The first step to improved health and better budgeting is to switch from eating processed food to cooking from scratch. By cooking from scratch you control the ingredients. You can substitute highly unhealthy genetically modified processed foods for more healthful whole food alternatives. You can meet special dietary needs. And you can find recipes that work for your family, in your situation, and within your budget.
Although lots of the people in the Joybilee Farm community grew up with scratch cooking, an overwhelming number are finding scratch cooking a challenge day to day. I grew up with a working mom and Hamburger Helper, Shake ‘n’ Bake, and Twinkies, plus white sugar and margarine sandwiches on Wonder Bread. I didn’t learn to cook from scratch until I married. There were a few interesting meals. Sometime I’ll tell you about the first time I cooked Perogies, when my Father and his wife visited us, shortly after our wedding. Well, let’s just say, if I can learn to cook from scratch and feed a family of 5 using healthy ingredients, on a tight budget, anyone can.
On Saturday June 1st, I launched the 30 day Cooking from Scratch Challenge. Several other bloggers are joining me with the challenge. There’s a separate Facebook group dedicated to the challenge and 400 eager scratch cookers have signed up to cook along with us. The overflow will be on my blog, on my Facebook page, on Twitter under the hashtag #30fromscratch, and on Instagram under #30fromscratch, too. There will be a few blog hops so that we can share the joy of scratch cooking all over the world. You can follow along with us, too.
I have to be honest with you. When I first asked on Friday, May 31st, who might be interested in joining in a scratch cooking challenge, I wasn’t prepared for the enthusiastic response. In fact, I mentioned it on my Facebook wall and then went out to a prayer meeting at a local church, praying for people in Oklahoma, in the threat of the tornadoes looming down on OKC. When I got home and checked my Facebook page there was an out pouring of enthusiasm, and I went to bed encouraged. I’d also heard from a few of our OK friends and heard that they were safe, so that helped my enthusiasm. On Saturday morning I naively set up a group on Facebook to handle the challenge, thinking we might have 50 or 60 people take up the gauntlet.
Then we went to Kelowna, a city about 2 hours drive from the farm, to do some shopping and stock up on staples for the challenge. I posted a few pictures of my favorite bulk food store, and organic market, just for inspiration. I had my tablet with me and I posted the pics during the day, and checked to accept people into the group as the day grew. We got home just after dark, at almost 10pm, in the rain, and pushed through to get the animals in the barns before we went to bed.
On Sunday, it was a rush to get the Homestead Kindle Book post done so that we could run to church and so I didn’t really get to check out what was happening until dinner time on Sunday. Imagine my shock and surprise when I saw the overwhelming response. Over 300 people wanted in. I had imagined cutting off the group at 200 people. Somehow I thought that was a good number for a beginning group leader to handle. Well by Monday morning we were up to 350 and I hadn’t even posted a newsletter yet, to let YOU know about the challenge. So here it is Monday night. I cut off the entries at 350 at 2pm today, but there was a huge outcry.
People begged me to let them into the challenge. So I’ve added a few more. Sarah got over 20 emails in client care saying, “Please let me in. This is something I desperately need.” So we’ve opened the group up to another 50 people. And now I have to say, “No.” If you are a part of the 30 Days of Cooking from Scratch group, I’m so happy to have you along on this journey to greater self-reliance and healthier eating. If you missed out this time, I’m sorry.
I had no idea when I casually asked 3 days ago, if ANYONE would be interested in a 30 day cooking from scratch challenge for June. Obviously, this is a huge need. So what I promise you, is that I will give this my best effort. When June is over, the next step will be evident, and I will let you all in on that before I launch it. It may be an intermediate scratch cooking course to meet the special needs that come up this month. But I’ll tell everyone before I launch it next time. I promise.
And if you missed out this time around, there will be overflow on my wall and on my blog. And I’ll do this again in the Fall for you. By then I might actually know how to do it right.
Thanks for being part of the Joybilee Farm community. I’m so honored to serve you. If you are a blogger, please blog along with me. There will be a few opportunities to participate in blog hops around meal themes, during the challenge on Wednesdays and Fridays – inspiration for your weekend cooking sprees. Oh, and I’m working with Tropical Traditions on a very special give away specifically for our 30 days of cooking from scratch challenge. And the draw is open to everyone, whether you are part of the special Facebook group or are just following along. The draw will be open to residents of the US and Canada, too. More about this coming soon.
Talk to you soon.