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52 Weeks By The Numbers

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Let the countdown begin. When I began my year of inconvenience I thought it might be interesting if I kept track of the quantity of staples I was buying and making. Not everything mind you, but mainly the items I would have typically purchased conveniently at the supermarket (or in this case at my co-op). I’m pretty sure I missed tracking a number of items, or at least it feels that way now recalling how many weeks these items were part of my at times, frustrating routine.

Here’s a glimpse into my 52 weeks of inconvenience, primarily cooking or baking for just the two of us (although some food items became gifts, while others were served to our dinner guests. I started to provide links to the recipes below, but decided instead to develop a recipe listing in one of my future posts just to stretch this out a bit further.

Ingredients Made From Scratch
40pounds of flour(14 lbs. whole wheat flour and 26 lbs. white flour) 40 loaves of sandwich bread, 7 loaves of cinnamon raisin bread, 3 loaves banana bread, 6 Christmas Stollens, 24 hamburger buns, 24 flour tortillas, 24 popovers, 18 bagels, 12 pita breads, 12 pizza crusts, 4 batches flax seed crackers, 2 batches chocolate graham crackers, 8 crusts for chicken pot pies, and 4 pounds of pasta. Oh, and a crazy cake, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and I’m sure I missed a few other things as well. Whew!
52 pounds of tomatoes 144 ounces diced tomatoes, 96 ounces tomato sauce, 80 ounces pizza sauce, 54 ounces pasta sauce, 28 ounces roasted tomatoes. And I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to last.
8 pounds of rolled oats, 5 pounds of pecans 21 pounds of granola8 batches of granola bars (200 of 2×2 squares)The rest of the pecans were used in the Christmas Stollen
5 pounds Masa 7 batches (80) corn tortillas. I love making these and likely will not go back to buying them pre-made.
13 pounds of whole chickens and 13 pounds of turkey breast About 4 chicken and turkey dinners as well as leftovers for sandwiches, soup, and stock.
448 ounces (or 56 cups) of stock Chicken soup, veggie soup, turkey soup, lamb stew, tomatillo pork stew, chicken pot pies, dozens of rice dishes and other crock pot dishes
48 Tablespoons or 24 ounces Instant yeast Sandwich bread, cinnamon raisin bread, stolen, hamburger buns, bagels, pita bread, pizza crusts.
52 ounces honey Breads, 8 batches of granola bars (200 squares)
48 ounces maple syrup Granola (sweetener) and pancakes. Life is so sweet.
10 pounds fair trade sugar Okay that number should scare me into a five-mile hike. Yikes, that’s a lot of baking.
3 pounds (48 ounces) brown sugar Granola, some breads, granola bars, cookies
8 pounds (256 tablespoons) unsalted butter Wow, really? What did I make with all that butter? I only use unsalted for baking and some cooking. And I wonder why I gained 6 pounds this past year…
97 ounces or 12 cups of olive oil Salad dressing, marinades, pasta sauce, and all of those made from scratch dinners.
20 dozen eggs (that’s 240) Okay, if Lisa and I averaged 4 eggs/week total for breakfast that would be understandable. Many, many eggs were used in baking and pasta – and the rest made for some great breakfasts.

My year ended on April 17, and I still have some of the tomatoes and chicken stock in my basement freezer. I remember when I was so worried about putting up enough tomatoes last summer, to last me through the winter, and much to my surprise I didn’t use them all. We’ve eaten a few meals over the past two weeks (since the year officially ended) that were part of my stocking up on frozen dinners. Things like curried chicken pot pie, turkey meatloaf, turkey noodle soup, and pork carnitas have added a bit of value to what might have otherwise been a convenience food splurge for me.

In fact, over the past two weeks not a whole lot has changed for me… uhm yet. I baked two breads, made a batch of granola, one pizza, a number of from-scratch dinners, and averaged at least 3 out of 7 lunches from scratch each week. What did change is that I purchased pasta, chips, salsa, breakfast cereal, canned beans, a few salads and one sandwich from my co-op. I have a half-gallon of milk in the refrigerator right now for making yogurt (tonight) and I also think twice before buying anything convenient, partly out of habit and partially out of guilt. Could I actually be a changed woman? Only the next 50 weeks will tell for certain.

About outpostcoop

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11 responses »

  1. Suzanne Beam

    If it’s not too personal, I would be interested in knowing how your year of inconvenience impacted your health? I would think that not eating processed food for year would make for some positive changes in your health, such as bright eyed and bushy tailed, more energy, excellent blood tests, blood pressure, etc.

    I did not go the entire route you did, but I did stop eating processed food over a year ago and I’ve lost 40 pounds, have great skin, lots of energy and was never hungry a minute. My cholesterol is down 60 points,,,,it was really up there! I haven’t looked or felt this good in years, no more aches and pains either, and I was wondering if you have the same experience.
    Take care.

    Sue Beam

    • Hi Suzanne – well I gained 6 pounds over the course of the year, so that part wasn’t so good. I’m was in pretty good health before I started the year, no problems with blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol. I didn’t notice any extra energy, too much of it was spent preparing food and not sitting around on my butt – so that was good too. What I did notice is how salty processed food can be. If I had a chip or part of a packaged food it was soooo salty. So I like the ability to control that part of my routine.

      Sounds like you had a great experience changing your life – I think that is just terrific. Thanks for following my adventure.

  2. I have made 3 pounds of your granola in the last two weeks and it is gone. We will be trying yogurt this weekend. You have inspired me, that is for certain, and at least on the granola front I will never be buying packaged again.
    I love what you did here and plan to peruse even further.

  3. These numbers are amazing!!! I added up some numbers for my family – 150 lb of flour and 100 lb of butter a year, plus about two dozens of eggs per week, so 104 dozens a week, also 1 deer, 25 chickens and at least 150 lb pounds of beef. A family of 4, also cook just about entirely from scratch.

  4. Correction: I meant 104 dozens of eggs a year.

  5. Pam, thanks for a year of fascinating and inspirational reading. I’m now making my own bread and thinking a little more critically about what I buy and eat. Great job — I hope you carry on and post a blog occasionally.

  6. Just found your blog. Congratulations on your year’s goal met and some great learning and, more importantly, tranformation! I must say I am shocked to see you only went thorugh 8 pounds of butter. Gosh – I do that alone at Christmas time… just baking! Keep up the great attitude!

  7. Pingback: 52 Things I Learned In One Year – Part 2 of 3 | A Year Of Inconvenience

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