The Farewell Post

(Glad you stopped by. Enjoy this blog and then visit me at my main website,!


Our idea was to stick it out until May 5th (the  one month mark) and then buy groceries, but the kids insisted on continuing our experiment until forever.

(Kids amaze me. They will be as happy and well-adjusted to life as you are, and  will believe what you tell them. To date, this is still a “fun” experiment for our kids, no matter what feelings I harbor about it on the inside. Never underestimate the power of positive talk with your children.)

Here are some examples of the “whatevers” we have had for dinner lately:

Some kidney beans were included in the “grocery blessing” from the last post, but we were out of ground venison.  Normally I would have added “hamburger” to a grocery list in order to make chili, but in this case, I was forced to experiment with venison breakfast sausage. Also, I didn’t have enough tomato sauce and had to supplement with what little ketchup we had, which made for a very thick chili–too thick to serve as the soup-like chili I normally prepare. So I cooked up some more instant Elmer’s glue-rice to put under it.

I served this to dinner guests and they raved about it. If I may say so, it may have been some of the best-flavored chili I have ever made.

Pictured above is some kielbasa donated by my Polish mother-in-law and super-smoked by my smokin’ hot father-in-law. 🙂 It is topped with his homemade tangy-sweet red sauce. Being out of wholesome butter, we had to use some donated margar*@%, which word is a profanity in our household, for the way it clogs arteries. But a hydrogenated bread-spread is better than no bread-spread at all, and we were extremely grateful.

My kids normally snub celery for its menacing strings (I hardly blame them), but this was a rare opportunity to eat a fresh green other than dandelion leaves. They stuffed it with a Mediterranean cashew butter spread (a forgotten condiment in the fridge door) and scarfed it down with gratitude.  Same with the cucumber (left behind by dinner guests), which I soaked in sugary vinegar.

I mentioned that I have had more dinner guests lately than I ever did when we were buying groceries. (One discovers, during an experiment like this, that people crave community more than gourmet cooking.) Here is Suzette sautéing a bag of frozen spinach with some dandelion leaves, garlic and olive oil. It was tasty! We were able to throw together a nice meal for eleven of us with an abundance of “whatevers.”

On a recent rare sunny evening, we enjoyed these tuna melts on the back deck. They were made with some shriveled-up grape tomato rejects that I would have thrown out in the past. I also used the fresh scallions and chives I have growing outside, and seasoned the tuna with dried dill. It was served on toasted baguettes from the freezer. The kids placed this meal as one of Mom’s top five:

Alas, we ran out of fresh vegetables and whole grains (I drew the line on dandelion when I tasted the gritty flowers. We finally mowed our year’s worth of salad away.). After two weeks, I began observing my children for signs of Scurvy. I wondered if they were getting pockets in their colon (a condition once pronounced upon me by a reflexologist as he pinched my left Achilles tendon with all his might; when I hollered, he advised more fiber in my diet.).

I began to complain to Dave about the malnutrition we were forcing upon ourselves. He missed the bright colors on our dinner plates as well. When he deposited the following items on the kitchen island three days ago, I knew our full-fledged food-buying freeze was officially over:

I want to thank those of you who supported me throughout this project. I have heard from many people who have chosen to “make do” before running out to the grocery store for a missing ingredient. Some of you have begun your own spending-freeze experiment. For those that commented on the posts or on Facebook, thank you. I know the effort it takes: you have to actually move the mouse, click “like”, or even type a few words. The time and energy you spent to provide feedback kept me going, and has made me want to be a more generous commenter as well (The golden rule for bloggers: “Comment unto others as you would have them comment unto you!”).

For those who have encouraged me in person or by email, thank you.

I feared that this blog would project me as a made-from-scratch food snob. Please know that we eat what is set before us with gratitude–preservatives and all. If you invite us for dinner, serve up your cooking with pride.

Our door is open and our table is spread. Come on over.  Bon appetite!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katrina
    May 17, 2011 @ 22:45:57

    Faith, I have enjoyed every installment of your food blog – I even felt pleased to have been responsible for one of your “revelations” about milk : )


  2. Linda
    May 18, 2011 @ 01:06:57

    hey Faith…I’ve enjoyed reading your posts as well…can you share with me what impact this experiment had on your family financially? Obviously, you didn’t spend money on groceries…did this leave you with “disposable” income…(I know you’re probably laughing at this question)? I often wonder personally, not only with food purchases, but with everything else we buy…if we go on a “spending freeze”, where does the income go that would normally be used for the spending of the objects?


  3. Daneille
    May 18, 2011 @ 12:02:20

    Hi Faith,

    I also enjoyed your blog and wondered if our family could do the same. I am sure we could minus the diapers. It was an inspiration and a source of entertainment. Thanks for sharing!


  4. sarahworldcook @
    May 18, 2011 @ 19:22:55

    Love it!!!! You are such an entertaining writer. Great job with all the imaginative ways to use up food!!!


  5. An American Family's Food-Spending Freeze
    May 18, 2011 @ 20:23:19

    Thank you, dear friends! ❤


  6. Jessica R
    May 19, 2011 @ 02:24:56

    I have truly been trying to cut out all my “little trips” to the grocery store because of you. I know it’s nothing drastic like you but I have been thinking at least and it’s changed my habits to immediately think to just run to the store.


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