A selection of so-called "kitchen castoffs" — groceries without a current plan — that will be used in my 100 Day Project. Credit: Therese Kehler, Dec. 2016
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

My 100-Day Project: Food for thought

2017 arrived with a major life change, best described as: “I don’t have a job.”

In December, I took a voluntary buyout from the Edmonton Journal. With both Dan and I working in the newsroom — and newsrooms in increasing financial stress — we felt it prudent to take steps to diversify our economic situation.

So here I am, in what I am calling my “transition” period: not retired, not employed but on my way to  … somewhere. Fingers crossed, somewhere good.

The 100-day project was suggested by my daughter, who correctly guessed that I would be seeking a creative outlet and some structure to my days.

We dished around some ideas:

• 100 new songs learned on the piano (a big commitment of time);

• 100 days of soup (a big commitment to soup);

• 100 days of donuts (suggested by a colleague who is also “transitioning.” Ummm, NO); and

• 100 recipes using kitchen castoffs.

The latter had some appeal — coming up with tasty, healthy ways to prepare meals using ingredients purchased with some long-forgotten recipe in mind, but were now languishing in cupboards and freezers.

Dan and I came up with a solid list of about 40 things: among them a can of chickpeas, frozen edamame beans, saffron, lentils, split peas, tahini, a litre of whipping cream bought for a Christmas dessert.

A selection of so-called
A selection of so-called “kitchen castoffs” — groceries without a current plan — that will be used in my 100-day project.

In the end, we’ve come up with a bit of a 100-day hybrid — 100 days of cooking new recipes, with an aim to use “kitchen castoffs” as often as possible.

As a newsroom manager, I worked long (and late) hours, meaning most dinner prep had fallen to Dan during the week. It’s exciting to get back into the kitchen.

As for the kitchen castoff concept … well, using up old or forgotten items feels a lot like a road to starting fresh.

Here’s to transitions.


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