Well, here we are, the final challenge from Courtney to make our Home a Haven.
October 31 – Focus on the kitchen, the heart of the home. Cook things with pleasant aromas. Pick a meal the family can cook together – include everyone in a task and take pictures so everyone can remember moments in the kitchen together – test tasting, being creative, laughing and loving. Remove discontentment with your home or family and give thanks to God for the home God has given you to in which to create a haven for your family.
I grew up on Pop-Tarts, frozen pizzas and bologna sandwiches. Organic and whole foods were foreign concepts to me. I still gravitate towards these options if I allow myself to get into a rut, or just plain laziness.
I have been blessed to be married to a man who can literally pick up four random ingredients in our kitchen and make something yuuuuumy! He loves spicy, strongly-flavored foods while I still consider myself a picky eater.
After being married for almost seventeen years I have certainly grown to love more foods than I did on our wedding day. Living and visiting places around the world helped too.
I still refuse most condiments, especially foods made with mayonnaise like potato salad. I prefer to avoid foods that require a fire extinguisher as well. I have grown to love dishes with fish, vegetables and blends of spices I never dreamed of as a child though. For this I feel blessed. I want my children to experience this and to know how to make these dishes when they are grown and gone.
I recently decided to start with a few basic changes to get us out of the rut of busy-ness and boringness when it came to our meals. First, we have become consistent about getting our milk and eggs from a local, organic farm. I hope to add more items as I get more specific with meal planning again.
2009-The Family Cow Farm (and completely different hair)
Second, I have searched out more from-scratch recipes for the basic foods we like to have on hand. I found a marinara recipe on Food Network’s website that we enjoy for pizza and pastas. I started using a pancake recipe from a Mary Kay Cookbook I received as a gift in Dallas this summer. I’m looking for more options to reduce white flour use even in baking, but in the mean time I realized I could use non-bleached flour. (You should have seen my daughter’s face when she learned that our food is put food through chlorine)
Third, I am trying to use the less-busy days as opportunities to cook double batches and complete bulk-cooking for items that can go in the freezer. I did this for a few hours on a couple of different days before attending Relevant in October.
I love to bake so I make things like these cupcakes we served at the kids’ Halloween party (those are pumpkins-I said I could bake not decorate).
So, what do you love to cook? Do you have a great “emergency meal” for those days that just get away from you?