Lenten Ration Project Report

During this Lent, we’ve been faced with a number of unique challenges, specifically that we were not only limited through our ration points, but through dietary restrictions. For those of you who missed my earlier entry, we have been doing a medieval-style fast for a number of years now. At some point, early in the Ration Project, I realized that I had become a crazy food hoarder and we were set for quite a few things that I hadn’t even considered prior to the beginning of the experiment. This has turned out to be a really useful thing as it has stretched our ration points greatly and allowed us to continue eating the number of fresh fruits and vegetables that we are used to eating. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have such an extensive larder from which to work.
The latest realization has been that I buy the biggest size of everything because I have reasonable storage space and it’s typically the cheapest per ounce/pound/whatever measurement it’s in so in the long-term I’m saving a few pennies. Within the ration project, this ends up being a huge difficulty as the larger size costs more points and that means fewer points for actual necessities towards the end of the month. So, while I have a lot of things in the larder helping our points, my buying habits were a drain on our resources. What I’m starting to wonder is if I do begin buying smaller quantities, will that end up meaning that I am using less in order to avoid using it up too quickly, or will I end up short in an inconvenient way (like while making something). Since I didn’t buy the smaller amount this time, that’s a theory for another day.
I also wanted to bring up what I consider to be an odd thing – my greatest concern as of late has been how useful plastic containers are in storing food well in a larder. There are a couple of things that I have thrown out due to it tasting musty, while the food that I canned at about the same time that I purchased those things is completely unaffected by this. While I don’t want to decant everything in plastic into a glass bottle, given the alternative of wasting things, it’s certainly a better option. While I understand that plastic is cheaper than glass, why must your profit margins negatively impact the quality of my food? For example, mayonnaise. We don’t eat a lot of it and tend to buy a small container so that it doesn’t go off before we’ve finished using the container. During Lent, I’ve been using an old vegan soy milk mayonnaise recipe as we can’t have eggs. In my, and my family’s opinion, it’s more flavorful and even my mayonnaise-disliking husband likes it.

Soy Milk Mayonnaise recipe
¾ c Soy Milk (unsweetened)
Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ c Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 t garlic granules
½ t onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

Put everything but the oil into the blender. Run the blender for a few seconds and then begin drizzling in the oil. Run the blender until the mixture becomes thick. You can store it in an airtight container for about two weeks.

We made tuna salad with minced onion and used it instead of sour cream on baked potatoes. It was lovely and had a lot more complexity than regular mayonnaise. I have the feeling that if I made my own mayo, I could make it just as flavorful. This would also solve my plastic bottle issue, at least in this case.

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About Jenn

Jennifer writes about Food History and other food-related topics on her personal blog when she is not working full time, spending time with her family, or being a full-time student.
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