Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back To the Ol' Grind

After two and a half weeks of camping out at My Wonderful Parents' place, I was able to return to my own place late this week. My Dear Papa is doing much better now and is well on the road to a healthy recovery. Huzzah!

The only trouble is, after all that time spent focusing on something outside the usual realm of activity, I hardly know where to begin to slip into my own life.

Take cooking and food, for example. Don't get me wrong: I helped the Chef Mother with meals every day, and we managed to throw together some very fresh and nutritious and vegetable-laden meals (including a delicious homemade pizza).

But those were fresh vegetables, and here in northeastern Ohio, you can bet those weren't local vegetables. They tasted great, and I was so glad to have them, but once I returned home, I realized I had to get back to cleaning out my pantry and my freezer.

What would it take to get me back into my frugal groove?

The answer was twofold: at least part of a weekend at home, and an assignment.

I started with the assignment, which was to fill up the Chef Mother's whole wheat flour bin with home-ground flour. So I set up the mill on the dining table and, little by little, started filling that bucket.

After a short round of errands this morning, I decided to make lunch from some of my dried vegetables, simmering dried potatoes and broccoli until tender and then making a sort of gratin with them.

With a bit of local milk, butter, and cheddar cheese to round out the dish, it may not have looked pretty, but it had a satisfyingly comforting flavor (even though the dried vegetables have a stronger flavor than fresh).

It's only a modest start, 'tis true, and my busy schedule this next week will keep me from trying anything more elaborate, I suspect.

But it's good to be home and back into my usual rhythms.

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