just add spinach

It’s all my friend Rebecca’s fault. She convinced me that I should start writing {another} blog with her – this one about food – since our time living in Arusha, Tanzania together was spent almost exclusively talking about one of two things: (1) where you could get good diapers (she has a daughter that is exactly 3 days older than Eleanor) or (2) where you could get food (of any kind).
We were constantly saying things like “Did you see that Pick “N Pay got a new shipment of pasta and there’s finally more mango yogurt (mango was one of the best flavors, in my humble opinion) and there was fresh salsa today”  or “Yoka (a Dutch woman who had as close to an organic farm as possible on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and would bring her produce into Arusha once a week) had brussle’s sprouts and swiss chard and cauliflower today! Did you get some? I bought extra, if you want it.”

Although you might think shopping was harder there (in retrospect) I found it a zillion times easier. I knew what I could get, what I could substitute, and what I had to learn to live without. There was a limited number of food items available, which meant I got to be creative with how to prepare them, rather than trying to be creative with (first) choosing them then preparing them (if that makes any sense).

My first few months back in the states I delighted in the options and availability of foods and food stuffs. I could select any recipe and find the ingredients to make it – any time of day, any day of the year. But before long (and increasingly often) I found (find) myself feeling weighted down by all these options and most days meal planning feels like little more than a chore. Which is too bad, because I used to really enjoy it.

So when Rebecca came to me with this idea I had two thoughts:

  1. “YES! I’d love to. This makes perfect sense. We’re used to this kind of back and forth , we have access to very different foods (have I mentioned that Rebecca and her family now live in Cambodia?), we both have two kids, and most days we are just trying to get a (relatively) healthy meal on the table. This is just the excuse I need to start serious menu planning again. This will be great.”
  2. “Oh crap. What have I gotten myself into?”

Anyway, since then I’ve been a little distracted from writing on this blog. My apologies. Many of you – okay, like two of you – have written or called to make sure that I’m alright. I appreciate your concern, and yes, I’m okay. I have taken the liberty of posting a few entries at our new site, but have been logging many more ideas off-line with the idea that more posts will soon follow.

So between that, my full time job, my two consulting projects,  my other full time job (as a mom), my other other full time job (as a wife), I’ve just not made time for writing more here.

Oh yeah, and I’m pregnant. So there’s that little distraction too.

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8 thoughts on “just add spinach

  1. Congratulations!You might want to take a look at Fresh 20 – 5 meals planned, with nutritional information, and a shopping list. We are not vegetarian, but have really been enjoying the vegetarian meal plans. Membership also gives you access to their archive of meal plans (over a year’s worth).

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion Chris. I’ve actually seen this site before, and think it’s a great idea. (Kind of wish I’d thought of it, actually!)

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  2. You’re back! and pregnant! Hongera! I didn’t know you and Becky were doing this. Can’t wait to follow along on your culinary adventures.

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    1. Thanks Eli…I hear there may be some big changes in your future too? Just as a heads up, I’ve planted the seed in your wife’s head that you guys should just move here. We need friends. Friends with kids.

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