Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Kitchen I Call Home

Good morning friends! 

Thanks to those of you who answered my facebook poll! I appreciate that all of you answered the same, apart from that rascal Genevieve, and have hence decided to continue as planned: full steam ahead. In that case, considering that next Tuesday marks our courageous entry into meal planning the nourishing way, I think we need to spend a little time setting up shop. First we'll discuss the pantry, then the equipment and finally the people who make the kitchen tick. 

So, today it is my plan to briefly introduce my kitchen and divulge a couple of its most delicate secrets. 

Kitchen, these are my friends. 
Friends, this is the Modest Kitchen at The Nuttings:
{yes, we named our homestead after the folks who bought this house first, those who made a home of it and left us with their knocker. Thanks, Nuttings, whoever you are!}

My pantry has:

Almost exclusively single-item foods:
  • raw vinegars
  • virgin coconut, olive and sesame oils
  • organic dehydrated sugar cane juice
  • Jars of bulk grains that vary frequently
    • anasazi beans
    • black, white and pinto beans
    • quinoa
    • millet
    • short grain brown rice
    • good quality wild rice
    • lentils
    • yellow and green split peas
  • Sea salt with trace minerals
  • Raw, local honey
  • Fish Sauce
  • Canned coconut milk {without additives}
  • Organic dark chocolate bars
  • Carob powder
  • Fresh onions, garlic, ginger
  • Dehydrated nuts and fruits
  • Hopefully a tin of homemade cookies

My fridge has:

Almost exclusively local, whole and/or  home-prepared foods:

  • Raw Jersey milk and cream
  • Cultured pasture butter
  • Cultured cream cheese
  • Creme Fresche 
  • Raw cheese
  • Farm fresh local eggs
  • Jars of homemade whey
  • Jars of kombucha tea
  • Jars of homemade stocks
  • Jars of homemade soups
  • Tuppers of pre-soaked and cooked grains
  • Delicate gluten-free flours/rolled oats
  • Organic veggies depending on the season. Now:
    • carrots
    • celery
    • parsley {though my plant just bolted, so no more when its gone}
    • arugula {same story as the parsley. :( }
    • cabbage
    • chard, kale or mustard
    • yams, purple potatoes, yukon golds
    • yellow and green zucchini
    • Delacotta squash
    • Spaghetti squash
    • The occasional treat {non local!} avocado
  • Fruit
    • heirloom tomatoes
    • apples
    • pears
    • grapes {with seeds}
  • Meat
    • Organic uncured bacon
    • Turkey sausages {with as few ingredients as possible}
    • Grass-fed beef 
    • Free-range chicken
    • Home-prepared leftover roast beef for sandwiches
  • Fermented foods
    • home-fermented pickles, carrots, relishes
    • fermented soy sauce
    • sauerkraut
  • Condiments
    • good dijon mustard
    • my sister's homemade jams {wishing for more for Christmas!} ;)
    • cashew and/or almond butter {peanut's fine, but little A's allergic}
    • tahini paste
    • organic catsup for the kids
    • grade B maple syrup

My freezer has:
  • Local fruits from summer
  • Meats I picked up on sale
  • Jars of my soups and stocks in case of sudden illness
  • Bananas from when they were at least grown in the country
  • Any flours I want to last forever
  • Any grains I suspect of having weevils {mass produced popcorn kernels. I need to find a better source}

What I Purged or Ceased to Buy:

  • Large quantities of canned foods
  • Processed vegetable oils
  • Purchased crackers, cookies, chips and cereals {due to almost inescapable quantities of rancid bad-in-the-first-place oils like corn, soy and partially hydrogenated oils. 
  • Candy, obviously
  • White flours and sugars
  • Syrups
  • Poor quality tuna {I need more education here. I currently don't eat tuna, but I will. Just need to learn how to select  the good stuff.}
  • Snack bars
  • {most pasta}
  • Everything with any ingredient {including natural flavors} that I didn't understand or knew to be artificial. 
  • Boxed dinners
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Instant potatoes 
  • Soda-Pop

Now keep in mind: it's taken me six months to set this shop up!

If you're new to this, 
remember to take one little step at a time

This video is clear and simple.  Not overwhelming. Gives you a place to start as well as some great scientific insights into why we do this in the first place. 

The Heart of the Matter

We'll get more into this in a couple days when I discuss my own change of heart toward the kitchen, but I'd like to mention now that this is not a fad diet. This is not an experiment {though an experimental attitude will do you well} For me, this is a lifestyle. I am allowing my life to re-center on Christ Jesus and his indomitable will for my life. It is a lifestyle of contentment where peace in the home becomes the thing that encourages a worn-out husband, fuels children's brains and readies them for creative thinking, gives space for individual growth, gives a respite for all who enter, and constantly speaks silently of God's grace - which none of us deserves, but each of us receives. 

My desire for my home is not earthly perfection. It is not to prove I'm "with-it" or the image of a perfect home-maker, hippy or Bellinghamster. It is only to do the most with what I'm given. I choose to steward my resources and time in a way that benefits my family on every level to the best of my ability.

I will not always be a homemaker. I do not believe I will. At very least I can honestly say I will not always be a  mother to children. But today I am and today I will wake up early and do my job to the glory of God. 

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