Courtney Carver, minimalist genius behind Be More With Less and creator of fashion Project 333, once wrote a post about creating a capsule kitchen. For 3 months, create meals from just 33 ingredients, including food & drink. I welcomed this challenge into my life, as meal planning and preparation seemed to occupy a disproportionate amount of my time and energy, and I was more than ready for a change. I sat down and dutifully made my food list, armed with renewed determination to make cooking simple.
All was well, until we ran out of the snack foods my family was used to having on hand. Slowly, they noticed our pared down pantry, and the complaints set in. At that point, I resigned to keeping a capsule shelf in my pantry, only for myself, and allowing my family to have their preferred items. I started cooking separate meals for myself and those who were not on board with my capsule kitchen idea. Eventually, it became too much work and I quit.
You could say that my first attempt was a fail, and you’d be right. However, does anybody get things right on the first try? Failure is an important step in the process of change, as it often highlights our weakness or mistakes, and gives us clues on how to succeed in the future. It was time to take a break, reflect, and regroup.
I realized that I was doing too much at once. My list of 33 food items was 100% vegan, but the rest of my family was not. In addition to varied dietary preferences, I did not consider the logistical needs of my family, such as busy nights and the need to have quick food to grab on the go. Simplicity is not about following a set of rules, it’s about doing what works for you and your family.
I love the idea of a capsule kitchen, and I’m still working on incorporating this concept to make meal planning easier. I’d like to say I’m down to 33 items in my pantry, but it hasn’t happened yet. I do have my list taped on the pantry door, so that’s a start.