Saturday, December 1, 2012


During the middle ages and today, Advent is the time leading up to the birthday of Christ. It's meant to be a time of joy but also of reflection. Because of that, in the middle ages, they had "fish days" and "feast days" through out the Advent season. Unlike with Lent, during Advent, fish days simply meant no meat. Milk, cheese, and eggs all seem to still be on the menu.

Although I do plan to try a couple of "fish day" recipes during Advent, what I thought might be more interesting is an attempt to live more simply when it comes to food. I've been spending the equivalent of almost half of my monthly mortgage payment on food. Yes, it's pretty ridiculous. So, going with the "reflection" theme, I thought it might be a good idea to try to live the "food stamp" way as many politicians and activists have been pledging to do.

For me, this is NOT political but just something I see as a personal challenge. In Maryland and VA, the average person can get around $130 per a month in food stamps. That means about $28.88 a week for my area ($130 divided by 4.5 weeks). For simplicities sake, I'm going to try to spend absolutely no more than $30 on food per a week, leading up to Christmas. This is meant only to see if I could actually do this myself given I know many people in my area are living off of food stamps.

Anything I have in the house currently won't count towards the weekly total. Also, this means I'll be a grouch because no more sodas until Christmas (unless I don't buy them. If I'm offered a soda, it's fair game.). I've already decided I'm baking my own bread. I absolutely love the bread I've been baking and figure it's a good way to save money as well. I've already started on my first medieval bread experiment. I started a natural leaven pot three days ago. It's been growing and bubbling like it should. Only a week more to go before I can dry it and use it rather than yeast. (I'll also be doing a medieval bread with modern yeast versus medieval bread with natural leaven test that will be interesting, hopefully!)

This will also force me to take my lunch to work -something I've been trying to do anyway- and bake a lot more. It's far cheaper to cook your own food than to have someone else do it for you.


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