I'd like to introduce you to my treasured friend Meredith Martin-Moats. If you've ever known a woman who rescued animals, built community resources, and sang high lonesome harmony with a twin at each hip, then you might know someone a bit like her. She's a superwoman, but she's also one of the most down-to-earth people you'll find. I asked her recently to share some thoughts on reducing waste in the kitchen and cooking mindfully (see Meredith's post on a great muffin recipe that uses overripe fruit). In typical Meredith fashion, her words took me back to a simpler time, yet revived my interest in learning something new:
Because wastefulness is such a part of our culture it can take lots of time and baby steps to rethink the way we function in our kitchens, and I've come to be a big believer in moving at a slow and steady pace. Taking on too much just becomes overwhelming and leads to burn out. Now, this might not work for lots of folks but for me it really does. And that's to find rewards in less. For me, reducing waste and living simply is a spiritual practice. I know that might sound weird to some people, but that holds true for me. My point here is that I think learning to reduce waste should include some deep thinking about why it matters to you in the first place. Yes it's cheaper and yes it makes sense, but it's also not the easiest way to live in our modern society and if those changes are going to really take root in your life it seems to me that a person should consider really looking at why they want to make those changes. When you find the answers to those questions then it becomes much more like a fun challenge and less like hard work.