My Week Sans Preservatives

After being a general list-slacker for the past two weeks, I feel its high time to accomplish something.  So, a “week of cooking entirely from scratch” it is..

I kinda went around a bit with myself about what the rules of this endeavor were, and here’s where I landed:

  • I’m not serving anything pre-packaged. No pop tarts, no oreo cookies, no saltine crackers.
  • This is about cooking, more than eating.  i.e. I happily ate a donut at church this morning, about an hour after eating a home-cooked breakfast.
  • And finally, I will not swat any saltine crackers out of my husband’s hand.  This is my list, not his.  Baby son is not so lucky, since he’s too short to open the pantry himself.

And the first thing I made was Bethany’s Black Bean and Chicken Chili.  I selected all the fresh options, i.e. roma tomatoes over canned tomatoes, in the spirit of cooking from scratch.  And, I even decided to go Little-House-On-The-Prairie style – I used dried beans instead of canned.  I used the method described here, which takes 90 minutes (rather than overnight soaking).  And the rumors you’ve heard are true, people:  They DO taste better and they ARE less flatulent.  So there you go.   Try it sometime, its a skill you’ll wish you had if you ever find yourself living in a bomb shelter with only dried beans.  For multiple reasons.

On second thought, where would Laura Ingalls Wilder have purchased dried beans?  Do you think Mr. Olson’s store even carried those?  I bet she grew her own beans.

But back to the chili, its a great recipe.  Very simple, just dump the ingredients in and stir.  The spices are perfect, just a little warmth but not too much.  And it makes a TON.  About 10 servings or so.  So use a very large pot. I served it with cornbread made using Memaw’s recipe of course, a perfect complement.


Here’s what the rest of the week looks like:


  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh fruit
  • Beignets (next Saturday morning)


Baking and sweets:

EEK, I maybe should’ve planned for one more entree.  Never fear though, whatever I make, it will not have preservatives or “Helper” in the name.

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About Mary-Hall

loyal southerner, exceedingly frugal, compulsive DIYer

3 responses to “My Week Sans Preservatives”

  1. Bethany says :

    a bit jealous that your version of my chili looks yummier than mine! 🙂 I’m impressed that you didn’t even open cans to make it… totally one-upped me. haha.

  2. Momma Daniel says :

    Wow, your second picture looks like it should be in an advertisement for an upscale restaurant!!!

  3. Momma Daniel says :

    Suggestion for your next “from scratch” dish:

    Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate
    A quick and healthy way to satisfy your chocolate craving.
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    Nutritional Information
    (per serving)

    Calories 133
    Total Fat 9g
    Saturated Fat 5g
    Cholesterol 0
    Sodium 0
    Total Carbohydrate 20g
    Dietary Fiber —
    Sugars —
    Protein 1g
    Calcium 0
    Serves: 4 Edit
    Total Time: 10 min

    U.S. Metric Conversion chart
    2 ounce(s) high-quality dark chocolate
    12 strawberries

    Melt chocolate over barely simmering water or in the microwave. Dip strawberries in the chocolate.


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