Tuesday, and I drank some loose leaf Earl Grey that I found hiding in the tea caddy.  As I told you in the giveaway post yesterday, I’m a tea fanatic, and I tend to buy more tea before I drink what I already have in the pantry.  I was glad to use the last of one of my teas and to know that it didn’t go to waste.

Supper—In honor of the Chinese New Year, I decided to make a little Asian inspired meal.  I made some fried rice with chicken and eggs, brown rice, green onions from the garden, carrots, frozen bell peppers from the summer garden, frozen peas, and frozen broccoli.  Even though edamame is more of a Japanese dish, we like them and wanted to make them tonight.  To prepare: I boil frozen edamame in the pods in salted water for about 5 minutes.  Drain them, and while they are still hot, add some soy sauce mixed with a few dashes of ginger and toss.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and voila!

What did I learn from today?

Keeping enough fruits and vegetables in our diet will most likely be the biggest challenge that I will face during this month.  Today I was very conscious of how many servings of fruits and veggies that we had since yesterday’s meals weren’t as healthy as they could have been.  I looked back through my gardening records and other than green onions and some herbs I don’t expect to have any foods from our home “farm” until early April when the asparagus sprout and some of the mushrooms start kicking into gear.  I’ll be dependent on what we have stored and when that runs out I’ll use some of the monthly grocery budget of $100 to buy more.

This challenge will carry over into other areas of life.  I was getting dressed today and looked in the medicine cabinet for some lotion.  I realized that there were some small containers of lotion, a bit of sugar scrub, a little of this and a little of that to use up.  I’ll make an effort to streamline my toiletries over the next month.

Inspired by this challenge and the professional organizer I heard speak earlier this week, our daughter and I broke the Chinese New Year tradition and did some cleaning.  Her room  had reached a point where intervention was necessary, and we worked on cleaning and better organizing it for most of the afternoon.  Both of us were very proud of our accomplishment, and I think that it will be a little easier for her to keep her toys organized now that they are somewhat categorized in different storage areas.  Most pleasing to me, she released some of her toys that will be donated to others who might enjoy them.  The job of giving away things is always a bit like pulling teeth, but today it was easier.  At supper I realized she had been listening to the speaker more than I knew because she said, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure” quoting the adage that Betsy used to inspire purging.  Pretty cute!

Let’s hope that the momentum of the challenge will continue to inspire us to get organized and be better stewards of all of the resources we have!

How is the challenge going for you?  We are now at day 3—has anyone noticed it getting a little harder yet?  What are you learning thus far?


  1. Yahoo for day 3 Gabrielle... so far so good over here at Tranquil Acres.. I finally made the pork roast, used the last of the yukon gold potatoes there were just on the edge of being candidates for the composter, but fortunately I used them in the nick of time. Had the rest of the frozen peas and carrots in the freezer. OH! My daughter had a surprise friend over for dinner. I was a little worried about the amount of veggies as I had only planned enough for three, but fortunately we made it work. No left overs at this meal as it was delicious.. Tomorrow I'm making something out of the cabinet.. I have lots of Rice A Roni in there, so I'm sure my dinner will contain one of those boxes for sure! Doing good! :)

  2. We’re doing well – not harder (yet). We’re working through some leftovers and incorporating some items from the pantry and freezer. As you mentioned, I think our biggest challenge is going to be fresh fruit and veggies. Lettuce seems to be on my mind more than normal! I can’t imagine not having lettuce.
    In just 3 days, I am very mindful of my mom growing up on a farm, during the depression, with 7 siblings. Ten people living on what was stored from their garden and fresh milk from the cow - for the entire winter. Certainly we can make it one month with a much better stocked pantry and freezer.
    Summary: no waste – no money spent – becoming much more aware of the importance of planning AND thinking about lettuce!

  3. I just came over from BlogFrog and so glad I did. I'm a new follower and looking forward to more posts!