Is it ‘back to the 70s’ or just 2022???

We left Tucson, Arizona in July of 1975. Summers in Tucson are HOT! Little did we know that Northern Ca can get just as hot as Tucson and it was when we arrived. Moving to a very rural, logging, a redneck community was a bit of a shock but we did adapt(eventually). There were some like-minded people, especially on the fire crews that were hired seasonally. And that is where this story begins. Shelley M was one of the few women on the fire crew and a very independent person. She may have been one of the first ‘tiny house’ people as she lived in a 16 ft trailer. But she became the first person I knew who did bulk buying, organics, raw milk, herbs, medicinals and, much more. She basically taught me everything I know about bread making, using mason jars to hold food, using grains, rice, making yogurt and lots of other things. She was an avid Adelle Davis fan and was always talking about nutrition, herbs, natural healing , etc. She also was(as far as I know, and I’m almost 100% sure of this) the only female fire lookout who lived in the lookout that was up at Duncan Peak. She would live up there for weeks on end and then come down to her trailer which was above Foresthill in a place called Baker Ranch. Remember this is 1975,76,77, and probably 1978. Baker Ranch is located about 10 miles above Foresthill and at that time was definitely ‘out there’. Eventually, when we bought our 30ft trailer, which was a lovely shade of pink, that’s where we were able to find a spot that you rented. That was in 1978.

It was shortly after meeting Shelley that I started buying in bulk. Brown rice, flour, honey,( no sugar back then for us…Heeeheee:) ), raw milk, nuts. When we went to Mother Truckers we would fill up our bottles with shampoo and rinse too. We also had a buying club thru Mountain Peoples Warehouse( that later became UNFI, which Barclay just retired from after 25 years) but that’s not part of this story. Anyway, we would meet the truck or go up to Grass Valley and pick up our bulk food, cheese by the block and whatever else and then we would split up the orders.

I think businesses like Mountain Peoples was way ahead of their time as there wasn’t Costco, Sam’s club or any of that. There was Sacramento Co-op but I don’t remember shopping there.

So here it is 2022 and we’re still buying in bulk although now it’s Costco or Walmart. UNFI doesn’t have small buy clubs anymore but there’s still Briarpatch Co-op in Nevada City and soon to be in our nearest town of Auburn!!! (Very Exciting). So the cycles of life continue. I’m stillmaking bread( although my first years of bread baking they was more like ww bricks), canning, batch cooking and so on.

So in some ways it isn’t much different than what I started in 1975.

Simple Eating

In this journey of minimalism, I’ve wanted to expand past the decluttering and streamlining things to food as well. Not so much decluttering that area but eating simpler and eating the same foods weekly to simplify menus etc. We do eat pretty simple but for some reason, I want to even more.

I’ve always bought bulk foods, rice, beans, etc since the 1970’s. Even soaps, detergents, canned goods etc because it’s easier for me and simpler to buy bulk and then not have to think about those things for 6 months. Back in the 1970’s we’d go out to a place called Mother Truckers by Ananda. Mother Truckers is still there and does a brisk business. Ananda is still there although many changes have occurred. It’s still a spiritual community based on Yogananda Paramahansa’s teachings. Anyway, we’d go out there, which was about a 2-hour drive for us, and get bulk shampoo, honey, etc.

Now co-ops are everywhere or Whole Foods and you can great bulk items.  I can even get Lundberg organic brown rice at Costco in a 12 lb bag. I can get a 10lb bag of sugar and there’s honey in large jars. I don’t use as much honey anymore so we just get a smaller jar.

I still get 10 lb bags of rice and beans and store in glass jars.  I use to buy the 25 lb bags but that was more than we’d use in a reasonable amount to time. I even have some of my original gallon jars I had from the 70’s. I use to go around to the restaurants and ask for their old pickle jars, mayonnaise because you couldn’t really buy the gallon jars anywhere.

I use a weekly menu that’s simplified to some extent but I’d like it to be more so. Maybe as I get older or further in this minimalist journey, I just don’t want to think about things like what extravagant meal do I want to cook. I want my food choices to be simple.

I like wearing the same clothes and keep my colors to black, white, gray and occasionally deep purple or navy blue.  So with food, I want to have fewer choices so I don’t have to think about it.

Our weekly menu looks like this

Sunday- BBQ or roast something ( need to refine this)

Monday- pasta something ( this can be mac and cheese,or lemon spaghetti, or ?

Tuesday- Taco Tuesday ( really anything Mexican)

Wednesday- Sorta whatever day ( this is the one I need to work on)

Thursday- crockpot something,  usually pinto beans or black beans Then we add tortillas, avocado, salsa,. If its soup in the winter fall, bread along side.

Friday- homemade pizza

Saturday- This turned into sammie Saturday. A simple sandwich of some sort.

I want to work on what foods we’re eating. We like and eat a lot of beans and then I usually use the rice cooker to make organic long grain rice for the week.

Some chicken, tofu, a little beef and a little fish (not too often).

Breakfast is always eggs/toast or bagel/yogurt/fruit

Lunch is a salad or leftovers or 1/2 sandwich

I just don’t want to cook extra fancy stuff too much anymore. I do love cooking and trying new recipes, but I still want a base to work from.