Doris Janzen Longacre, in her best selling More-with-Less cookbook, wrote that more-with-less ideology is “not about cutting back, but instead it’s about living joyfully, richly, and creatively”. Although she urged her readers to think about world food shortages and what North Americans might be able to do in response to this, she also pointed to the community-building and hospitality activities centered around food. Holiday celebrations and potlucks are both good examples of community-building and hospitality activities centered around food. We should not want to forgo these. We can instead re-invent them. Longacre suggested simplicity and she quoted her home economics teacher writing, “Simplicity is the keynote of good taste”.
Simplifying can be accomplished by limiting the number of dishes served. It can be accomplished by limiting the number of ingredients in a dish. It can be accomplished by limiting expensive and resource-heavy meats and dairy products. One of the most appealing ways that I have found for doing this, is to look to the food traditions of cultures who customarily eat this way. We experiment with new cuisines. Simplifying does not need to equate with doing without. Simplifying meals can be thought of as a joyous experiment.