last night we were having a rather notorious supper at my house. we call it C.O.R.N., and it stands for Clean Out Refrigerator Night. my kids do not love this supper, but once a week, barring unusual circumstances where we just don’t have that many leftovers, we have a smorgasbord of little bits of whatever i am trying to finish up from various meals from the previous week.

the thing that really made last night’s supper stand out for me, though, was that as i was pulling stuff out of the fridge and piling it on the table, i was struck by this: everything we were eating had been homemade from scratch.

we had spaghetti and meat sauce and homemade rolls. we had pizza and donuts. we had potato pancakes and chicken soup. we had macaroni and cheese. we had other stuff too, but the more i took out,the more i realized: none of this came from boxes or packages or mixes. i actually made this stuff.

ok, i didn’t grow the wheat or grind it. i used a food processor to grate the potatoes. some of the noodles were from a box… but for the most part, this was all food that i had labored over so that my family could have food that had real ingredients instead of chemistry experiments.

and i felt really proud about that.

and i wanted to take a minute to recognize that. because sometimes when someone else does it, it gives you permission to do it too.

none of us is all the way there.

we all have room to grow, and i can get plenty preachy on this blog, even though that’s not how i mean to be.

i just find all this great information, and i want to share it with you! but i don’t want you to think for a minute that means that i am talking down to you or judging you or preaching you because i am so not that person.

because yes, i still shop at walmart. let’s be honest and admit that their prices are just way better on too many things not to shop there.

and yes, i still buy mostly non-organic produce. because even with all i know, it’s really hard to buy all organics for a family my size. so i am starting small with a few things and trying to work my way up. i’m trying to be kind to myself and be happy with the progress i’m making instead of berating myself for how far i still have to go. i hope you will do the same.

i wondered out loud to myself the other day how i could blog and blog about how what we all should be doing and then not do all of it, and i realized that it is not hypocritical to aspire to something. that was a hard place for me to get to. i really struggled to be able to reconcile that where i wish i was in life wouldn’t necessarily be where i really was at any given time. but i think it is the direction we are moving that counts. and our momentum. and that’s what i hope for all of you as well…

so, back to my fridge.

why i am i telling you about my leftovers? because i think that if i can publicly pat myself on the back for my one small step, then maybe you will be encouraged to take one small step (or maybe even a big one!) too.

maybe we can all encourage each other and be a source of support.

in a world where people push each other onto subway tracks and everyone just stands around and watches, maybe we can be the opposite. we can be the ones who smile when someone chooses organic produce to put in their grocery cart. we can congratulate the neighbor who plants a garden. we can give inspiring books for the holidays (i highly recommend anything by joel salatin. next choice is michael pollan.).

the point is that we can do so much. and we should never feel like it isn’t enough.

we should never feel like what we do is too small to matter, because it all matters.


if some obscure housewife in oak park, michigan could get a worldwide blog, who are you to say that nobody cares that you make bread from home-ground wheat?

see what i mean?

if you are in the mood to do something quick and easy that will make a difference right now, click on this link to sign up for the garden spring project: