Sunday, July 20, 2014

ten things about me that you may not know

I normally don't do these kinds of posts because they feel vaguely narcissistic, but I enjoy reading them when other bloggers write them. So here I am, baring my soul and sharing secrets of my life on the internet. Plus, you get to see a picture of a big sheep. How lucky can you be?
1. If I had grown up during the 70's, I would have been a hippie. Flowy skirts, long hair, a volkswagon bus with flowers painted on the side...the whole bit. Now, I just eat a lot of granola and call it good.
2. My favorite color is green.
3. My second baby was a planned unassisted home birth. I don't necessarily recommend it to others, for multiple reasons, but circumstances forced us to do it that way and it was an incredible, wonderful birth. I felt like superwoman for about three months afterwards.
4. I love Necco wafers. Anyone remember those? They're getting harder and harder to find.
5. When I was about six, I let my younger brother take a punishment for something that I did and never told my mom about it. That haunts me to this day (sorry, Sam).
6. I can't stand--cannot stand--for cupboard doors to be left open. Even when I'm at someone else's house, I have to shut them.
7. I want to live someplace wild and off-grid. Maybe not forever, but I want to experience life without electronics, time constraints and modern day noise.
8. I love going to town on rainy days. I also love staying home on rainy days. I love rainy days.
9. I don't know how to swim.
10. I can happily eat the same thing day after day, with very little variation. And I would be just fine if every single meal included tahini and chocolate.
11. (Ok, I know I said 10, but I thought of one more, so consider it a bonus). As a kid, I hated macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, and olives. Now I love all three.
Congratulations for making it to the end. Now please leave me a comment and tell me something about you that I might not know!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vibrant Food

It's no secret that I love vegetables and that I am a fan of fresh, seasonal ingredients. That's why Kimberly Hasselbrink's  new cookbook, Vibrant Food, has been so much fun for me to read. This book arranges fruits and vegetables by color and season, and provides endless inspiration for cooking and serving them.

Hasselbrink is the author of the popular blog, The Year in Food, and she brings all of the loveliness of her blog to this book. Beginning with the delicate colors of spring found in peas and radishes and working its way through summer's bright tomatoes, autumn's rich greens and apples, and winter's squashes, beets and brassicas, the photos and recipes make me want to try every single one! Rhubarb Compote with Cacao Nibs? Squash Blossom and Green Coriander Quesadillas? Broiled Figs with Za'atar and Pecans? Yes, please!

My one complaint about this book is that I wouldn't call it kid-friendly. Many of the recipes call for somewhat exotic ingredients which (1) tend to be expensive and (2) have strong flavors that I know my kids would have an aversion to. It would be geared more toward a single person or a couple interested in lighter, healthier fare, and who have a decent food budget and access to a really good farmer's market. However, I believe that anyone, regardless of their family situation, will enjoy reading it and be inspired by it. I certainly have been!

You can find Kimberly on Facebook here.

For more information or to order the book, go here.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, July 14, 2014

just a note...

Sometimes you just need some quiet, some time to re-prioritize and focus on the most important things in your life.

That's what I need right now. Which means, as much as I love blogging, I will be taking a little break. Not forever, just for awhile. See you soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

old-fashioned words

Recently I had a conversation with a friend in which she used the word decorum. She was talking about the current trend of grocery shopping in one's pajamas, and how she would like to plead with people to conduct themselves with dignity. Ever since then, I have been mulling over that word. Decorum. It's considered to be an old-fashioned word today, one that has largely fallen out of favor with the current generation, but what exactly does it mean?

The dictionary defines it like this:
  1. dignity: dignity or good taste that is appropriate to a specific occasion.
Much has been said and written about the whole issue of modesty and what we should wear as women. Opinions on the subject range from "hemlines below the knee, necklines above the collarbone" to "I can wear whatever I want and I am not responsible for your lust issue". Now that I have two small daughters, I consider this topic often. How do I want them to conduct themselves and what do I want them to show the world in the way that they dress?

My goal in teaching my daughters what to wear is not to put a set of numbers or rules on them. Rather, it is lead them in such a way that they have respect for God, for themselves, and for others when it comes to clothing choices.

I want them to have decorum.

I grew up wearing only dresses, and I have no problem with that. I had another conversation recently with someone who lived similarly and they were expressing regret over it. I don't regret it. I still believe that it is a wonderful way to dress. If I am going to err in the way that I dress, I would rather err on the side of "too covered up" than of "not covered enough". But we live on a farm and have a very active lifestyle so we now wear what we feel is appropriate to the occasion. Regardless of whether we put on jeans to ride horses or shorts and a T-shirt to work in the garden or a skirt to go grocery shopping, I want us to dress in a way that conveys dignity, modesty and femininity and that above all honors the One who created me.

As my daughters get older, they will have to make their own choices about what they wear. My goal, when they reach that point, is that their hearts will be turned toward God and that they will dress in a way befitting their position as women. My goal is that they will recognize their own value enough to not be ashamed of their bodies, but not to flaunt them either. Modesty. Dignity. Decorum. Let's bring back these old-fashioned words!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Roasted eggplant from the garden...

Peaches from a sweet friend...

Homemade pizza...

Embroidery hoop art above the baby's bed...

Homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes...

Putting up food...
Just a few things that have made me smile lately!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

knitting and books

Yes, this seems like more of a cozy, wintertime post...but it's not. This time of year, the afternoons are just too hot to venture outside, so we have a few hours for quiet activities in the house. Right now, that means reading through Ralph Moody's Little Britches series, books that I loved as a child and that now my own kids beg for. And making wool socks. Because by the time cold weather comes, I am determined that our feet will be ready. I bought this yarn at a local shop over a year ago and finally pulled it out when the sock urge hit me. I love self-striping yarn, and the fact that the two socks match closely but not quite exactly.
Many knitters are intimidated by socks...the tiny needles (four of them!), "how in the world do you turn a heel?!", the fact that as soon as you finish one, you immediately have to begin another. But once you understand the basics of how they go together, they are simple. And fast. My go-to pattern was written down for me on a scrap of paper years ago by a friend and I have it memorized, but I am thinking about trying out some new techniques the next time around. Maybe a different cast-on, maybe even a different heel. I can hear the squeals of excitement out there at this announcement. Livin' on the edge, folks...that's me.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

the nourished kitchen

As a long-time reader of the Nourished Kitchen blog, I was so excited to hear that the author, Jennifer McGruther, was publishing a cookbook by the same name. One look at this book and I loved it. It has all of the quality content and inspirational material of her blog bound into a beautiful, 300+ page book.
McGruther is a fan of Weston A. Price and has come to be known as a respected leader in the traditional foods movement. She promotes local, seasonal and sustainable eating practices using traditional methods of preparation. Her recipes center around fresh, vibrant cream of mushroom or store bought ranch dressing here! Instead, you can make dishes with names like new potatoes with chive blossoms and sour cream, strawberries in minted honey syrup, and sherried chicken liver pate with apples and sage.
While some of the recipes are very simple and would appeal to a wide variety of people (creamed collards), the book also includes some of the lesser known foods of traditional cultures, such as organ meats, homemade broth (made with bones and sometimes even feet!), kefir, and wild edibles.
Whether you are a seasoned Weston-A-Pricer or are just venturing into the world of traditional nutrition, this book will provide loads of information, encouragement, and mouth-watering recipes to try. Highly recommended!
For more information or to order the book, click here.
Like the Nourished Kitchen Facebook page here.
 I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.