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The following is part of an Organic Journey Guest Post Series, written by Amy a long time helper behind the scenes of Southern Savers.
I always loved those television shows when you get to follow-up with the people whose stories you had heard months or years before. It is intriguing to see where their lives have gone since whatever catalytic moment it was that got them into the limelight in the first place. And I love this season because it is a chance to look back and see where you have been and a chance to look forward to what is ahead.
I thought it would be wise to see what baby steps had stuck thus far. What have been the home run successes and what has just been too big of a step taken and thus needs to be revisited and re-evaluated. It is beyond easy for me to get discouraged by how far I have to go and miss where I have been. Too, I think in this cyber reality, it is easy for you to read months of my posts and think that I am still perfectly executing all that I have shared. You get an unrealistic picture of me. We all know that comparison is the thief of joy (and is so often based on our imaginings instead of reality). So without further ado, here is my year in review.
I think I get most excited about our fresh eggs. Each week, we drive a mere five minutes from our house and my oldest daughter takes her basket and gathers eggs. We have become friends with the people that work there, and the variety and beauty of the different eggs is something that I can really appreciate (once I’ve cleaned them off!) What excites me even more, though, is that my youngest daughter that has a mild egg allergy doesn’t seem to be affected by eating these eggs. All around, even though it is a hassle some weeks to make a separate trip for eggs, it has been well worth it.
I learned so much from the posts on storing produce. We have bought gobs of pears this season now that I know to let them sit on the counter to ripen. They are amazingly good! We also found two things that have greatly extended the life of our produce (which has helped us to waste less!) The Tupperware Fridgesmart containers are phenomenal. Yes, they take up a ton of room in my fridge, but it is worth it to me to have my produce last longer. Thanks to a comment on one of the posts, I also tried out the BluApple. You toss these little plastic apples into the produce drawer and they have packets in them that absorb ethylene gas which can cause your food to deteriorate faster. I have had grape tomatoes last three weeks in my fridge with these! Phenomenal, I tell you. The packets last three months. You can even input your email address into their system, and they will email you a reminder that it is time to replace the packets. I am a fan of taking things off of my list to remember. What is super fun is that BluApple has graciously decided to do a giveaway here. So keep your eyes open for that to come soon!
Steps in Progress
We are still in progress with composting. I am amazed that every other day, we have a gallon bucket full of scraps from the kitchen to compost. I’m not sure that we are layering things the right way, but time will tell, right? Composting has also made me feel less guilty if I have some produce that goes bad. It doesn’t feel quite as awful to throw it into the composting bucket as opposed to throwing it in the trash.
The posts on dairy have both informed and challenged me. I find myself spending a little extra for sour cream and still making my own yogurt, but I still haven’t splurged on butter even though I know it would be better for us. Maybe we can work that step into the budget for next year (after the Christmas spending is over!)
And I am super excited about the cast iron skillet, griddle and dutch oven that we got for Christmas! Now, to learn how to cook in a whole new way.
Steps not Taken
Though my broccoli cheese rice casserole was can-free (and divine, if I do say so myself), we still cracked open that can of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.
I haven’t really explored Maple syrup to discover what kind my family likes best. (Anyone want to have a tasting party?)
And my budget. Well, I’m still working out the kinks in that. Honestly, I quit keeping track, and that, for me at least, isn’t a good thing. But life happens. My family had over two months of somebody being sick and my Mom had open heart surgery earlier this month. Take-out happened. Stress eating and junk food happened, and I for one, am not going to beat myself up about it.
In case you are interested, I thought I’d share what baby steps I have on the horizon for my family. Both of my parents had open heart surgery this year for different reasons, but it has made me interested in different types of fats. I don’t know why coconut oil is so wonderful or if canola oil and olive oil really are about the same. I’d also love to learn more about toxic load and do some investigating on how to find good sources of meat that are affordable. I’m curious too about the whole juicing and Vitamix craze. Those are a few of the things I’m wanting to look at in the next few months.
How about you? What baby steps are you thinking about for next year? Anything you would want us to explore together? I’d also love to hear what baby step you took this year that you are most proud of so we can all celebrate your victories. Thanks again for journeying with me.