I recently read a comment about how preparing and eating healthy food sounds like a good idea, but this particular person didn’t want to spend “hours in the kitchen”. I do find it curious that activities such as cooking (and exercise for that matter) that foster good health typically have a bit of dread involved, or *suffering*. I mean, why wouldn’t we want to spend “hours in the kitchen” if it meant more money in the wallet now and less disease later? (And why does it have to such a woeful thing to take a half hour walk every day?) In any case, I was curious. How much time do I spend in the kitchen?
This morning I walked into my kitchen around 8:15am. We actually used to eat at 8:00, but I soon figured out that we all like sleep, especially in late fall when the sun doesn’t even begin to show itself until 7:30am. And anyway, we don’t have a bus to catch.
So, in a nutshell, this is what I did this morning:
- fed my sourdough starter
- refilled my wheat berry jar
- checked on the meat for tonight
- decided on lunch
- made up a fresh eggnog for hubby’s out-the-door smoothie (and for me, too!)
- took my supplements
- helped my 10yo empty the dishwashers (we have two)
- and made pancakes (scroll down for recipe).
My heart and mind was also occupied with greeting my wee children and encouraging them to get dressed and “up and ready” for their day, and checking in with the morning animal care.
That bit was 55 minutes long; let’s call it an hour. Then we ate, and then my kids took care of cleaning up.
I returned to the kitchen two hours later. This is what I did then:
- ground whole wheat berries into flour and mixed and kneaded for my sourdough bread.
- supervised and enjoyed my children’s candlemaking craft (post and pics coming soon)
- visited with a friend who stopped by (yay!) with boxes of empty jars for me (yay!)
- made tuna chowder for lunch (scroll down for recipe)
- ate with the children and our guest
- cleaned up the dishes
I returned two and a half hours later for the evening prep:
- formed the bread loaf, preheated the oven, and after proofing the last time, baked the bread.
- prepared our supper (meatballs, sweet potatoes, cucumber, and of course whole wheat sourdough bread with lots of pasture butter).
- cleaned up the prep dishes
That took an hour and a half.
Somewhere after supper I visited with the third friend of the day in the very same kitchen, probably for another half hour.
Before bed I cleaned the dishes, counters and floors, and then decided on meals for tomorrow, soaking a bowl full of black beans. I also put away the sweet potatoes that weren’t quite ready for our meal (ah well…tomorrow we’ll eat it!).
That was another hour.
So there you have it: seven hours worth of work. And for what? Well….for meals that will fuel growing bodies, keep them healthy and taste delicious besides. For memories in creating amazing crafty messes. For a warm place to love friends who need a hug and offer prayer. For more money in our pockets because fresh food made from scratch is a better value. For a clean kitchen that I won’t dread coming into in the morning. I dunno. Maybe it is too long. But for what would I give it up? Store boughten bread?
Tomorrow won’t be so long. Oatmeal for breakfast practically cooks itself. Lunch will be leftover soup just reheated, with leftover bread from tonight. And supper? Chicken that will boil on its own in a pot, with black beans that will slowly cook for a nice side dish with the soft tacos we’ll have. All I’ll really have to make tomorrow is the tortillas. Some days are long in the kitchen, but others are much shorter.
I guess we all have to choose where we’ll spend our time. As for me, time in the kitchen is time well invested, and besides, the children always know where to find me.
4 cups leftover whey from making Greek-style yogurt (you can use runny yogurt or buttermilk)
3 farm fresh eggs, separated
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla (homemade)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
mix all ingredients but whip egg whites separately and fold into batter. Cook as you would other pancakes, and serve with organic maple syrup, homemade applesauce, and fresh raw milk to drink (if you’re blessed enough to have that!)
Melt 4TB unsalted butter into pot (we happen to really like butter around here!).
Chop and saute: 2 leeks, 4 carrots, 4 ribs celery, 3 russet potatoes, 2 cloves garlic.
Add: 1 tsp kosher salt, black pepper, 1 cup wine, 2 bay leaves, and enough chicken stock to cover. I added a wee bit of dehydrated hot peppers.
After simmering and cooking veggies, add 5 cans unsalted tuna, 4 cups of milk/cream and a sprinkling of dill.
May the Lord bless your time in your kitchen!