Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Simple Preparations

Sunday is a day to relax and unwind, but also the time for preparations for the week ahead. I'm learning that organization goes a long, long way towards making simple living possible and enjoyable. If I don't do a little planning ahead, there's no way that the canvas bag is going to be in the car, the leftovers packed for lunch, and meals made from scratch. Instead, there will be hand wringing at the impromptu market stop when all of the items must be juggled out to the car because I just don't want to say yes to a bag, purchases of expensive and packaged lunches, and orders of take-out placed for dinner.

So as the snow fell lightly this morning, I started making some preparations. As the hours passed, I was in a nice rhythm and was enjoying the tasks of the day. What did I accomplish? I made a batch of vegetable stock from the scraps that I keep in a plastic bag in the freezer. Some of the stock was measured and frozen for future use, and six cups were kept out for tonight's lentil soup. I started putting together breadchick's no-fail bread recipe. Ah, the catharsis of kneading! While the bread was rising, I mixed up a batch of whole wheat pizza dough and set that to rise. The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so I stuck the two balls of dough into plastic bags in the freezer for a weeknight meal. Then, I got really, organized. I sat down at the computer and started to think about how I could cook meals from scratch for the rest of the week with the ingredients that I had purchased at the supermarket. I crafted a meal plan for the week and sketched out what needed to happen in the evening before bed and in the morning before work in order to make dinner appear on the table. It all seems very do-able and, yes, obnoxiously detailed. But the funny thing is how enjoyable the day has been. Taking care of home matters and getting organized isn't just preparing for good times in the is the essence of the good life.


  • At 3:35 PM, Blogger Katie said…

    I do the same thing - I still use a paper style weekly planner (no PDA for me, lol) and actually write all that kind of home stuff in there with my work duties. I write things like cook rice for stirfry or soak beans, etc. I'm quite organized too and while it might seem like a lot of work to the untrained eye it does make life so much easier in the long run and living in harmony with our beliefs attainable.

  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger breadchick said…

    Wow! We did the same thing today! I fed the 3 starters so I can make a boule of sourdough later in the week as well as some of my sourdough cinnamon rolls, baked some honey wheat bread, and finished the Chicken Noodle soup from the stock I made yesterday. Must have been the snow! I get a lot of "ribbing" from MBH because I use a PAA (Personal Analog Assistant or better known as a piece of paper and pen) to organise our week but you are right, it makes the rest of the week so much more enjoyable. Well, off to make the buttermilk biscuits to have with the soup!

  • At 6:34 PM, Blogger lauren said…

    Ah, kindred spirits! I'm glad to hear that you guys are up to the same things! Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.:)

    It's funny, breadchick, we just finished our dinner of lentil soup with biscuits. Your bread recipe turned out so well!! Thanks so much for sharing that. I feel more confident with the bread baking process from having a successful and yummy loaf. A couple more loaves of that recipe and maybe I'll be ready to advance to some others. Your sourdough baking plans for this week sound amazing. You've clearly earned the breadchick moniker!! Enjoy the evening!

  • At 9:32 PM, Blogger breadchick said…

    Glad to hear the bread recipe worked for you and you enjoyed it. The secret to sucess in most breads is a sponge and the rule of thumb for them is all the liquid, 1/2 the flour and 1/2 the levening (yeast, starter, etc). Works everytime! We have eaten all the granola from your recipe and the family consensus is that it will be a staple in the house. We are going to try adding some chocolate chips this time around. Will let you know how it works out. Enjoy the rest of the night

  • At 12:18 PM, Blogger Andrea Rusin said…

    We have a daughter visiting from out of town, so I'm desperately in need of a planning/regrouping day. We've dropped everything from our normal lives in order to hang out and visit with her.

    I don't think of myself as at ALL organized, but I've planned meals for the week for as long as I can remember. Otherwise, I'd be as bad as everyone else in this culture -parked in the drive-though at 5:30 in the evening. How unsatisfying is THAT?

    I use technology a lot, but paper is the perfect tool for this job, I think. I post the meals on the fridge. I remember what to cook, and no one needs to harangue me with "What's for dinner" questions. It's great.

    My past week was spent knitting a big bag that I felted last night. It will become my market bag once it's dry. I was thinking of you while I knitted!

  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger Roger, Gone Green said…

    Bravo! Your last several posts have been wonderful, and quite inspiring! Thanks!

  • At 5:08 PM, Blogger lauren said…

    Andrea - you are multi-talented with the knitting, sewing, writing, and just general do-gooding! You're an inspiration!

    Roger - many thanks! :)

  • At 10:12 PM, Blogger madcapmum said…

    "Taking care of home matters and getting organized isn't just preparing for good times in the is the essence of the good life."

    Amen, sister!

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger spiral said…

    I'm taking care of home matters in a little different fashion today, and I'm asking for your help. My five-year-old nephew gave me a lone mitten to take on a traveling adventure, so I did a little post about the adventure on my blog where I ask for my fellow bloggers' assistance. If you wouldn't mind checking out that post, I would be much obliged, as I'd like the mitten to get as much online travel as possible. Thanks!

  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger breadchick said…

    Lauren and Spiral. Email me (on my blogger profile). Since Lauren and I started a little story about Boston, would be nice to send your nephew some postcards showing the places Lauren and I just took his mitten...He can share them as well as the story with his class.


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