Growing Goodness

A little boy once told me that my pastries taste so good because I bake them with butter and love.  What a great way to motivate any person to cook and bake real food again! 

Real food. I feel like a lot of people have lost touch with what that means.  For our family I cook with fresh produce, whole grains, yes my homemade dairy products, lean meats...mostly all animals shot or caught by my husband.  Our boys have actually gotten so used to hunting that our oldest will see a bunny in the backyard and yell for Papa to get his gun to shoot it for dinner.  I am missing the summer months when we go out to the garden to decide what we want for lunch.  Everyone should have a garden just to experience the amazing flavors and satisfaction that come from growing your own food.  When you have to grow those vegetables that go into the spaghetti sauce, then make the sauce, after you made and rolled out your own look at food so differently.  Flavors come alive and you find yourself enjoying every single bite.  Some people would say that sounds like a lot of work (one being my mom) but knowing exactly what my family is eating and not that the first 50 ingredients are preservatives and things I can't even pronounce, makes it all worth it! 

I remember reading a comment somewhere that said if you want a piece of apple pie go to the orchard, pick the apples and make your own pie crust.  You won't sit down and eat half a pie in one sitting because someone else put the time into making it; instead you will want to share your hard work and love with those around you.  Most people wouldn't think to themselves "Hey these Oreo's are the best! I should share them with the lonely neighbor across the street".  But it would cross your mind to share a plate of Grandma's homemade cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.  

So I say put that real butter and love back into your cooking and baking.  For me, being in my kitchen is like being in my happy place.  When my boys are driving me crazy I whip out a cookbook and just pick something and go to it.  I usually have music on while I'm cooking so yes we dance around too.  But we have so much fun and they are learning so many skills in the process.  So yes, my five year old knows how to sauté and I let him use real knives (all supervised of course).  He also helps in the garden and even helped with canning last years harvest.  They know where their food comes from and the hard work that goes into feeding your family real food.  

With that I decided to make some homemade pizza making my own crust, sauce and cheese. This isn't anything new for us but what the pizza is served on is.  I asked my husband, Sam, hey how fast can you make a cutting board? Not only are our boys learning to make their own pizza start to finish but also how to make something to serve it on.  We pride ourselves in making things unique and custom....well it doesn't get much more unique and custom than that!   

Natalie Kohlhagen