“Djuknow what we need to focus more on?” John asked. “Hmm?” I looked up from my book, quite curious. “Cook from scratch as many weekday evenings as possible”, said John thumbing through a thoughtful Xmas gift.
(I hate housework, and this idea sounded like more housework to me!)
But we do cook from scratch, I protested. We batch cook & freeze. Perfect home-cooked meals irrespective of our schedules. I began to sound like a cable TV advert. John wasn’t convinced. He was talking about spending time selecting a meat or fish, planning the week around leftovers of the Sunday meal. Kinda like the old-fashioned grandma-style cooking, ya know?
But we do some relaxed cooking when we have friends & family around, I pointed out. Also we run a tight ship so we utilise as much as possible, waste next to nothing, grow or make as much food as we can- I couldn’t see what this would add to our lives. Then it suddenly occurred to me that John wasn’t talking about healthy eating or using resources better. He was talking about defining our home & hearth! So I tried to understand what his words meant.
Years ago we were part of this amazing community veg growing programme. We used to have freshly harvested veg every week (& sometimes helped grow them too!). It took up a bunch of our in-short-supply time but we used to love it. It was time slowed down, meeting new people, and eating veg I hadn’t even heard of! In this drastically different life, John was talking about expanding upon some of that old magic. He was alluding to what we need to consider important; our priorities & focus. After all a collection of such foci end up defining a family.
Now, as a family, we love experimenting- some become tradition, whilst others show us a new trail to follow. Last year we experimented with date nights without spending a dime. It was awesome! It taught us, amongst other things, how to understand the essence of what we are trying to say to each other. So, following that trail we are starting a brand new experiment this year!
We are dedicating a week per month in 2016 to slow down, peruse Derbyshire farm shops to select meat or fish, then hang the week’s cooking around that. All fresh market ingredients; Grandma style! We will be using some thoughtful Christmas presents to make this happen. One such is Jamie Oliver’s Save With Jamie (Also an awesome Channel 4 programme). We won’t spend more than our current budget, & of course we cannot manufacture more time. So we are analysing what no longer adds value to our lives & allocate that time as well as resources to our new experiment. Now that’s the kind of resource & time management I like doing!
Really looking forward to learning through this new adventure! Have you ever experimented with a style like this?