The End of the Pantry Challenge…

4 Mar

Maybe someone out there is wondering how we did with the rest of the pantry challenge… or maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway. It was harder than I initially thought. It wasn’t so hard to create meals with what we had in the house at first, but after running out of bread, cheese, and all proteins, it was near impossible. Living on basmati rice, pasta, and canned goods gets old fast!

After a fairly successful first week all went wrong when Ale’s parents came to stay with us for the weekend. They were doing me a favor by coming with us to Higar Novias in Cordoba so that I could find my fabulous wedding dress for much less $$$! But, obviously with them here, we had to eat out a lot. Actually, everyday… breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was like my good intentions had backfired on me and by the end of the weekend I never wanted to eat out again!

I mean, I am the first to say that I love going out to eat, but when I do I choose the restaurant based on what I’m craving and the atmosphere I want. It may be a typical Seville tapa’s bar with fried food that you dip in mayonnaise, or other times a more refined tapas experience with innovative fusion style tapas. Sometimes, (dare I say it) even a non-Spanish restaurant! But the problem with the weekend was that we weren’t eating out because we wanted to, rather because we needed to. Even if we’d wanted to cook, Ale and I had nothing in the house! His poor mother has probably already told various friends that I’m not taking care of her son properly after seeing our empty refrigerator and cabinets!

But oh well. The weekend ended, the in-laws left, and I went to the grocery store! I bought vegetables, fruit, cheese and some chicken. I fought my urge to pick up cereal and other non-essentials. I’m going to try to keep using what we have in the house and to buy less food at a time. I live five minutes walking from 3 grocery stores, 5 fruit stands, and many convenience stores. I have no excuse! But it’s difficult to break the American “buy in bulk” habits! Although you learn quicker than you think when you have to carry all of your purchases the five blocks back to your apartment and then up 4 flights of stairs in 100+ degree heat…

I encourage everyone else to try a version of this challenge and see how you do! If anything, it reminds us to be less wasteful and more resourceful, some concepts that we may forget living in such lucky circumstances and (despite their problems) wonderful countries.

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