City Homemaking

Maybe the city is too convenient. At least that's what I tell myself as I think about my shift toward more homemade, wholesome food. Who needs to meal-plan when there are so many markets and ethnic restaurants steps from the front door? Why bake my own bread when I can walk across the street to buy a loaf at any time? Why grow basil when I can walk over to the Farmer's Market?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to turn my household into more of a production unit rather than solely a consumption unit, and likewise get back to basics in terms of the foods we eat. I think much of this shift started for me after watching the eye-opening documentary, "Food, Inc.," and reading books like Mark Bittman's, Food Matters, and Michael Pollan's, In Defense of Food.

It seems like there is a trend in American culture toward reliance on "experts" for activities that not so long ago were considered natural life occurrences centered around the home. We now rely almost exclusively on schools to teach our children, hospitals to birth our babies, and big food conglomerates to feed our families. And the conveniences of the city certainly contribute to the ease of outsourcing basic household functions.

So, as Michael Pollan encourages, I am now trying to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants," and re-connect with the basics of homemaking, like baking bread as M and I did this afternoon.

I still love the conveniences of the city and will continue to rely on them, (especially my afternoon latte from my local coffee shop), but perhaps with a more watchful eye toward making sure that they enhance, instead of replace, my homemaking.