Admittedly, it is a bit of a challenge to be minimizing my material possessions while I’m 300 miles from home, camping out with just the bare essentials. But it hasn’t stopped me from thinking about how I can minimize some aspects of my life to gain more time and space for adventures and experiences with my family.
Just yesterday, I was sitting here chatting with a friend of mine who is, hands down, the best chef on the planet. I’m telling you, this girl can take three ingredients and make your taste buds beg for more. Being invited over for dinner is like winning the lottery. I don’t eat all day, just so I can enjoy her homemade culinary masterpieces. I aspire to be like her when I grow up. The problem is … not only does her food taste like heaven, but she makes it look effortless … impromptu dinner party? Be here in 20 minutes … How does she do it?
I’ve been begging for her secrets for years. Every once in a while, she’ll share a secret ingredient, or a time-saving tip, but by-and-large, she adds a little of this and a little of that and shrugs at me like “What? Isn’t this how everybody eats?” That’s when I started inviting her over for dinner at my house. I don’t know if she’s finally taken pity on my family, or just identified me as a good-Karma project, but suddenly, she’s begun to divulge her secrets to me …
How to identify the right recipes that use the same ingredients so I can shop at once for a variety of meals, prepare them all on one day, and freeze a month’s worth of homemade, organic meals for my entire family. I want to say that the goal here is minimizing the time that I spend in the kitchen, but let’s be honest … what I really mean is minimizing the time I *would* spend in the kitchen if I took the time to cook organic gourmet meals for my family. (Unless you count the time I spend rinsing take-out containers for the recycling bin as “time spent in the kitchen”.)
Did you know that if you bake your own bread, you can bake for 50 cents a loaf? I would probably know this if I could translate the metric measurements in the How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook that my aunt gave me for my wedding. Instead, I opened the book, saw that it was written in Canadian, got a good laugh from the title, and set it on the shelf. Where it has remained untouched. Until my minimal challenge.
Because not only am I minimizing material goods, but I’m also minimizing my budget, and looking for opportunities to improve the quality of our lives and not just the quantity of “stuff” in our lives. So, as summer fades to fall, and the cold weather sets in, I’m looking forward to testing this cooking theory out in my own kitchen … making hearty soups to warm our bellies … baking with my kids on the weekends … and preparing delicious meals that I can heat in a hurry as our lives continue on the busy tornado path they’ve become.
Because, I’m not afraid to try anything once … except the laundry.