One of my favorite topics: food

Alright so I really love food. This is not to mean ALL food but rather GOOD food. I believe that food is ment to be a full body, full sensory experience. When I walk through my local market, store, farm stall, food group buying list options or through my own garden, I look at food with more than the abstract thought of will that feed my crew and give me little headache? (With all the mouths in my home it is a very real possibility that at least one person will grumble that they do not like something) There are times when we all want fast and easy but even then food should be amazing. I am not one that believes it will be every time, but I strive for sensory zen as often as I can. This goes back to living life with joy and to the fullest for me. How can a person live with joy if their food is “just okay” or with the attitude of “I filled me up and I did not gain weight” I just do not relate. I want the smells of make everyone dance and squirm with anticipation of what may be being put before them. This happens more often than not here with an average of 4 meals a day where at least 8 or the 9 children coming to the kitchen door asking if the smells they are getting upstairs are… (they love to guess) and the funny thing is I know they could just look at the menu outline on the fridge but they don’t because they love the game as much as I do. I make an outline of the basic protein source based on what I can get from which farmer at what cost as I am on a tight budget like most people. I then start a list of what produce should be in season and available from my garden, a local farm, or my buy club. From the list I pick with I THINK I will get but it can change and if so I change it on the menu (even if it is when I am making the meal) because I like to track things like this. I find it helps me know what I made and how many of the crew enjoyed it or how it mixed visually with the rest. The list is important here because we normally have three items of produce at 2 meals, and at least 1 produce item at the other meal and 2 snacks. For us we always have a cold vegetable option like salads or vegetable platters or simple a bowl of something. We also normally have a hot vegetable and then we always have a fruit for dessert in some form. I love the colors, textures, and flavors that blend and accent everything else. Produce just screams “take a bite of me!!!” and we oblige every chance we get. We have grains a lot and as much as I love them I have to be very careful. I have celiac and I am a diabetic. This translates out to no gluten for me ever and I have to limit the carbs per meal or my sugars spike and although I have had to add insulin to my life I in addition to my oral meds, diet control, and excercise, I want to keep the levels of insulin usage down for as long as I can. It is better for me in the long run. I love produce more than grains though so I burn my carb counts pretty fast. How could I not though I mean take a look at the salad we had tonight:  This is color and texture galore! Yes, this is a restaurant size bowl and it was all gone in one meal along with 5 pounds of steamed carrots, 24 kiwi fruit, more pork chops than I would care to mention (grilled with a Polish flair), and the most amazing steamed jasmine rice that was cooked with a vegetable stock! The feel to the produce while prepping the meal was a joy. The smells of the hot foods cooking had the house aflutter with guesses and giggles of anticipation. When we sat down as a family we talked, laughed, and savored together. That is pretty amazing and worth a whole lot of joy at the end of a long hard day. We had a small crew today of 13 people at our supper table and when we were all done we all had smiles on our faces and even while everyone did their chores there was chatter about the joy of life.

The joys of my life and minor intro into me

This is the first post of this new blog. I have never had a personal blog and fought hard avoiding running a business blog for most of a year before I caved and told my Entwined Vines partner that I would take on 1 of our 2 blogs. I avidly avoid writing as I am a horrid at spelling and grammar must have just skipped right past me even though I recal my instructors trying desperately to in grain it into my hard skull. So if I avoid writing so much, why am I writing this? I stumbled across WordPress through a different blog (gluten free girl and the chef ) and just felt the pull to play in this amazingly simple medium. I am like that though. I will be doing something and WOW I see this amazing thing that I want to try. I believe life is about living, and doing, and trying, and the simple joy of being alive is so remarkable that I have a hard time finding reasons not to just take the plunge and try something new; a new flavor, a new program, a new workout regime, a new craft. I have a full yet to me simple life that I love and find joy in pretty much every day.

I have:

    a husband that I have known and loved since the mid 1980’s

    4 incredible daughters that make me wonder why so many people cringe about the teenage years

   an in-home-childcare that reminds me how new and amazing everything really is and how to keep exploring life with gusto

   an ex-husband that I treasure and get along with that brought a whole nother family into my life

   10 crazy and whimsical chickens that try their hardest to keep my house supplied with the best darned eggs

   an extended family that helps push meal times to a minimum of 12 people 5 times a day

   a love of gardening, cooking, crafting, exploring, hiking, oh heck really I love so much this list would go on for longer than any sane person would want to read

  I also have my health which may be choppy and mixed up but it is mine and I value it.

I felt the need to share this joy with anyone that wants to read it, share it, comment on it because really life is ment to be shared.

 Take for instance, today my chickens for the first time all gave an egg. This is amazing! It is the tail end of winter here in the maritime north-west with short days, a wonderful smattering of drizzling rain to moisten the thawing soils and the temperatures are still in the 40’s (I know much of the USA is recovering from storms, snow, ice and the like) yet all ten of my girls gifted my family with an egg. This is abundance and is a treasured gift that had my husband and daughters all singing their praises. I tried to resist sharing a picture of them but failed dismally and that is alright because they are wonderful and gorgeous in their simple yard.  I have 6 red sex links, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 Black Austrolorps (1 is more silver but she is sweet). This year we are planning to make them a much nicer house and yard but the seem happy and again life is all about the joy.

Another aspect that makes this day so full of warmth and joy is my ex-husband. Why is this? I am so over whelming grateful that he is alright. He was driving back Oregon from Montana when he hit black ice and glided into the cement meridian at 55 mph. He already has a blown back from his time in the military and barely can walk because of his back. It took the ambulance over an hour to make the drive from the accident to the hospital. His wife was terrified and well so was I. She had received a cryptic call from my ex’s mother saying he was in an accident but we had no clue what State he was in at the time; Montana, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon. They could not find his cell phone at first and the person who had call the mother did not have any information either. We spent almost 2 hours calling trying to find out what was going on. When we did find him it was a nice wait to see how he came through. We are grateful and filled with joy that he is hard to harm and he ended up with nothing more than bruises, stiff body, another thing to attack his PTSD and a totaled jeep. All in all he is no worse for wear and that fills myself, my household, his household and a plethora of others with pure joy that brings tears to the eyes.

It is getting late and I am going to spend the remainder of this day with those I love with joy in the heart.