There really is nothing like doing some work in the kitchen to make me feel settled, grounded. Drifting back and forth for ingredients, trying out new combinations and revisiting familiar ones; all with the joyful anticipation of tasty foods to put in our tummies.
The last two months has seen some quite significant changes in our eating habits and has made me think more carefully about what we are eating and how to get it all done. Having now two family members gluten free (me and Neirin) has made it essential to find a decent gluten free bread recipe, I’m really enjoying this one and have made it twice now. I can recommend going for the lower cooking time to produce a more moist loaf that doesn’t crumble too much.
On the recommendation of my naturopath I’m cooking in a more ‘tapas’ style, creating salads and side dishes ahead of time that can be quickly whipped onto a plate for lunch or to add alongside meat or fish for dinner time. I’ve been making buckets of my favourite quinoa salad, which goes with everything, as well as trays of roasted root veg, egg mayonnaise and of course masses of green salad. I love being able to have a full and tasty plate of food in front of me in 15 minutes flat and that includes the time it takes to warm up the veg!
With my Dad here I’m also making double batches of granola, the recipe referenced is from Feeding the Whole Family and I’ve never found a better one, I love this recipe because it is so flexible and can be adjusted according to whatever nuts and seeds I have in the pantry. To make it gluten free I simply leave out the wheat flour and cook it for the maximum time to make it nice and crunchy.
While changing to a gluten free diet has its challenges I’ve found having ready made food on hand to be the key; plus I can’t argue with how much better I feel and I now have a child who mostly sleeps through the night which counts for a lot! Plus, the truth is, I enjoy it. For some this kind of work is a chore, I understand that, after all do you ever hear me talking about my session down the gym or my latest spinning class? Nope you don’t. We all have our happy places and this is one of mine, but there are plenty of other things I don’t do, its all about the choices that work for us.
Huwyl and I wove our homeschooling morning around my kitchen work, him sitting at the counter while I mixed granola or chopped veggies. We are winding down for the summer and only have a couple of school days left, soon our days will be free for our own pursuits for a couple of months before we immerse ourselves in second grade. To me though, that hour felt like life should, busy with meaningful work but with no rush or stress, just finding our way steadily along our path, nourishing our minds and bodies as best we can.
Maths + Granola = Life. That’s the kind of equation I can get behind.