This was a very rewarding challenge for me.
Here are the highlights:
At first it got me thinking about posibilities of cooking only foods from the garden. I tried new recipes before the challenge to get ideas about what we could/needed to grow in order to duplicate the recipes.
I learned all about sprouts and ordered an assortment to test them out before the challenge. All during challenge week they were sprouting away and were a key ingredient in my recipes. Pre-challenge I wasn't ever into sprouts.
I took a raw food class for 3 days in April and continued preparing and eating raw foods for several days afterward. By the way, the starting from scratch challenge was much harder than eating only raw foods (which was the strictest eating regimen that I was on before the actual challenge week). The biggest reason being convenience. Almost every other diet/eating regimen, including a raw diet, you can find something in the grocery store that you can eat.
I also learned and cared about gardening more than ever before. I even had an intelligent conversation with an employee and customer at Home Depot about companion planting! My garden supplied turnips, corn, herbs (chives were my #1 seasoning), lettuce, potatoes, pea pods and cucumbers for the challenge. And there will be lots of goodies post challenge!
Pre-challenge I would have never gone up to a stranger to ask him if I could pick some apricots off his tree. I did for the challenge prep though!
I started putting together a cookbook with recipes I had collected. However, my computer blew up (not literally) from a virus so I couldn't access the files. I think that was actually good because I got to be creative with what I had to work with. The recipes may have caused frustration because they were based on ingredients that I anticipated would be available during challenge week (and many of them weren't).
I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Challenge week entailed a lot of hard work, preparation and willpower (there were lots of temptations all around). We had limited ingredients to work with and things that were collected had to be processed right away or they would go bad. It has given me a greater appreciation of all that I have, including such a wonderful family. Love you guys (Sarah, you too and thanks for all of your support!)!