Day 1 down and 6 to go. Yesterday I started the challenge to only eat food that came from our foodscape. With the exception of eggs, which came from our chickens. Here's how it went.
Started things off simple with 2 boiled eggs for breakfast. I was planning on having at least one banana but they still have ripened from when I harvested them.
Lunch was when things went a little sideways. I attempted to make a stir fry with nopals (prickly pear cactus) as the foundation. Then I added spinach, kale, sweet potato leaves, and peppers - banana, hot banana, jalapeno, serrano, and bell. This was already a bold first large meal as I have never even attempted to cook nopals before. Google came to the rescue. The next problem was I realized that the majority of peppers I have harvested, are all hot peppers. No big deal. Right? I can deal with spicy. WRONG.
I am not sure if the spice of these peppers was more intense just by chance, or if it was because there really wasn't anything in this dish to disguise them. They tasted so hot! My face began sweating. I was burping a lot. My wife was laughing at me from across the table while trying to sneak in pictures of my misery. Honestly, I wanted to give up eating it. But one of my concerns with this challenge is not having enough food to make it one week. Every meal needs to count.
I powered through the best I could. Other than the heat level of the peppers, the rest of the dish was mediocre at best. The nopals were bland and chewy. I think I still cooked them incorrectly and will try again another day this week. The kale, sweet potato leaves, and spinach all tasted just fine. As long as any of those leafy veggies hadn't been too close to a pepper, they were my favorite part of the dish.
Around the afternoon time, my stomach became upset. Several trips to the bathroom reminded me how hot those peppers were. They burned going out just as bad as coming in. Lesson learned.
By dinner time, I felt like I was starving and regretted not having a better lunch. As I looked for ingredients I realized unless I want salad, I really only have peppers as an option for additional food. If only I still had some Seminole pumpkin, chayote, luffa gourd, and more pigeon peas. But I didn't take days or weeks to prepare for this challenge. It was a spur of the moment decision. A true test of random survivalism in the foodscape.
So more peppers for dinner. This time I spent more time removing seeds and cooking the peppers in a pan. Once the peppers got a nice grill-like char, I added in some spinach and 3 eggs. At that moment I realized that eggs were going to be a crutch through this week. Please chickens don't let me down! Once everything was cooked, I saw down and ate my egg-pepper-spinach bowl. Thankfully, there was very little if any spice in the peppers and the dish was pretty tasty.
Just over an hour later I was hungry again. Food in the kitchen just staring at me. Taunting me. Day 1 and I am already craving food I can't have? This is going to be a long week. Thoughts of Taco Bell made my stomach gurgle. Or maybe that was the peppers. My mind kept thinking about how easy it would be just to hop in the truck and go get some food. I pushed those thoughts away.
In a moment of weakness I let myself have a cliff bar. Whoops. Alright so Day 1 fail. But we aren't stopping here. I'll report back tomorrow.