A Working Kitchen

There was a period of time where I fancied myself a cook, which meant I cooked a full meal for my family of four couple of times a week, the rest of the time ordering out or slapping together sandwiches or spaghetti. Though you’ll never get me to admit that a good sandwich isn’t a solid supper once in a while, I will say that considering myself a cook when I left our stove and oven untouched for days (sometimes weeks) at a time is somewhat laughable.

Not so long ago, I realized that I needed to do a better job feeding myself and my family. While I had always wanted to keep to a diet of whole and nourishing foods, I wasn’t doing much about it, claiming I wasn’t very good at planning out those kinds of meals and that it was far too expensive. It’s come to a point, however, where those are no longer reasons to not do it, but excuses.

So, before I had a kitchen that worked to only store and reheat mostly convenience foods or convenience foods disguised as healthy, I have swiftly moved toward a kitchen that truly works. It occurred to me most strongly today as I was putting together our weekly loaves of bread (I haven’t bought store-bought bread in a month). There were two mounds of whole-wheat dough on my countertop. Tikka Masala was bubbling in a crockpot, smelling fragrant, seasoned with fresh ginger and half a dozen other spices. And just above my head were three bottles of flavored, home-brewed kombucha and another jar put away just the day before for a week and a half long ferment.

Granted, today, being a Sunday, is a bit busier than most days, but lately I have found myself in my kitchen at least twice daily. I cook breakfast (or my husband does) and we’ve completely abandoned cereal. Eggs and toast or oatmeal or plain, whole milk yogurt, sweetened with maple syrup, always with some fruit on the side. Lunch is usually leftovers from the day before or one of those good old fashioned sandwiches (I don’t foresee M. giving up his love for a PB and J any time soon; me neither, for that matter). And dinner is made, sometimes even started in the morning if I’m due to work from the afternoon straight through until bedtime, in my kitchen, the days of take-out starting to be relegated to special occasions only.

We don’t eat perfectly, that’s for certain. The kids had their fair share of Skittles this past week and I had far more chocolate than I should have and even gave into a stop at a fast food drive in. It’s a work in progress, but there has been progress, markedly so, and even the children have noticed. E.’s best friend’s family own a small homestead and raise nearly all of their own food. They are our paradigm for healthy eating, and E. has asked repeatedly, “Are we trying to copy C.’s family?” I’ll take that as a compliment.

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