cleaning out the pantry.

Last week, the Gresham JVs took part in the JVC Northwest challenges.  Here is how Erin sums up their experience:

“This holiday season, we JV’s in Gresham decided that it was time to clean out our pantry. We’ve noticed that we tend to eat only the foods we really like to eat, going to the store to replenish our stock of favorites and allowing food on our pantry to pile up, and left overs in the fridge to go uneaten. After a few months of occasionally having to throw out vegetables rotting in the bottom of our fridge, and oranges drying up on out counters, it was time to get better about our food consumption. We started a few weeks before the actual week of December challenges: buying only a few necessities on the weekend such as lettuce, apples, eggs and cheese, then slowly using the foods that have been taking up room in our pantry and hiding in the back of the refrigerator. We continued this for about the third week when we joined the JVC staff in their challenges.

Though breakfasts and lunches were sometimes a challenge, it was really cleansing and invigorating to get creative around meal time. We aren’ t throwing food out anymore and we discovered that we had so much food to work with! Another part of our challenge that helped: we added two more community meals to our weekly schedule. Not only did we use our food more efficiently – making one meal for 6 people rather than 6 individual meals – were were spending more quality time together around the dinner table, being more present to each other, and laughing a lot more. One tasty example is our community dinner from last night: potato and onion curry, fried rice with pineapple, eggs and broccoli, and Afghan flat bread – all made with ingredients that had been in our pantry for almost a month – DELICIOUS!”

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