Let us introduce you to something that a new acquaintance of ours has officially termed the “eat down”!
When the kids were younger, Ted used to work long hours & travel out of town frequently, often weeks at a time. I’m not sure how it initially began, but our original version of this family pastime probably had something to do with a simple aversion I developed for grocery shopping with 5 kids in tow!
Anyhow, while Ted was gone the kids & I would make a game out of trying to see how long we could go without buying food. We managed it by pushing ourselves to find very creative ways to stretch out or make meals of whatever was left in the cupboard, fridge or freezer. It typically makes for some pretty interesting cuisine, as food supplies dwindle down.
While catching up on their blog last week, we stumbled on the fact that our friends, the Livesay family, have a similar inclination! Tara (who may need to become my new bff in Haiti!) is a woman after my own heart. She has 6 kiddos @ home right now, so shopping may not be high on her list of favorite activities either. But she admits to getting the familiar twisted thrill that I do, from seeing just how much longer we can survive on what is at hand.
Tara’s reasoning has breathed new life into the activity though…and I’ve been convicted and inspired. Rather than the self-serving game I made up, to make it fun to avoid the grocery store, this is how she describes it:
“It is called an "eat-down" and it is a thing, a real thing. It means that you take inventory of your gluttonous ways and truly look at the food you still have in your pantry. Who says a can of corn is not a meal? Throw a pickle and a black olive on top and it is a colorful culinary vegan masterpiece.”
With her usual passion & humor Tara goes on to explain, that what most of us would consider an “empty” cupboard is still more than an average Haitian family would live on for a week!
Wow...our fun family challenge with a whole new message in tow.
Needless to say, we’ve decided to bring the lesson home by reviving the “eat-down” challenge, thanks to our friends. Ted, who has never been a big fan of our culinary ventures, is bucking up to join Troy in taking on the spirit of our endeavor.
With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, and our fundraising in full focus right now, we’ve come up with a strategy - - Whatever we save weekly on NOT shopping we’ll also add that amount to our fund.
SO, while pursuing new depths of creativity, we can also:
- practice reducing our gluttony, (good training for life in Haiti)
- remember Haiti, and be prompted to pray each day, each meal...
- save up a few more $$ for our move, and
- REALLY understand & be grateful by the time the holiday arrives!
We’re also issuing a challenge...to you, friends & family.
After all, it’s a pretty easy thing to do. Not many rules... Basically, don’t replenish the “supplies” & see how far you can go AFTER there’s “nothing to eat”.
Ingredients needed: a hint of intentionality, mixed with a little ingenuity…and a fresh look at what constitutes a “meal”!!!
Of course, you could always keep track of how much you saved on grocery shopping this month too & add it to our moving fund….??!!
Or consider donating it to help feed others this holiday season…
We'll keep this going for as long as we can, hopefully several weeks. (Ted thinks 2, but I'm pushing for 3) We'll also provide updates on the more "interesting" meals that come out of this little adventure. Please share yours with us as well!
DAY 1 (Saturday)
Not a bad start –the twins recycled dinner leftovers into… breakfast tacos! Yum!
DAY 3 (Monday)
Minor slip – our “hunter & gatherer” went into town & returned with a fresh gallon of milk, celery, diced tomatoes and a package of fresh rolls. We still had to deem him a hero because his homemade chicken noodle soup was so “fall” and yummy fantastic! Plus we’ll be eating it the rest of the week…