Pantry Challenge 2007 Update: Gettin’ By

DSCN0862.JPGI wasn’t sure how often to post updates, but here is #1. It’s been six days since we began Pantry Challenge 2007, an effort to go as long as we can eating from the food we currently have in our pantry, fridge, and freezer.

The first night (Wednesday), we made vegetable omelettes with cheese, which were great. Definitely hit the spot.

Thursday night we had a couple over for Mexican Casserole (ground chicken, beans, tortillas, cheese, and spices), a few games of nerts, and a movie. Our friends, who knew about PC07, brought over extra salad just so they could leave us with some for later in the week. Our friends are so nice.

Friday, Chrissy was home studying during the day, so she made French Toast for lunch. That night, we made a homemade pizza for us and some of our other friends, who also brought over a little extra food to leave with us. That night, we also baked some oatmeal raisin cookies (most of which we ate that evening … but we did send some home with our friends).

We slept really late on Saturday, so lunch was breakfast. That evening, we had a meeting, at which we ate pizza. Free is always good.

Sunday lunch, we ate a couple of frozen burritos and some more of the leftover Mexican Casserole that evening. Our friends (the same ones from Friday) came over to watch the Pats-Colts game with us, but we vomited dinner up when we saw the Pats blow the game in the 4th quarter… (kidding)

Today, I brought the last of the casserole for lunch at work, while Chrissy ate oatmeal and a clementine. We splurged for a romantic dinner at a local Italian restaurant tonight, which was well worth it. (we even got some surprise accumulating snow on our walk home!)

Breakfasts this week have been frozen bagels, Trader Joes’ granola (the Vanilla Almond and Maple Pecan flavors are all gone … boo hoo), or Clif energy bars at work.

DSCN0861.JPGSummary: We still seem to be in pretty good shape. We’re out of sugar and almost out of cheese, however, which could prove to be fatal. We’re fresh out of fresh fruits and veggies, which might give my wife a coronary. I think we’ll be OK on breakfasts once the granola’s gone, as we have an endless supply of Quick Oats. Chrissy said she has really enjoyed not going to the store during this time. We both have consciously eaten less, which has been a good thing. We’ve also been surprised at the way two of our closest couples friends have been concerned about us, bringing over extra food and even offering to buy us stuff we need (we haven’t accepted any huge quantities of food, for the record). All in all, though, we’ve been pretty surprised at how far the food in our pantry has gone thus far. As for the future, we actually have a freezer-full of meat, leftovers from tonight’s dinner, and canned foods out the wazoo (note: I’m trying to bring back the term, “out the wazoo”). Chrissy’s Prediction: “If I can get over not having fresh fruit and vegetables, we might go longer than shorter. But I might have to break down and buy fresh fruit and veggies.” My Prediction: “All the way, baby.”

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Weekend Movie Wrap-Up

Thursday
Mission Impossible 3: Completely over-the-top. Plenty of unrealistic action and stunts. Decent plotline. Tom Cruise is still nuts.

Friday
The New World (2006, Colin Farrell): John Smith and friends arrive in America, flex on the natives who lived here already, almost die of starvation, form a weak alliance with the natives… OK, that’s the plotline of the first 20 minutes of the movie. The remaining 2 hours is John Smith and Pocahontas looking longingly into each other’s eyes with piano music in the background. Snorefest. I’m sure someone has seen some artistic value that I didn’t see, but the title of this film should have been, “Don’t Waste Your Time: Rent the Disney Movie.”

Saturday
30 Days: Season 1: In 2004, Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days in making the smash-hit documentary Super Size Me. He applied the same principle to his show, 30 Days, which is brilliant and inspiring. The premise is putting normal people into foreign situations for 30 days. Our favorite episode was when Morgan and his fiancé lived on minimum wage jobs for a month, struggling daily just to “get by” and accumulating a thousand or so dollars in debt in just 30 days (from hospital bills … they had no health insurance). Very convicting episode about the reality for millions of working poor in America. We also liked the episode that transformed a conservative Christian into a Muslim for 30 days, experiencing the stereotypes, the religious devotion, and the family commitment of Islam, while experiencing a dramatic personal shift. Great show.

Sunday
An Inconvenient Truth: A Global Warning: A few months ago, I got an e-mail from a good friend who wanted to hear my reflections on Al Gore’s 2006 documentary about global warning. He wrote, “I’m still spinning a bit. Honestly, I believe this is the, or one of the major issues that will make or break the credibility of the American church (if making it credible could ever be done in our day). Depending on how we respond, I believe it could be the major blindspot of our generation that will seem ludicrous to generations after us, just as racism/segregation was the blindspot just a few generations ago that now seems so absurd and obviously unjust.” After seeing the film, I have to agree with my friend. This is a legitimate issue. And whether or not humans are causing global warming or not (I happen to believe we are), shouldn’t we still live in ways that leave a smaller eco-footprint on our world? It’s been nice to see several prominent conservative Evangelical leaders (including Ted Haggard, before his scandal) speak out for the environment in recent years. We need more, though.

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