Less and more. Opposites. An oxymoron that contradicts itself. Yet as we celebrated this past Thanksgiving with a carbon efficient lens and strived to have less of a carbon footprint, this resulted in more gains for the environment and for our family as we spent precious time together.
I enjoyed shopping locally with the kids, going apple picking and exploring Boyce Farmers Market, one of Canada’s well known farmers markets! Less and more. Less food miles. More buying organic. More supporting local businesses. More time with the kids.
Oh, and speaking of supporting local businesses, our pup Frankie shopped at a local dog food manufacturer’s factory outlet. They have a small store front. Less and more. Less carbon pawprint. Less shipping transportation. Less dollars to purchase because we purchased direct. More local support.
Our nieces visited and were so sweet to help Shane and Sara harvest the garden. Did you know…The average meal travels 1,200 kilometres from the farm to plate. Ours travelled only about 50 metres! Less and more. Again, less food miles. Less food waste. More fresh, organic food. More composting. More time with family.
Speaking of family, the kids and I feverishly prepared meals focusing on no waste. We used food in our freezer and pantry first. We also tried to use the most efficient cooking methods while we cooked. We planned the timing of dishes that needed oven cooking so they could either cook together or directly after one another (saving preheating again). We tried not to peek and turned the oven light on instead! We boiled water for the stove in the kettle, used the crockpot and steamed many dishes in the microwave (rhubarb stewed in the microwave does not stick!). Less and more. Less energy waste. More delicious food.
Such delicious food! Alex made four loaves of brown bread as four loaf pans fit in the oven! Why make one, when you can make four! Drew used up leftover pumpkin pie mix and made cookies. Flatter but delicious. Sara made apple crisp from leftover lunch box apples from the previous week. On meal prep Monday, I was even able to transform a very questionable sweet potato into a delicious Blondie Brownie recipe. Less and more. Less waste. More bounty. More time with the kids.
And speaking of bounty. Although I have growing (and seemingly bottomless) kids, we did have lots of food! We shared bread and apples with our neighbour and made three food parcels for family members unable to join. Less and more. Again, less food waste. More giving. Giving thanks as well for family and friends.
I find it interesting the similarities between our home envelope and our thanksgiving challenges. One might ask, how is a house and a holiday related? Well, the home envelope is the shell of the home. Which includes the foundation. Well, holidays often remind us of our familial foundations. Our families.
Just like a home envelope, families are not perfect. Some can be drafty, and blow air in the wrong places, but in the end, families are still the shell to keep everything, or everyone together. Just like a home envelope, families help keep us warm and safe from storms. Sure, we might falter, but just like a home needing repair; families sometimes need a bit of super glue or sometimes a major reno to repair the shell and make it strong again. And through it all, we have each other. Less and more. And even though, we may not have it all together, together, we have it all.
These are the moments we live for.