Nourishing Traditional Food

My friend Patrice Lanzner-Brown was right. One of the ways I love my family and really everyone, is to feed them food I have prepared.

I have been fussing at this entity we call hindsight lately, lol. (I am admittedly nutty in that way.) Looking back, I have no idea why I am just now, at 42 realizing that I have a passion for cooking and baking. I am one who takes great pleasure in the smallest of things. Feeding people good wholesome food, prepared with love, makes me downright giddy and teary eyed.

Right now as I type this, my heart is full. I love experimenting in the kitchen and am willing to try things I’ve never heard of (only to find out later it is a thing with a name). I enjoy learning from the results. We have a month old sourdough starter. Instead of looking up sourdough recipes, we decided to experiment and make up our own (again) and make a sourdough banana bread loaf. It is almost done and looks fantastic. I also got out a bag of apples I bought yesterday and peeled, cored and cut them to make a fermented apple sauce that will be ready in a few days. In the meantime, there’s a pint of fermented apple sauce for my family to enjoy and benefit from.

I also started the process of making more cultured butter for my family. My heart swelled with pride and joy to see my oldest take out some sourdough waffles we made an froze a few weeks ago. She gave them to my 2 sons, who happily gobbled them up with some maple syrup (which reminds me that we need to make more pancake syrup). It’s like a scene off some farm somewhere.

For me, food has to be prepared with real ingredients. This means I don’t do too much processed food. I enjoy making things from scratch that some never consider making. I am also big on making delicious fermented foods for optimal gut health. It pleases me to no end to bake a cake a bread, make fruit leather (like fruit roll ups) and more and have it be from fully soured dough for optimal digestion or fermented fruits and vegetables and see it all devoured happily.

I think I will eventually teach some of this to people around me. I tend to live in a bubble and think everyone knows all these things but I am finding more and more that this is not true. People have no idea that the oatmeal they are eating, thinking they are eating healthily, if not pre soaked, is actually not doing their body as much good as they presume.

I loved setting the record straight when my dear sister, upon seeing pictures of foods I prepared, assumed I had time on my hands that I surely don’t. She was shocked to learn how little actual laboring time I spent on the foods she saw pictured on my Facebook page. Anyone can prepare foods in a healthy manner and reap the benefits.

Anyway, I’ll stop here and just say I am happy to have finally realized how much I love preparing good, healthy food for others. I want to teach my children while young how to develop healthy eating habits. I hope they carry it with them and teach their children as well. And, I hope you’re eating well too.

Passions And Self Betrayal

One thing I have learned about myself is how little I’ve truly known myself. Because of the conditioning I received growing up, I did quite a bit of fitting into molds prepared for me, no matter how ill fitting they were.

I only felt valuable when I was doing something others thought to be good or useful. I needed to always be ready and available, no matter what. I needed to make others feel good about me, that was where my sense of self worth came from. It was an exhausting and terrifying way to live and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

I have lived, as long as I can remember with what I can only describe as a tightening in my chest. It would just sit there, flaring up when I was asked or told to do something that I didn’t want to do, but felt I had to do. I would ignore it and push through, thinking I needed to keep people happy with me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was betraying myself over and over again. I was putting others needs and wishes ahead of my own. The wounded little girl inside of me, who still desperately needs and craves love, compassion and care, was yet again being pushed aside, in favor of what others wanted. I refuse to continue to mistreat myself in this way. I’ve had enough of that and won’t keep abusing myself because it’s familiar.

I am having a good time learning to take better care of myself and in the process, the wounded little girl is healing and the tightness in my chest is decreasing.

I am learning, or remembering what I am passionate about. I have discovered that although I do many things well, they aren’t necessarily passions I hold. Singing for instance, is something I do well but it does not always bring me much joy. Too often, it has felt like a chore. It was something I needed to do because I could and it made others happy. I do remember times, especially in high school when I would sing arias, where I felt like I was a bird. It felt amazing. I liken it to flying higher and higher and floating and soaring. It felt wonderful at times. Other times, it was just expected of me so I did it, even when I didn’t want to. I felt selfish for not wanting to do it when it obviously makes others so happy.

I have no idea what God will do with me concerning that particular talent but I trust Him to lead me in the right direction. He always has; I know He won’t stop now.

In the meantime, I will enjoy discovering what really brings me joy. One thing I think is a passion for me is cooking and baking. I am having a blast making things for people. My niche is traditional cooking and baking. I like making things people don’t necessarily think to make themselves. Syrups, jams, butters, extracts (like vanilla), fermented foods like salsa, sauerkraut, kimchi, water kefir, sourdough, fruit leather, goat cheese, yogurt and more! I even make my own spice blends.

I am eager to see where God leads me next, especially when it comes to my passions. I have new burdens on my heart that aren’t heavy or hurtful but are for sure from Holy Spirit. I look forward to exploring them and doing something with them as well.

God bless you Dear Reader, Patrice