Many know that Lent is a weird time for me (see last year’s post) – but every year I try and wade through it – feeling that I am getting closer to the shore with every passing year.
On Sunday a few friends of mine and I were sitting around at lunch talking about what we were going to do or give up for Lent. At some point, two of us were “given” something – chosen by the other two. In my case, my new discipline will be to eat without the use of (or at least with a drastic reduction in) packaged foods.
Now, folks who know me even a little know that I don’t cook. I know that many people find the act of cooking relaxing or creative. I’m not one of those folks. I don’t use a lot of packaged foods, but I don’t cook from scratch either. I am perfectly happy eating microwave popcorn for dinner. So, this will be a huge project for me.
In preparation for this event… I got on to a recently discovered site called A Year of Crockpotting – the year having ended before I found the site. I figured that I could probably handle crockpot meals a little easier. Now, most all of them are well over my 3-ingredient maximum – so this really is going to be a stretch for me. I also discovered that I didn’t have many of the ingredients that many people would consider standard in their pantry… things like red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar (I have the plain white, used for cleaning vinegar). Sauces like soy, teriyki, and worchester were also missing. Spices and herbs – most of which I don’t have or if I do they are probably a good 5-6 years old. Heck – these things called for (in most cases) meat – and not the kind that has been stuffed into a casing or out of a can. I did note, though, that crockpotting is supposed to be good for tougher (less expensive) meats.
Off to the grocery I went.
I purchased sauces, and vinegars for my pantry to be better prepared for this cooking thing. I bought dry beans and something called pigs neck bones – which were cheap and looked like something that might produce a decent soup for my first crockpot project tomorrow. I figured I’d start with inexpensive meats so that if what I make is really, really lousy and I throw it away, I won’t be wasting too much money. We’ll see how it turns out.
So, even though I fight the whole Lent thing – I think this will be a very good discipline for me. I’ll certainly eat better/healthier.
Anyone doing anything for Lent or taking on a new discipline outside of a religious context?