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PamMehnert

Hi, I'm Pam Mehnert

As Outpost's general manager, Pam's work keeps her at the office, in meetings, or in front of her computer more than a simple 40 hours each week. However, her passion as a foodie has driven her to take on this challenge for the culinary experience of…
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Pam Mehnert

Week 16 - Getting A Grip

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert August 9, 2010

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Pam Mehnert

Weeks 14 & 15 - I'm Not Turning Back Now

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert August 6, 2010
 No my friends, what I actually missed about my own from scratch cooking that left me pining for the jar left in my pantry, was my granola.
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Pam Mehnert

Week 11 - An "Indiapendence" Celebration!

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert July 13, 2010
The dog days of summer are here in Wisconsin, which means we get the summer equivalent of what we get with a bone chilling winter - hot weather with high humidity. The last thing many of us feel like doing on summer days like this is cooking or heating up the house with the oven. My partner and I, on the other hand, decide to have a big backyard get-together on July 5th in celebration of Independence Day, or as I like to call it "Indiapendence." Lisa of course preferred the term Bollywood BBQ, so that is what went out on the invitations. Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week 10 - My Affair With A Hot Dog

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert July 7, 2010
My (now) annual retreat up to Rhinelander Wisconsin was where the idea began last summer - to cook most everything from scratch for the duration of a year - and to learn a little more about food (and coincidentally about my relationship with food). Ironic how that idea fits today with my rules of inconvenient food during vacation, which is to cook if I can and eat as local as I can when I can't cook - but to not worry about doing it all from scratch. After all, it's a vacation. Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week 9 - Garden Squatting and the 1950's

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert June 22, 2010
The Victory Garden movement, which started during WWI really reached its peak during WWII. Home gardeners were told that anything they could do to leave more produce for the military (aka saving resources) would be part of their patriotic duty. The result of this effort was a multitude of backyard gardens, community gardens, and window box gardens across the country. (The modern-day Victory Garden Movement is alive today right here in Milwaukee. http://thevictorygardeninitiative.com Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week Eight - Really, only 309 days to go? Come on, that's all?

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert June 13, 2010
Yes folks, that is sarcasm dripping every so sweetly and slowly off the end of week eight and onto this page. I don't know why I counted the days, but I did. And now as I sit here reflecting on the seasons ahead, and changes in food and food production ahead of me, it's beginning to feel daunting once again.

Funny thing is that the past week went by pretty smoothly for me. I'm in a food routine now. Sunday is my production day for the week, which isn't a bad thing when there's nothing else to do, and the weather is kind of crappy. I get up early Sunday morning, start a pot of coffee and then begin preparing for the week baking a loaf or two of bread, and perhaps granola bars or crackers. But summer is here in Wisconsin and the warmness of the wind, the voices of my friends, and the smell of brats in the air are calling me away from food production like seductive sirens. Read more...
Pam Mehnert

My New Friend - Pasta

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert June 2, 2010
I woke up around 6 am on Memorial Day to the sound of rolling thunder and a gentle spring rain against the window. Listening to the rain I thought I probably wasn't going to spend a lot of time outdoors in the garden as I planned, so my mind began to wander, and it went directly to pasta. Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week 6 - Digging Deeper into Convenience

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert May 29, 2010
Now that I'm over the emotional stress of last week I can talk a bit more openly about everyone's interest in my new diet. "How's that new diet coming along?" one of my neighbors asked, "have you given up the fast food yet?" To be honest, I've been rather surprised how many people are rather surprised by what I'm referring to as convenience foods. So this week I'm going to clear up a few of the mysteries surrounding my "rules" and my (somewhat arbitrary) choice of what comes out of a bottle vs. what comes out of the ground. I think of this as sort of a roadmap from processed food to the unprocessed life I've currently chosen
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Pam Mehnert

Week 5 - Don't Let A Three Bread Night Get You Down

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert May 21, 2010

I had hoped to keep this blog upbeat and positive for as long as possible. After all, a lot of people I don’t even know have cheered me on and have given me positive support to take on this challenge. But to be honest, I’m having one hell of a week. I knew this week would come eventually… I just didn’t think it would be this soon.
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Pam Mehnert

Fandango Food Adventure*

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert May 14, 2010

*WARNING – this post is rated ME for Meat Eater as the content is descriptive and contains graphic photographs. It may not be suitable for vegetarians.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I have two basic exceptions to my diet of inconvenience. The first is that I won’t turn down an invitation to a home-cooked meal, regardless of the ingredients that went into it. After all someone made it from scratch even if it wasn’t by my own set of rules. The second, most applicable when I’m traveling, is to seek out local food and local restaurants whenever possible. Following the initial misstep at a PF Changs on my first weary day of travel, I fell into a wonderful world of authentic food and culture starting with the three-day celebration that was my nephew’s wedding.
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Pam Mehnert

Week 2 into 3 - A Prisoner of Convenience

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert May 11, 2010
I had this vacation planned for a while now. My nephew was getting married out in the San Francisco Bay area, which made it a good opporunity to tack on a week and stay for some vacation time with my partner and friends. Since I planned this trip before I started my inconvenient year, I knew I’d need a somewhat different set of rules for time away from my kitchen.
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Pam Mehnert

My Sunday of Mass Production, With Recipe

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert April 28, 2010
I knew that if I were going to have any chance of getting ahead of the meal planning game, I’d have to designate some time for some real meal prep. That day was Sunday. Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week One - The Chart

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert April 25, 2010
Inconvenient – from scratch vs Formerly Convenient – from Outpost Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week Two - Production List

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert April 25, 2010
Leaving on vacation the end of this week, so I’m thinking I need to have things prepared for when we come back, or re-entry will be umm…too difficult? Read more...
Pam Mehnert

Week One - Oy!

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert April 23, 2010
So how was my first week? Well it started out pretty good! This project was going to be fun and I was energized by the support everyone was giving me. I figured out a few meals we could make this week, wrote a list, and then headed to the co-op.m.
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Pam Mehnert

Day One - Must Organize

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert April 19, 2010
Do you see that crying garlic container on the right in this picture? That pretty much represents my feelings as I take each bottle and can of my beloved convenience items and sort them into bags for my local food pantry. This is all good food, actually great food with great flavors from my beloved Outpost Natural Foods. But it’s the food I will do without over the next 12 months as I prepare my pantry for the single ingredients that will take their place.
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Pam Mehnert

Here's How It Began

A Year of Inconvenience
By Pam Mehnert April 18, 2010

For me, November begins the season of cooking and the celebration of comfort foods. The smell of warm, freshly baked bread, or a pot of chili simmering on the stove, bring back strong childhood memories of comfort for me. I learned to cook from my Mom, who sent me off to college with a hand-written notebook filled with all the recipes I enjoyed at our family table. I still have the notebook, and some thirty plus years later, I’m still cooking some of the same recipes – many of them now with my own twist on flavor.
 

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