Let’s be honest– the real reason most of us became mothers was so that we’d finally have a small person throw open the back screen door on a warm, sunny day mid-spring and thrust a bouquet of dandelions into our hands.
Now that you know how I came to have an InstantPot (affiliate link) lurking in my kitchen, and you know some of the starter recipes that began my obsession with electric pressure cooking, I’m going to share some of the recipes that I’ve tinkered with now that I’ve gotten the hang of it. One key to remember: I’m horrible about precision in culinary endeavors. I’m the person for whom the note, “to taste,” was written. My printed recipes are, to paraphrase Captain Barbossa, not rules, but more like… guidelines.
Truth: I am not a kitchen gadget girl.
First of all, I’m far too cheap to actually buy tools for things that I have already figured out a way to do with something else. Case in point: for years and years, I had no rolling pin. I used a drinking glass turned on its side, just like my Mamaw did. Then, my husband bought me a rolling pin. I used it and loved it. It didn’t make the cut to move to Nepal so… I now use a drinking glass again. And I’m fine.
Second, I prefer small kitchen, and small kitchens rarely have the kind of storage space that gadgets demand. Actually, this is one of the things I like about compact cooking spaces: If you don’t use it, you don’t need it isn’t a vague notion. It’s an in-your-face, daily reality that prevents me from acquiring or holding on to extra baggage that will eat up valuable kitchen real estate. If it doesn’t haul its own weight, by golly, it has to go.
The weather has finally changed here… maybe even for good! I can’t tell you how excited I am to dive headlong back in to casseroles and soups and other warm and yummy things that make my house smell amazing. Fall is my favorite time to be in the kitchen; pumpkins and apples make me ridiculously happy. And gearing up for our first Thanksgiving in our own little home? Double prizes, as Phin likes to say!
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The rhythm of life here is different at Floating Axe Farm—even though the “farm” part of that name consists, for now, solely of 16 hens smack dab in the middle of the very awkward, very ugly pullet phase.
Coffee. It’s a must in the morning, and this morning, I botched it good. Forgot to put the pot far enough into the coffee maker so that before I realized it, most of the coffee was spilling all over the countertop and what made it into the pot was so dark it looked like sludge.
The whole time we lived in North Carolina, I wanted to paint the huge cabinet that anchored our family room. When the piece was unloaded from the truck that brought it to our house– part of a generous load of furniture donated by friends of friends– I saw it and was delighted. I’d always wanted a grown up cabinet like that– one made of real, heavy wood, with actual doors, and that didn’t require assembly. I wasn’t wild about the light oak finish, but I was so excited to see it in place that I decided we’d move it in, then move it out for refinishing when I’d made up my mind what it ought to look like.
Sigh. We’re not farmers, and trying to learn how to farm during our mid-40s, well, it’s trying. Continue reading
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home
–Phiilip Phillips, “Home”
Have you ever been in a circumstance where the blessing placed in your lap is so good, so deeply, amazingly, good that you are almost afraid to blink, lest it should somehow dissolve into dream?
That’s where my heart lives right now.
You live your life, day in and day out.
You cook in the same kitchen, hug the same children, pull on the same shoes when you need to run to the car. This is life, and you are living it, in the trenches, present and in the moment. The ceramic insert to your crockpot breaks, and you’re shocked to find that replacements aren’t available, as that model was discontinued seven years ago. Is it possible that the baby’s nails need to be trimmed again? Didn’t you just do that? One day you realize that it’s time for a new laundry hamper, and wonder exactly when the side to this one split open. As you’re pressing your lips to your 8 year-old’s forehead, it dawns on you that it’s time to trim back that mop of bangs flopping over his eyes. Your shoelace snaps as you pull it taut, and it occurs to you that you’ve been tying these same shoes onto your feet for the past four years. Has the toddler really outgrown that 2T zip up hoodie? And we don’t have one in the next size up? Surely he can make due with the 4T. I’ll just roll the sleeves and it will hang a little low.