In the Beginning...

I believe that in another life, I may have been either a scientist or a psychologist. My desire to observe others is helpful to writing, but I also love to hypothesize as to what the outcome to various situations will be on someone. Given that I do not have a research team at my disposal, my family has a tendency to become a wonderful outlet for such activities. Our latest experiment…how would a family of three fair without the convenience of the standard grocery store devil in disguise: processed, prepackaged food. Could a family live like many others do in the world; actually making all of their food?

It just so happens that we are a family of three at the moment, so what better way to spend the summer than slaving in the kitchen for every single meal? I theorize that a normal family of three will not be able to stick to the program for more than a week or so. I imagine that a normal 11-year-old will find it all together to restrictive and whine about it. I speculate that, very quickly into the trial, everyone will start to crave foods they didn't even normally eat out of pure rebellion (which I believe to be a natural component of human behavior).

On the other hand, maybe we will all find that this experiment brings us closer to nature, food, and ourselves. Zen cooking. It will be the next cooking craze. There is only one way to find out…


Today, we cleaned out the house of as much processed packaged food as possible. Anything we felt would keep that we might want later has been stashed at the top of the pantry. We have planned out our weekly dinners and made our entire grocery list. The task of shopping starts with going to the farmer’s market to see what is available.

We spin around the circle of vendors to see what we like before beginning a second lap to purchase some of the farm fresh produce. It is late June, but the selection is lacking. A late winter left us with little more than rabbit food. I cannot complain too much though, we procure the largest fennel bulb I have ever seen. I believe it is an almond fennel bulb from what I can determine on Google. We navigate our way around the circle with the gods on our side; purchasing the last two bags of sugar snap peas at the entire venue. These bright green pods look almost as delightful as their name implies. As we near the end, we purchase some beautiful leafy greens, and receive a bunch of mustard greens on the house. Nice! Dinner tonight: a potato/fennel gratin and fresh peas.

Today was not a strict day as we were trying to clean everything out to officially start tomorrow, but dinner is in the spirit of our endeavor and takes well in the evening to finish. The peas are wonderful, but I already knew they would be; as I have been snacking on them since we left the market. The gratin ends up being a bit on the rich side, but still very tasty. We go to sleep with fully bellies.