My goals for this category are closely intertwined with my gardening and sustainability goals (coming this weekend), so you’ll probably see some connections. And as always, advice is coveted!
1) Learn how to make sourdough bread.
I didn’t think my dreams of grinding grain at home to make real bread would’ve come to fruition in 2008, but God is gracious! The next step is to learn the art of sourdough. I have many web and physical (cookbook) resources on the topic, and I’ve got everything I need to begin, so I’m going to give this a try at the end of January, just before the garden gets underway.
2) Learn how to lactoferment.
I’m totally clueless in the food preservation department, so I feel like I need to master something in that area. Since lactofermentation is the only form of food preservation that increases the nutrition, why not start there? (I also want to learn how to can tomatoes this summer, but only because I can’t live without my spaghetti sauce and salsa). Two things I want to attempt are kimchi and sauerkraut.
3) Buy less processed food.
We’ve never been big on a lot of processed food, but I do have a few standbys, for convenience’s sake – Rice-a-Roni Mexican Rice and plain Cheerios are the two that come to mind. I make my own Mexican rice about half the time, but I still haven’t found a recipe that makes my family want to gobble it all down in one sitting. I still haven’t tried the one out of Alice Waters’ Art of Simple Food, so that will be next. The Cheerios are the main snack food of the littles, so I really just need to come up with some better – i.e., less processed, more nutrient-dense – snacky kind of item that I can make once or twice a week. The older kids eat nuts, but my son can’t really chew them yet. I’m going to scout around for ideas when I set up next week’s menu plan, then hopefully try out one new thing every week. By summer, I would like to eliminate the Cheerio snack in our house!
4) Eat out less.
We made it a goal last year to only eat out once per week, which is still a lot, but a big improvement over our entire lives previously. This year we’re aiming to stick with that, since we had some periods where we really screwed up. If we can do it, then next year we can try for once every two weeks. Not only is eating out expensive, but most likely, the food will not be as nutritious as something we could make at home!
That’s all…but any suggestions are welcomed! If all goes well and these are accomplished mid-year, then, by golly, I’ll establish some more goals.