This week, I wanted to share with you a little glimpse of three random days in my family’s life: what we eat, what we do, and how I don’t get it all done. There’s unanswered emails, unwashed clothes, piles of dishes, forgotten leftovers lurking in the back of the fridge. By sharing this with you, I want you to know that there’s no perfect. My husband and I are blessed to work from home, so our life centers here, and I still can’t get everything done. We eat out more than I’d like. There’s always a load of dishes. A half-made kitchen project and failure after failure in dishes (yes, I only post triumphs for Nourished Kitchen, not failures).
So this is what our little life looks like. And if you’d like to follow along more closely, I often post glimpses here and there to Nourished Kitchen’s instagram feed.
It’s time to make sauerkraut
6:30 AM. I wake up, pull my laptop into my lap and start working. It’s the same story: posts, emails, posts, emails with my editor and designer for the cookbook that’s due out next spring.
9:00 AM. My little boy wakes up, and we file into the kitchen to make breakfast. Scrambled eggs with herbs and cheese, chopped tomato salad, sliced apples, buttered toast. We have circle time, where we light a candle, sing songs and talk about the upcoming day.
10:00 AM. I get a shower, while my husband and son clean the kitchen and prepare for homeschool. They work on some reading, writing and poetry. I get back to work. It’s snowing outside and my yard looks like both winter and fall at once.
Noon. We have lunch. Leftover soup and grilled sausages, with sour pickles we put up in the summer and sourdough einkorn bread. My husband and son clean up the kitchen, and I set out our supplies for homeschool.
1:30 PM. My son and I make a wreath after gathering some yellowed aspen twigs from the yard, and by repurposing the bouquets of flowers my husband purchased for me earlier in the week. We hang it on the door, clean up the ridiculous mess we made, and head outside to play in the snow.
2:00 PM. I come back in, and prepare a Slow-roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Preserved Lemon for Dinner. Then I go back outside to play when I should be cleaning the fridge (it’s gross), and putting away clothes. Playing with my kiddo is FAR more fun, though.
4:00 PM. We come back inside, and I make hot cider. Plain for my little boy, and with an added boost of ginger liqueur for my husband and I. I have 4 gigantic heads of heirloom cabbage that’s been staring me down for the last three days, and finally my husband and I sit down, set to task and start shredding our way through the cabbage to make homemade sauerkraut. We pack our Polish-style fermenting crock FULL of shredded cabbage, and I develop a blister from cutting so much cabbage. A friend stops by to pick up our food waste. She feeds it to her pigs, so very little gets thrown away in our home – almost everything is recycled, repurposed or reused in some fashion.
4:45 PM. My little boy invites his friend over, and they’re in and out of the house, playing like made and tracking leaves and mud throughout our home. I make them a snack of chopped apples, almond butter and more hot cider.
6:45 PM. Dinner is ready, and we sit down for Slow-roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Preserved Lemon, and a big salad with tomatoes because we have more tomatoes than I know what to do with coming into our home through our CSA. I mean to make some more yogurt, but I forget. I mean to soak beans, but I forget. My husband cleans up the kitchen, and I head into my office to get some more work done while our son cleans up his room and his toys.
8:15 PM. We set up blankets and pillows on the couches in the living room. I make popcorn with butter and nutritional yeast, and we settle in to watch a movie: National Treasure. We’ve been studying about the revolutionary war and America’s forefathers, and thought it might be a fun way to discuss fiction vs. nonfiction in relation to our studies. We can’t get through it, and end up heading to bed.
9:00 PM. It’s off to bed. I snuggle in the little boy. He falls asleep quickly, and my husband and I head to bed. I had intended to make yogurt today. I had intended to thaw meat for tomorrow’s dinner. And I didn’t.
It’s Snowing (again)
6:00 AM. I suffered a rotten night of sleep again. I woke up at 3:00 AM with things revolving around in my head, drifted back to sleep and woke up again only half-rested. Before I stretch, or drink a glass of water, I pull my laptop into my lap and start working – answering emails, sending out newsletters, answering emails, checking Nourished Kitchen’s social media streams, answering emails.
9:00 AM. My little boy wakes up, snuggles into bed and announces he’s H.U.N.G.R.Y. I stop working. I meant to flake and soak oats last night (I use this grain grinder/oat flaker combo) so we could have soaked oatmeal porridge this morning, but I forgot. We had scrambled eggs yesterday, so I don’t want to make that again. I resolve to make soft-boiled eggs with bacon. It would be good with toast, but I have no bread so I slice up an avocado. Something distracts me, I forget about my eggs and before I know it, they’re hardboiled. So we have hardboiled eggs, avocado, and bacon for breakfast, and my little boy is irritated. After all, you can’t dip a strip of crispy bacon into a hardboiled yolk.
9:30 AM. I finish some work up, and my son and I set up homeschool for the day. We work (very loosely) from a Waldorf-inspired Curriculum. We read animal stories, draw pictures. Practice writing, play alliteration games and do some math problems focused on the four processes, translating word problems into action and into written form. He’s having fun, and I am too. We finish playing a game of Dinosaur Monopoly we started last night.
Noon. Right now I have 25 pounds of quince, 40 pounds of apples, 20 pounds of olives and 10 pounds of hot peppers waiting for me to preserve them. I know we’ll need to eat again, and, again, I have nothing prepared. My husband says we should just go get Mexican food, but I ask him to stick our leftovers into the oven (kale and egg pie, and broccoli chicken casserole) so we can save money. Our son is playing on his own, and my husband and I start in on the quince.
12:30 PM. About 15 pounds into the quince, we pull out lunch from the oven, only to realize it’s terrible scorched. We go out for lunch, to a Mexican joint. Cheese dip. Chips. Tacos with avocado and achiote chicken. And a margarita (for my husband).
1:30 PM. We return home, finish the quince. I start making membrillo, then I burn the bottom of the membrillo. I pretend it’ll be okay, but the contents of the entire pot taste faintly smoky. Feeling all dejected, I go back to the office and continue working – meal plans, emails, posts, and working on some photos for the cookbook that’s coming out next April: Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle.
3:00 PM. I wrap up in a scarf, hat and coat. My little boy and I play soccer outside on piles of fallen leaves dampened by the morning’s snow. He wins. 12 to 3. I try to go inside and finish working. Laundry needs to be put away. My office is a brutal mess. But, my little boy pouts, and I stay outside playing tag, playing soccer and running around. It’s my exercise for the day.
4:30 PM. My husband and I walk our son to his martial arts class. We should go back home and start making dinner, but, instead, we’re so overjoyed at being alone (a rarity) we decide to take the time and have a date at the local rum distillery. We snack on popcorn, and have a cocktail and revel, kissy-faced, in each others’ company.
5:45 PM. We pick up our son, and head home. I make Potato and Poblano Pepper Soup (following this recipe, only using white potatoes instead of sweet). I chop up some apples for dessert. Nothing fancy. Not even close.
6:45 PM. We eat. We talk about our day. And we settle in, watching an episode of the old Star Trek on Netflix.
8:00 PM. It’s bed time. While I put our little boy to bed, my husband cleans the kitchen. I fill up hot water bottles. We live in and old, drafty house and the hot water bottles keep us warm all night despite the creeping cold. We read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. My husband finishes up, comes in and reads Electric Ben.
9:00 PM. My husband and I head to bed. Burnt membrillo’s still in the pot. Oats are yet unflaked and unsoaked. I meant to start some bread for No-Knead Sourdough, and that didn’t happen either. We make love. We watch some Louis on netflix, and fall asleep.
Art Class and Not Cleaning
6:00 AM. I wake up and start working. Emails. Newsletters. Social Media. Emails. Emails.
9:00 AM. My son wakes up, and comes into bed with us to snuggle. After a few fidgety minutes, he runs off to take his shower, and I get out of bed to make breakfast: eggs fried in butter with melted cheese, chopped tomato with garlic salt, fresh avocado, hot chocolate.
9:30 AM. I start removing several pounds of garden huckleberries from their stems. I think I’ll make a huckleberry cobbler … or something. Something that’ll dazzle you, only that it probably won’t. I get distracted by an email that comes in on my phone, and I get back to work. I listen to the Real Food Con, but don’t stress about not hearing everything because I plan to order the Full Real Food Con Package with recordings, videos, cookbook and all the bonuses.
10: 30 AM. My husband and I get a shower together while our son practices Reading Eggs on the computer. We talk about Christmas, and plan to save the money we would have spent on Christmas for a vacation later in 2014. We plan to do handmade gifts this year.
11:30 AM. I finish up a few items for work. And the huckleberries I intended to make into something are sitting in a colander in my kitchen sink.
Noon. We have lunch – a big salad for me with greens, onions, sweet peppers, bacon, brussels sprouts, boiled eggs.
1:00 PM. We check the mail. Then my son and I head over to his art class. He takes art once a week with a local artist. It’s a 3-hour class, and that usually affords my husband and I time to finish work, and to clean the house, but today I’ve accepted my son’s invitation to go to class with him. We sketch spooky Halloween scenes. We make a collage based on our sketches, and we paint pumpkins.
4:00 PM. My husband meets us, and we walk home together. While I should be cleaning, I need to finish some emails and handle some work instead.
4:30 PM. We walk our son over to his martial arts class, and then go to the library to drop off a few overdue items. We walk home, and pack. We’re leaving for a long weekend to visit family. I realize that I forgot to thaw meat for dinner, and I haven’t any beans soaked either. We decide to go out for sushi.
5:45 PM. We pick up our son, and walk over to the sushi joint. We order a few rolls, some sashimi and my husband and I split a flask of sake. We watch the Red Sox on the TV.
7:45 PM. We finish up, and head home. I put the huckleberries into a container and put them in the fridge. That dazzling huckleberry cobbler, gratin or whatever will just have to wait. My husband flakes some oats and soaks them for breakfast.
8:00 PM. I handle some last-minute emails and other work while my husband and son fill up hot water bottles for bed time.
8:45 PM. It’s officially past bed time now. We all snuggle into my son’s bed. He reads to us, and my husband plays a lullaby on the guitar.
9:30 PM. My husband and I head to bed. We talk about business, plans for the long weekend, and we fall asleep. My office is still a mess. The membrillo is still in a big pot, untouched on my counter, and our entry way is loaded with random junk that wants recycling, repurposing or selling in a garage sale. And I’m okay with that.