Focussing on the Essential

Doing my marketing last November 1st,
I saw people selling these bags
called "Survival Kits".

Each bag contained a minimum number of simple ingredients
to make a soup: potatoes, carrots, one leek and an onion
with a vegetable broth cube.

I replaced the onion with a few sticks of celery that I had in my fridge.
The soup was simple and economical and tasty.

The next day, I added 3 tablespoons of red lentils and it became even more nourishing.

Each Survival Kit bag cost 5.- Swiss francs
and the money goes to an association which is very active
in feeding hot meals to those who are homeless
or in serious financial difficulties.

This made we think about what was really essential in life.
For me, it would be having enough food to satisfy my hunger
and having a roof over my head.
It is good to remember this when we think we want or need
certain things which are not essential to our well-being or our happiness.
On the contrary, many of these things encumber our minds and our homes.

In the same line of thinking,
I would like to show you a book I bought a while ago:
It's a reprint which was composed by Marguerite Patten
for helping women to prepare nourishing and healthy meals
for their families during times of food scarcity during the war.
The recipes are inventive and original and I really enjoy trying them out.

I am wearing a crocheted poppy today in remembrance of
Armistice Day on November 11th.
Remembering these events
brings us back to the essential.


  1. There are so many thing we think we need, that we do not actually need.
    I am glad we have been bankerupt, so that we are able to enjoy the simple things in life.
    Have a nice evening.

  2. St. Paul said, when writing to Timothy, "And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."

    Food and clothing ... and a roof, as you said. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. That survival kit is a wonderful idea, and your soup looks yummy! Thank you for mentioning Armistice Day! I hadn't heard of that day until several years ago when I was reading Kurt Vonnegut... Veteran's Day is nice of course, but I'm a little sad that the meaning behind Armistice Day is lost here...
    Thanks for this lovely thought provoking post.
    Kate :}

  4. What a great idea for the Survival Kit and donations. Love soup on winter days.
    Hugs, SArn xxx

  5. Our needs are really very simple aren't they? And, the Survival Kit is the perfect reminder of that. Wonderful, thought provoking post. It makes me stop and realize how blessed I am.

  6. This is definitely soup season and yours looks delicious! I can almost taste it. You know that I am trying to live a "less is more" lifestyle, and it really is very satisfying. There is so little we really need to live happily. The Victory Cookbook looks like a wonderful find, and I'm sure it will be fun to recreate some of the recipes. I saw photos of the thousands of ceramic poppies placed in London in honor of the WW l dead. It hard to grasp the huge sacrifice that Great Britain made in that war.

  7. Your post on the simple things reminded me of this quote I have on my sidebar: To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)." Your soup reminded me of the story of Stone Soup. The lentils with veggies sounded like just what i need to keep me warm! It's been snowing here for 2 days - all is white. I must E-mail you.

  8. I find it interesting that you had just bought the cookbook when you came across the survival bag; both dealing with healthy food on a budget. The soup looks delicious. Thanks for reminding us that excess is not necessary in any area of life...

  9. so good to think of what is essential
    to simplify life would most likely serve not only ourselves but the welfare of all life
    lovely photos of your soup and it's ingredients

  10. What a wonderful idea those survival bags are, and really makes you stop and think about all the things you have and how blessed you are.

  11. I love the idea of a survival bag and it really does make one stop and think how little we really need in life. And how delicious your soup looks! I just may try to find myself and copy of that recipe book...I remember my mother talking about the meals she used to prepare during the war, in fact some she made for us when we were young. Cream dried beef on toast was one of them...we hated it! :)

  12. The "Survival Kit " sounds like a wonderful fundraiser, and awareness-raiser, Sandra! As you've pointed out, it is so easy to focus past what we really need...we all do it.

  13. What a wonderful idea, and the soup looks so yummy, Sandra!

  14. What a great - and tasty - idea!

  15. Yes, yes, yes! Great post. I learned a lot about this way of living from my grandfather, who lived through the depression and the war. He had a victory garden in his small front yard in Montreal where he grew what he needed. He continued to grow his own vegetables until late in his life. His fare was simple but nourishing and always a feast. I try to follow his example.

  16. What a wonderful idea for a fundraiser to help our local food bank. I love soup also and vegetable is my favorite. Your post brings back fond memories also as my Mom always made huge pot of vegetable soup and would call me at work to stop on the way home to get a big bowl to take home for my family.