Friday, February 26, 2010

and we digress...

After dabbling (very casually) in healthier eating, organics, and a natural lifestyle for 13 years, we recently made some radical - and permanent - changes to the way we buy food, cook, and eat. I'm working out a post with more on that for later.

And I know I'm not done with the photo series. But I just had some
Random Kitchen Thoughts
to share and get them out of my system. As if anyone out there cares. But that's ok. It's called venting. Here goes:

 “traditional”, “nourishing”, “slow”, “whole”, “MOKO” (Meat Of Known Origin) – I don’t care what you call it, cooking this way is all-consuming and makes a BIG mess! Every pan I own, and several appliances are dirty – and the dishwasher is full and running.
 When you’re hungry, and in a hurry, it’s sometimes frustrating to look in the cabinet and only find … ingredients. Yesterday I licked a pinch of kosher salt, right out of my hand b/c there were no quick snacks. (and my tamari almonds were in the car) I kid you not. The new weight-loss plan … don’t eat, just lick salt.
 I *totally do* notice a difference in my children’s health & behavior, though, since starting this experiment, so it’s worth it. I've had fewer migraines, too, which is a big deal.
 It’s been almost 4 weeks since I’ve had a diet coke (or any other soda.) That's HUGE, ya'll! Almost had one the other night –took two sips and couldn't stand the taste! (and felt guilty, lol)
 I’m making stock today. The other night, I did a homemade roasted chicken (free range whole chick from TJs – in my new oven. Yay!) As I pulled the leftovers out of the fridge, I said, “now that’s a beautiful carcass!” C (13) pointed out that those two words should really never be said in the same sentence. He’s so funny.
 Lunch was soup & quesadillas. Took a *whole.block* of raw milk organic cheese! ($6 kaching!) in general, I’ve noticed we’re eating less cheese, though, simply b/c it’s so expensive to buy healthy cheese I can live with going in my kids’ bodies. Quesadillas were good, though – we threw in the leftover roasted chicken meat – yum!
 So … for soup, C found an old can of store-brand chicken noodle. Don’t know how it escaped my cabinet purge. He knew enough to ask if he could eat it. We read the label – MSG (spelled out, right there, they didn’t even TRY to hide it in something like “natural flavor”), soy protein isolate, and a dozen other ingredients with chemical names. Nope. Nu-uh. Not gonna do it – into the “donate” pile it went. So … you know what I did? I spooned some broth out of my stock, put it in a small pan, added some of the leftover chicken, and some broken WW spag noodles. Voila! “instant” chick noodle soup – the boys said it was the best they’d ever had. good stock comes in handy for so many things.
 Speaking of stock – as I was prepping it, K (3) said, “Mommy, are you making soup? I will drink the moth.” (she meant broth. Ha ha) We eat a lot more soup these days, homemade with our stock, and drinking the broth is something our kids are still 'learning' to 'enjoy.' :)
 Summary of my day:
o Got out of bed, threw on sweats & went to publx for milk (we were totally out of my local non-homogenized milk and poor little A (5) had made his cereal yesterday with my farm fresh cream -using nearly all of it and not eating the cereal, of course!) and celery for my stock
o Came home, fixed everyone breakfast, did #1 kitchen cleanup, and started the stock
o Yelled at some kids to get their chores done and get to school work
o Did kitchen clean up #2
o started the dinner - beef tips made with 2 big sirloin steaks from our share of a grass-fed cow. **note to self -if I’m going to be a butcher, I need a better knife!** The process did yield two good “dog bones” that I can use to make beef stock later…. ;)
o Did kitchen clean up #3 (partial – just moving things, really, to make counter space for fixing lunch – the popcorn maker and roasting pans are still sitting on the floor, waiting for me to wash them ;-P )
o With the help of the boys, grated cheese and shredded chicken for the quesadillas, started chick noodle soup
o Cooked lunch
o Ate lunch & read poetry to the kids
o Did kitchen clean up #4 and started the dishwasher. There are still a lot of dirty dishes, though – and the floor is NASty!

The kids are outside for now, and I’m going to get them in a minute and send the big ones back to work and the little ones to a nap. Still on the list for today: making plans for dinners for the next few nights, baking bread, and doing some prep for breakfast goodies and desserts while my mom is here. Not to mention getting the house ready for her visit and getting in a run (NOT optional!)

Man! Seriously – just put me a cot in the kitchen, cause that’s where I’m livin!

I know ya’ll are probably totally NOT interested in this, but I had to vent to somebody. Now it’s out of my system, and I can get back to it!


Andrea said...

I am WIIIIIITH ya girlfriend!! We really should just slap a cot right down in the middle of the kitchen!!!:-D
But I will admit that I wasn't grinning earlier today as my prep/cleanup took twice as long again today (I chopped my thumbtip off yesterday - speaking of better butcher knives!). Sometimes I am satisfied to be in there most of the day and other days (like today) I am exhausted and feeling selfish. I'll tell ya - the whoa-is-me thing does not help (talking about me, not you)! There's definitely a difference in learning to become better stewards of our kids' and our health btwn working hard in satisfaction at your job and struggling through in martyr-mode (that's my whiney sobby mode).
I think you're doing a GREAT job adjusting to all the extra prep and cleaning and time in the kitchen!! Do NOT forget that your work is pleasing to the Lord! Keep your eyes on Him so that you don't have days like I did today - self focused and sorry!
Good job on the no-soda, the stock and the 'beautiful carcuss' - lol!!

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

thanks again, andrea. though i'm not sure it's pleasing to the Lord when i gripe about how everyone should eat the healthy dinner i worked so hard to make! ;-P
"my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Robert Covington said...

I can't imagine how hard this is on top of your already jammed schedule, but it is got to be very rewarding to see a noticable improvement in the kid's health, have them complement your soup, and have C ask about the canned soup before he ate it. Hard work but great progress!

OneNila said...

Jen, this will all be a good thing that you'll get down so well and learn the ways to save time. One day you'll write about how it all came together like a melody in a song with each person learning their part and you being able to pull it all together in no time.
I think I repeated myself, but I hope you get the idea .It's kind of like a good day of home schooling...they don't happen all the time, but it's great when it does. Your diligence will pay off. Your efforts are inspiring. You're like an Olympic athlete in training, it takes a lot, but your gonna be good at this. 'nuff, said.
Here's a hug,

anna said...

some things do get easier - I am finding how easy it is to prepare a stock or a homemade cream of soup for the freezer while I am cooking dinner - sort of a multi-tasking kitchen thing (also, a glass of wine while you are doing it helps immensely :) and I promise I am going to get you that bean soup recipe!

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Yes, AM, eager for the bean soup recipe! I can't IMAGINE adding the extra element of fasting days. I'm sure it's a challenge for you to stay on top of the menus! ;)

Cathy said...

Sounds like you're doing great! We aren't as health eating as you are but we did have homemade tomato soup for lunch today. I'm addicted to it - made it almost every week since Christmas. Onion, garlic, tomatoes, stock, cream, basil and a splash of w wine. Excellent on cold days and with homegrown canned toms.

Wendy said...

I am definitely interested in this!! I've been trying to do some of the same things. And, no POP for me for almost 4 weeks too. Woo Hoo!

Do you have any books that you recommend on this issue? I've read several, but I know there are a ton out there.

Eating healthier is definitely more time consuming and expensive, but worth it in the long run!

Glad to hear about the headaches going away!

Mary@notbefore7 said...


Sadly, I know nothing of all of this. I know that God will bless this work of your hands though!!! If He leads me down this road one day, I know you and Andrea will be my "go to" gals. I admire you for following His call, despite the difficulties.