Thursday, April 9, 2009

An Experiment

I am constantly in awe of people who use no or very few prepackaged goods, and I am constantly swearing to myself that I could never do that. But I was thinking about it the other day and asked myself, "Why couldn't I?" I'm a fairly good cook, if I do say so myself. my bread making skills could use some help, and I can't make a pie crust (unless you don't care about it being pretty), but I do pretty good! So, I've decided that for the next month I am not going to buy any prepackaged goods, except for a few types of cereal that I use in recipes (corn flakes, bran flakes, frosted shredded wheat, and raisin bran). No hamburger helper, no cereal, no instant oatmeal now that I'm feeling more confident in my oatmeal making abilities, no cake mixes, etc. I do already have some of those things in the house but since they keep well, I am making a commitment to not use them or buy any more for one month, unless it's something that has already been made up and I have leftovers (Corey's birthday cake). This will not include pasta or tortillas (I know how to make pasta but I don't have a pasta maker so it's a pain in the neck, I have always wanted to learn to make tortillas and I may do that at a later time, but not for this experiment). It will also not include microwave popcorn (because I don't have a popcorn popper) or soda (yes I know I need to cut back but I'm not ready for that yet) and although I'd rather not use it, I may use a package of ramen now and then because I already have it in the house and Ethan loves it, but other than that and the cereals that I regularly use in recipes, from now until May 9, I will not be buying it. 

I'm also going to work on my bread making skills this month. I bought myself a bag of whole wheat flour, and some yeast and will just start working on it. My mom has my grandpa's old bread machine tucked away for me if I ever want it. It definitely sounds handy and I may ask for it once I get the hang of it, but for now, I think I've decided I want to learn how to do it without the machine. I bought myself a couple bread pans, and I have a pretty straightforward sounding recipe to start out with from my Better Homes and Garden's Cook Book.

I have several good recipes that I can use for breakfasts, etc, so I'm gonna give this a whirl. If it's amazingly easy at the end of the month I think I will use up the prepackaged stuff I already have and then just keep on not buying it.

Today is day one of this little experiment. Yesterday was our busy day. Elizabeth barely survives Wednesdays, and she crashed on our way home from the library and didn't even want to wake up to have dinner. So she woke up HUNGRY this morning. So, she ate half of a banana while I made her some oatmeal with raisins, sugar, syrup, and pumpkin pie spice, and while that was cooling, she had a cup of yogurt. Later on, I made a bowl of the same oatmeal for Johnathan.

Ethan had a breakfast burrito. Did you know you can cook eggs in the microwave? This is great news for me because I love eggs but I hate cleaning up the pan after cooking them. I don't know how or if it would work on eggs other than scrambled because I've never tried that. Just spray a mug with cooking spray, put in one to two eggs, some salt and pepper, some herbs if you want any, any veggies, breakfast meat, or cheese that you might want, and stick it in the microwave. The original article I found this info in said to microwave one egg for 45 seconds. My microwave won't fully cook an egg in that much time and I put it in for 1 minutes -- 2 minutes for two eggs. For Ethan's burrito, I put in two eggs, sprinkled it with salt, and some mozzarella cheese, and mixed it up with a fork. I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes, then put it on a whole wheat tortilla and kind of mashed the egg down and spread it across, then drizzled it with a little ketchup and rolled it up. About that time Elizabeth came running and yelling "Eggies!!!!" Did I mention she woke up really hungry this morning? So, I scrambled an egg in a cup with some mozzarella cheese for her. Johnathan thought the breakfast burrito looked really good (remember this is my autistic, texture and taste sensitive kid, so this is good news!) and said he thinks that's what he'll have for breakfast tomorrow morning. I think Mom better go buy another carton of eggs!

Speaking of Mom, There is still a good half of Corey's birthday cake leftover. What is a doughnut? What is a pancake? That's right, so cake should definitely not be the taboo breakfast food that it has been made out to be. So that was my breakfast! :)

Ethan and Libby are heading to my parents house in a little bit and Johnathan and I are going on a mom and son date. He is the only one of the kids that hasn't gotten a new pair of sandals yet, so we're going to go to Target to pick him out a pair. And he has earned a gift certificate for a free personal pizza from Pizza Hut for being such a great reader, so we will go to the dine in Pizza Hut in Roy for lunch. I've decided that dinner tonight will be the leftover baked ravioli that I made for Corey's birthday dinner the other night, some green beans, and salad.


Tiffany said...

Good luck! I tried doing this a few months back and I've loved some of the recipes I've found. I've brought back some, not all, of the convenience foods but I am quite pleased with what I learned. And bread is not as hard as people this it is. You'll do just fine!

Elizabeth said...

That sounds like a great idea. I know I want to try and eat less processed food too. Good luck with the month! Look forward to hearing how it goes.

Jayme said...

My issue has been trying to get bread to rise. I just have had no luck with that. But I will figure it out, this month.

Amy said...

Good luck!!

Tiffany said...

I preheat my oven then turn it off and let the bread rise in there. It seems to help.