Project Simplicity…More Than A Clean House

on May 31, 2013

This week we had tacos for dinner and while I was shredding some cheese my husband walked into the kitchen. He looked at me funny and said, “Why are you doing that?” And of course I said, “For the tacos.” He laughed and pointed at the sign that hangs in my kitchen, it says simplify.


He told me that shredding cheese by hand does not look simpler than the shredded cheese in a bag I usually buy. Well, in some ways this is true. I have been buying the shredded cheese in a bag for a long time because of, well, the convenience. It does take less time to pull out a bag and sprinkle cheese on what ever you need. But this week I decided that maybe I don’t want the extra things that come with shredded cheese and what kind of cheese is really in the bag anyway? So, I bought a cheese from a Wisconsin Dairy and shredded it myself and truthfully, it did not take very long at all. I chose to do some processing myself for a better product. And this kind of thinking is part of a simple life as well a time saving decluttering frame of mind.

The reason I am decluttering my house is to make is easier to find the things I need, to put things away, and keep the house in good working order. Less stuff means less work and more time for other things. So other things are part of simple living as well. What do I really want to be doing with my time? One thing that is important to me is cooking with real and local food when ever I can. I want good tasting healthy simple food for my family to eat everyday. But simple does not always mean easier or shorter it means in this case less processed. We have slowly been moving away from processed food from the store. You can see that in some of my other posts about crackers, yogurt, and granola. So part of project simplicity is finding time to do what is important to me and cooking real food is important to me.


Here is a recipe we made yesterday for homemade pretzels. I got the recipe from the Kind Arthur Flour recipe page.

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup water


1. Combine all of the ingredients in your mixer bowl and beat until well combined. Knead dough by machine for 5 minutes until it is soft and smooth.

2. Flour the dough and place in an loosely sealed bag to rest for 30 minutes.




3. While dough is resting mix one cup boiling water with 2 Tb baking soda until dissolved in a flat bottomed bowl. Set aside to cool.

4. Preheat oven to 475 and grease a baking sheet, set aside.

5. Remove dough from bag and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 8-12 pieces depending on the size you would like your pretzels. I did 12 because I find that the kids waste less.


6. Roll each piece out into a long rope and then shape into pretzel form. When the kids are helping they can make any shape they want. We have even gotten out cookie cutters. Let them be creative.

7. Place each pretzel in the water and baking soda mix for 30 second – 1 minute. Then let extra drip off into pan and place on prepared baking sheet.


8. Let rise for 10 minutes and then bake for 7-9 minutes.


This was our lunch yesterday, pretzels and nettle soup!


Yum Yum!


And with my decluttered kitchen I can not only make simple food but I will have time to clean up the kitchen as well.



And if you are wondering if the kids really eat the food we make. I think this will answer your questions 🙂



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