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From April 17, 2010 through April 16, 2011 I lived a year of inconvenience. My passion for food drove me to take on a challenge… a culinary experience of a lifetime one might say… to live without the convenience of convenience foods for one entire year. I cooked most all of my meals from scratch, shopping primarily the fresh departments of my co-op, learning new skills and techniques along the way. The challenge for me wasn’t so much the cooking, but the added responsibilities of keeping three meals on our table while at the same time meeting my very full schedule and work obligations.

I’ve enjoyed blogging about my experience and meeting the countless numbers of foodies along the way who where willing to share their success and love for food with me. I’m now living the year after the year and continuing to learn more about myself and what I value most about my time in the kitchen – the love that comes with every bite!

20 responses »

  1. Wow! My hat is off to you as you embark on this amazing journey. I cannot wait to follow you along. As someone who cooks for a house full of various appetites and allergies, I’m excited to see what types of foods you prepare over this next year. As a Milwaukee native, I’ll be cheering you on from the great state of Maine!

  2. Diane Schieffer

    Hope you get a chance to sleep in your now busier lifestyle!

  3. This is a journey I will follow. Where is the subscribe button? Wish I lived closer and could check this out. The best to you on this journey!

  4. This certainly is an inspiration many of us may ponder and aspire to, and after I finally get settled into my own place this year, I want to chart it out for myself.

  5. Katherine Gerhard

    I am a little behind in my reading but cannot wait to catch up with your journey!

  6. Wow! My hat is off to you as you embark on this amazing journey. I cannot wait to follow you along. As someone who cooks for a house full of various appetites and allergies, I’m excited to see what types of foods you prepare over this next year. As a Milwaukee native, I’ll be cheering you on from the great state of Maine!Best,Jayne

  7. My son sent me your link.
    I think you are amazing… Hope you had a good Birthday and you had a made from scratch cake!
    Life istself is simple – It’s the humans that make it difficult.

  8. I love your site! I have definitely subscribed to your feeds.

  9. As someone who mostly does this, I highly suggest setting yourself up for success and making yourself some home made convenience foods to have on hand. Both frozen (home made) and fresh. It will help out.
    When making meals, we have learned to factor in another portion or two and either freeze as a lunch portion or re-purpose as part of another meal. I always try and have at least a day’s worth ready in case of busy/emergencies. Another thing that is extremely helpful is labeling! What it is and if you can when it was put there. Good luck!

    • Should have had your advice 34 weeks ago, but learned the hard way. It’s true, in order live a life of eating from scratch you must create your own convenience. Thawing some turkey soup for lunch today right now. That turkey breast gave me make soup, stock, and lunchmeat.

  10. Your quest for chips has been on my mind, so I thought this might enlighten. Makes you wonder where to draw the line, on the “make (do) or do without” axis.
    There’s a video which explains a lot — pretty clean until they add the Nacho seasoning (although I think Frontier has one).

  11. @SusanG – thanks for the video, that was fun to watch.
    Since I know I can’t get all the equipment into my house I’ll stick with making corn tortillas, brushing them with corn oil, and baking them in the oven. Not the same, but when you really want chips you learn to settle.

  12. Pam,
    I am a 28 year old new wife and my partner and I have higher cholesterol. I decided to buy old Betty Crocker, Better Homes & Gardens (etc.) cookbooks with the notion that things were cooked very differently 50 years ago. I was right. You find very few of the “processed” ingredients in the older recipes. It has helped, but not as much as I wanted.

    I was so excited to see this in the paper. You took such a wonderful idea and gave it life. My wife and I do our best to eat healthy, natural and homemade. I will be trying all of your recipes and adding favorites to our everyday meal plans.

    Thank you for being bold.

    • Thanks Stephanie. That’s so great to hear that you’re able to find some healthier options from scratch since processed food really isn’t always a great choice – especially when it comes to sodium or fat. If you have any favorite recipes to share that would be terrific. And I think the boldness comes with age 🙂

  13. I just read the JS article: “Inconvenient, But Delicious” Thank you for showing the way. I will be making many of your recipes, I’m sure. I did have a question regarding the corn tortillas. How important is it to use a cast iron pan? Do you grease it? Do you know if a cast iron skillet can be used on smooth top ranges? Thank you again for insights. Diane

    • Diane – I think a cast iron pan is a must. No additional oil is needed at all if you have a well-seasoned pan. I’m not sure about a smooth top range since I cook with gas. Likely you can google the answer to that. Thanks for reading.

  14. Pam ~ Planning for the 2011 Tosa Farmers Market has begun! We first learned of your Year of Inconvenience through the article in the JS. I have coordinated with Lisa regarding The Outpost’s much appreciated yearly support of our market. This year we are having an education seminar each week and we are wondering if you might be interested in sharing some of your experiences / recipes with our customers. Please contact me for more information and to schedule a Saturday with us.

  15. I’ve been following your blog on and off for a few months–your journey has been very interesting, and a good read. As a vegan in Tennessee, I’m consistently choose “inconvenience” and make much of our food; also, I think there’s something to be said for learning how to make the things you take for granted. Looking forward to seeing a recap of your experiment.


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