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I don’t know what happened this week but it was a bit like Lord of the Flies at our house.  Okay not that bad but you could definitely tell that the family was at the end of their rope.  The lack of choices and fresh food had worn out my family.  We’re hitting the savings tonight to get some groceries before there is rioting.

A few things were great – we tried things I don’t think I would have convinced my family to try.  For example, Honey Sesame Chickpeas (pictured above).  It took a lot to convince my husband to make this dish and we loved it.  It was so good.  My only complaint is that it needed a touch more soy sauce (I really like soy sauce though).

We came up with some ideas to make food preparation easier.  I showed you the grated potatoes that we bagged up and froze for future use.  Last weekend, I made a huge batch of rice and froze it in individual bags.  We’ve eaten three of those bags this week.  It’s so nice to just be able to grab a bag and microwave it.  Preparing the rice was easy – I made a triple batch and, once cooled, I scooped it into quart size freezer bags.  We can save the bags for refilling.  My husband likes to let it thaw before heating.  At mostly thawed, we microwaved for 3 minutes and had hot rice.

I will note that everything I read said that 1 cup raw rice makes 3 cups cooked rice.  I found that 3 cups raw rice made about 11 and 1/2 cups of cooked rice.  I separated it out into 3 cup servings but I think that was a little too light for my family.

The funny thing is that our cupboards don’t look empty after a month of not replenishing them.  We’re out of some of our “essentials” but that happens all the time.

What I did appreciate is that we ate more vegetarian options and my husband didn’t resort to TVP for them.  We had some great adventures which I hope to keep up.  With our shopping this weekend, I’m not going hog wild.  My list is mostly meat and vegetables to replace the worst of our empty pantry parts.  We still have a few recipes on our initial list for the month that I think we’ll be trying out soon.

I think a full month is too long for a challenge like this – we got busy and planning sort of started to feel like really hard work the last two weeks.  This week was even worse so I think a good two weeks of nothing new.  Actually what I think would work for my family is to do a larger shopping trip once a month and then see if we can challenge ourselves to stick to just that one trip for the whole month.  That makes the last two weeks of the month the challenge.  I don’t know what we will do.  The farmer’s market starts soon and we can do some serious foraging this summer.  Maybe we can plan our preserving better since we have a better idea of what we really use and what we can’t seem to keep in the pantry.

Did you challenge your family to use only what was in the pantry?  How did it go?