I am happy to start the new year with the first of a series of posts on the subject of "feeding our families". I will be posting a different topic related to this subject on the first Monday of every month throughout the year. I was very enthusiastic when Renee from Heirloom Seasons invited me, along with some other Mama bloggers, to link up and share ideas about this. You can find the list of the other participating bloggers at the end of this post. I encourage you to visit them (these ladies are all so inspiring!).
To start, I would first like to welcome you into my kitchen, because this is the place where most of the planning, preparing, cooking, baking, organizing and preserving that goes into feeding my family happens. So please pour yourself a cup of tea and take a moment to step inside...
Our kitchen is covered from floor to ceiling with open shelving. Our shelves were built with the help of a friend. I really love them, they help to keep this space (as) tidy and well organized (as possible). Each thing has it's place.
|I will write about my many cookbooks in another post|
We have a cupboard where we keep our jars of home canned goods: applesauce, jam (strawberry, lingonberry, cranberry, apple butter and marmalade), dill pickles (cukes from our garden), dilly beans (also from our garden), green tomato ketchup and dried wild mushrooms.
|my soup pots, mixing bowls and baking supplies|
I have lots of artwork on the walls. I spend so much time in this room, I like to surround myself with things that inspire me...
|my Pheobe Wahl wall and our handmade beeswax candles hanging on a branch hook from Tonya's shop|
|Nikki McClure poster|
|artwork from the children here, there and everywhere|
|Kitchen Prayer from May All Be Fed|
I have a small old electric stove. My favourite kitchen instrument is my cast iron skillet.
Not technically in the kitchen, but just outside of it and in the middle of our house and living space, is our wood stove cooker. On most days, you will find a pot of soup simmering on it. You will also find clean diapers and wet mittens drying next to it and children or cats snuggled in front of it. It truly is the heart of our home.
|a learning tower lent to us by a friend|
Now that you have an idea of our space, let me share with you some of the foods that we are preparing these days… As well as lots of warming soups, I love to have fresh sprouts at this time of year. It's a very easy and economical way to get some fresh and crisp homegrown vitamins in the middle of winter. Vegetable seeds (radish, broccoli, kale, to name only a few...), legumes (lentils, peas…) and grains (quinoa, kamut berries…) can be sprouted. They make a great crunchy addition to any sandwich or salad.
|alfalfa, brown lentils and mung|
For those of you that have never tried sprouting, it's very simple. You only need a spoonful or two of seeds (perhaps more for bigger legumes or grains).
First soak your seeds (or legumes or grains) in water overnight. I put mine in a large jar and cover it with a piece of mesh or cheese cloth held by a screw top or elastic band.
The next morning, drain then rinse and drain again and lay the jar on it's side. You can prop it up a little so that it continues to drain.
Cover it lightly (the opening must breathe) with a kitchen towel to block the light.
Continue to rinse every morning and night until you see sprouts. You may then leave your jars uncovered in the window for a day or so (for chlorophyll). When you are satisfied with your sprouts (this should only take a few days, shorter for legumes), cover and keep in the refrigerator. Children love to watch things grow, so it can be fun to involve them in the process.
To use your sprouts, here is a delicious recipe that my friend Annie shared with me a few years ago and that we make on a regular basis. It is really (seriously!) delicious and keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.
Sprouted lentil and quinoa salad
for the salad:
1 1/2 cups of sprouted (or cooked) lentils
1 1/2 cups of sprouted (or cooked) quinoa (could use cooked rice)
1 sweet pepper chopped
1 small red onion chopped
for the dressing:
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp curry powder
a sprinkle of turmeric
1 tsp of ground cumin or coriander
2 tablespoons of tamari (or soy sauce)
Mix everything together and let it marinate at least 30 minutes before serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I leave you with the list of other blogs linked to "Feeding Our Families".