Monthly Archives: October 2015

Limbo

Our kitchen

Our kitchen, when we bought the house.

GAH.

That is how I feel with no fridge. Yes, we have the mini fridge, and no, no one is starving, but I am longing to have my proper fridge back. I miss having the ability to store a bigger quantity of food, and plan meals over a longer period of time, and the convenience of being able to just do a leftover night on the spur of the moment.

I suppose, in some ways, this is what it might be like to undergo a remodel — which I have contemplated almost from the moment we bought the house. I love our neighborhood and our sunny, south-facing lot, and I am of course grateful that we have a roof over our heads (no easy feat with six of us to house), in terms of style, our house is, well, meh. It basically does the job of keeping us warm and dry, and we have made a few minor updates since this picture was taken, but I know it could be so much more.

It feels a little weird to discuss this here on the blog — remodeling doesn’t seem like a particularly “Paleo” topic. But I think it fits in, even if it’s a stretch. Paleo is about making yourself healthier, which to my mind includes setting up your home to facilitate healthy choices. My goals for the kitchen, I think, will do that.

I want to add a full-sized freezer, so that we can buy a side of beef from a local farm and have room to store it. I’d also like to add pantry space so that I have room for fermentation projects like homemade sauerkraut and kombucha. I would like more counter space so that I have more room for cooking with the sous vide. Finally, I really want a prettier space to work in. That would feed my soul, which at times feels almost as important as making the practical kitchen functions go more smoothly.

I’m sure there are other things that I’m overlooking. If you’re so inclined, please do leave a comment with your favorite thing about your kitchen. I would love to know what works for you.

Kaput, or Get Well Soon Tea

I had planned to post a recipe this week, but I suddenly found myself in food blogger hell.
My fridge died. It requires some part, probably from the deepest pits of Mt. Doom, and untold dollars to set it to rights. So my recipe progress will be a bit stalled until that happens.

Oddly, the freezer is still working fine. Because of this, and because we purchased a tiny dorm-style fridge to tide us over, we have been, if not exactly comfortable, at least able to continue feeding ourselves. It requires regular trips to the store (not exactly daily, but close), which makes me feel very fancy and European. Ooh la la indeed.

This death of the fridge has coincided with my youngest girl being under the weather. She doesn’t want to eat much, but she does love sweet things. Since I had blueberries in the freezer, honey in the cupboard, and a tiny little squeezer of lime juice in the mini-fridge, I made this tea for her.
The frozen blueberries, aside from being chock full of vitamins, quickly bring the tea down to a reasonable temperature (cool enough for my little, but warm enough to still be soothing).

 

Get Well Soon Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin (I use Great Lakes, in the green can -- it dissolves perfectly)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/8-1/4 cup frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

Instructions

  1. Combine lime juice, honey and gelatin in a heatproof mug. Pour in boiling water; stir thoroughly.
  2. Add frozen blueberries. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/kaput-or-get-well-soon-tea/

 

Cussword!

Gah.

I have been reluctant to write this post, which I’m fairly certain means that I need to do it. So here goes. This is a little bit more intimate than usual for the blog, so if you just come for the food (which is totally okay with me — sometimes you just want some food!), feel free to sit this one out.

As you may have noticed, I took a break from the blog for a bit, because I wanted to concentrate on studying for my professional licensing exam. And study I did. Every day, for hours at a time, my world was condensed down to a coffee shop and a set of purple workbooks I grew to hate.
If it wasn’t a workbook, and it didn’t scream or bark, I didn’t pay it any attention.

Despite the months of effort, I did not pass my exam. Again.

This was pretty devastating, as you can imagine. All that time and effort. All the hours I missed playing with my kids and enjoying the summer, not eating right, not exercising — and all of it for naught. Just to find out, once again, that I was thisclose to passing, but once again fell short.

I’ve been rather down on myself as a result. Going back to school as a married woman with  three kids was hard. Having a baby in the middle of that was harder still. But I did it. I managed to get through it and looked forward to having a somewhat simpler life.
Yet this exam is the last hurdle before I can do what I’ve trained to do for years and I just. could. not. get it. What is wrong with me? I thought. How am I such a failure?

I think y’all can see where my problem is. Somehow, I decided my worth as a person was directly related to what I achieved in the world. That my value as a human being was only important as far as what I did, what I was able to do, how impressive I was able to be. How ridiculous is that?

I know better. It took me a really long time to learn that lesson, but I know it. Still, I am an academic achiever from way back, and I have a strong sense of myself as “smart”.
Smart is a big part of my identity and who I have always been.
So when faced with a professional/academic disappointment, I turned on myself. I forgot to show myself compassion, and gentleness, and support. I forgot to treat myself the way I would treat a friend.

Now, I’m going to tell you a little story:
Lately I’ve been trying to clean up my language. I am generally an unapologetic potty mouth, but our paleo baby is squarelly into toddlerhood now. Even better, he’s at that wonderful stage where as often as not, he parrots whatever I say. Since I prefer not to get kicked out of mommy & me activities because of my little foul-mouthed sailor, I started substituting the phrase “Cussword!” for what I really mean to say. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is nearly as satisfying as the real thing. (And highly amused when the boy runs through the house yelling “Cussword! Cussword!”)

So I’ve said a few (okay, more than a few) cusswords about this entire situation. I’ve careened between frustration and rage, and gone from despair to fury and back again. I’ll probably feel this way for a while longer. And that’s okay: I accept that I will occasionally be down about disappointments like this.
But I am trying to remember to treat myself as if I matter. To remember that what I do does not define who I am. That I am more than the numbers on a scoresheet, and that I am worthy of respect, from others, and from myself, simply because I exist. That I need balance in my life, and health, and that sacrificing those things, no matter how worthy the goal, is not how I want to live.

It’s a work in progress. But isn’t it always?

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