12 August 2010

Journal Update

When I started this blog I wrote: “In my heart I aspire to grow my own organic food, learn to cook what's in season and feed my family well within a tight budget. Simple dreams.”

Each week I am sticking to this notion of keeping it simple and not try to advance too far ahead of myself. I’m not here to show off my food styling skills (which, ahem, I currently lack) or prove what a star I am by whipping-up a gourmet meal each night - although if, eventually, I got to that stage I will have your support and encouragement to thank for it!

It is interesting to me that in keeping it simple, and slowing myself down to really focus on the task at hand, I am finding myself actually achieving more than if I raced through it (my usual approach).

This week, for example, I went back to one of the first recipes I learned from this blog – Megan. B’s roasted pumpkin and feta risotto.

This time I made sure I had all the ingredients before starting it (no last-minute dashes to the store) and set about following the recipe again, slowly and carefully. It worked – another successful meal that everyone loved eating and one I felt so good about delivering.

Learning to cook from scratch is just the start. My kitchen is slowly starting to reflect my new commitment to a simpler, more organised approach.

I’m clearing and sorting out the pantry – learning what ingredients I will need in advance, learning how best to store them.

I’m looking at what equipment I have, what I need, and how to organise it so that the cooking process is easier.

I’m starting to meal-plan – your recipes are helping enormously with that. Each time I receive an emailed recipe I start thinking ahead: what will I need to cook this one? How will it fit into our week?

The ripple-effects from this cooking “project” are extending into other areas of my life.

This week I started, in earnest, to learn to sew thanks to an early birthday present – a new sewing machine! It is an equally big challenge – and requires me to take it slowly and be focused. I wrote today about the “baby steps” I’m taking in sewing over at my other blog The Byron Life.

I still have much to learn, but already much progress has been made.

Tonight I’m cooking the red curry recipe from Michele H. (without the chicken!!) I have all the ingredients ready, and, just as importantly, I have the enthusiasm to give it a go.

That’s a huge change in how I was approaching cooking just a few weeks ago.


About today’s photo: That was my kitchen bench this afternoon. My favourite, much-loved, mixing bowl. A 10kg of bread mix (have not tried it before, but it has unbleached flour, no GMOs and no artificial preservatives etc).  In the background is a huge retro-pot I thrifted last week. I think it will be just right for storing flour for baking.


  1. Love the simple organised approach. Don't always practice it, mind, but I love it.

    And I love the Laucke bread mix, too. I use it as the basis for the soft rye bread I've been making all boyo's life...rich with blackstrap molasses and balsamic vinegar and caraway seeds.

    Oh...you want the recipe to that...?

  2. HI, I just got here from AMB.

    SOrry, I need all the help I can get in the kitchen too, so I have hit the follow button and will use some of your recipes along the way.

    You can see me at http://claireyhewitt.blogspot.com/

    Happy Cooking!