Blessings In My Kitchen.

This is an exercise in positivity. I am a sensitive person and the current events of my world have me balled up into a big jumble of nerves. I can't stop thinking about it, reading about, fixating on it. It's like watching a train wreck, but bigger. I can't look away and yet I fear the outcome.

And then I starting thinking about manifestation. And so this beautiful sunny March morning I began to wonder what would help turn around this anxiousness/dread? Perhaps a bit of focusing on the small blessings that surround me every day. And so, here this morning are my kitchen blessings:


1. Awakening to find Sage in the kitchen cleaning the outside of our oven. "The sun was shining on it and it looked terrible so I thought I'd wash it." Love.


2. Another 1/2 gallon of perfect homemade yogurt awaiting me in the oven this morning. (Here is my homemade yogurt tutorial from last year in case you missed it!)


3. A fresh batch of live-fermented ginger carrots almost ready to eat on the counter, gently bubbling away. Lupine's obsession.

4. My first (messy) efforts at homemade nut butters in my new blender. Messy, loud, but yummy.


5. My new blender. I am thinking about marrying this small appliance. If I had a mind to I think I could make smoothies from rocks. Think blender with a chainsaw at the bottom.


6. The massive pile of locally cut, locally milled hickory flooring from a nearby Amish mill that will transform our house in just a few weeks.

7. Lupine's reaction to her discovery that when I was making the photos above I leaned on some honey with my left elbow. I'm being licked.

What are your blessings today?

25 thoughts on “Blessings In My Kitchen.

  1. Stefanie McLaughlin says:

    It is always nice to step back and see the things right under our noses that are so easily forgotten; your post reminds me of that too — especially with all of the negativity surrounding our state. Would you be willing to share your yogurt recipe? I make my own also, but need to tweak it a bit and am always curious how other’s do it.

  2. Jenn Bernat says:

    I’m drooling over your flooring. Local hickory? How awesome! Would you be willing to share the name of your source? The 100 year old fir in the center of my dining room is splintering and I’d love to replace it with something relatively local. I’d suggested ash to my husband because of emerald ash borer!

  3. jen says:

    I am grateful for fresh local spinach in my kitchen…currently being added to a big ‘ol pot ‘o soup! And, how about a bubbly five year old to entertain the wee one, so I can get the cooking done, yahoo.

    I fear that new flooring means you might actually be leaving our neighborhood : (

  4. Mikaela says:

    I go back and forth between feeling gut-wrenchingly sad about what’s going on (in our own backyard no less!), and being so awed and overjoyed at the incredible fight you guys have put up. Similar, I suppose, to how our governor’s actions take away some of my faith in humanity, but seeing so many lovely souls speak out courageously against what he’s doing restores it. Thanks for posting such telling pictures of all that’s going on! I find it hard, too, to think about almost anything else, but that I absolutely have to avert my attention in order to make it to the end of the day without a broken heart. Remembering to be grateful for what we have is so necessarily centering in times like these. I’m all for it, and I love receiving reminders to do so more often. But for the sake of debate (and to remind myself that it’s all about finding the right balance), what about this?

  5. Kim Miller says:

    Hey the comment box is back! I remembered your post a couple years ago about how listening to the news and NPR affects you so I figured the decision to take part in the protests wasn’t taken lightly. Glad you are finding some balance. Actually I read your blog for some down to earth calmness.

    Blessings today- being able to give my oldest the day off to just read, sleep and recharge.

    A vitamix blender is on my wish list.

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    We wont move until we dance around on our new floor for a while. Otherwise why bother? And yes, we will miss you when we do find our country home. Love! Rachel

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Yes, today was my avert-my-eyes to make it through day. It seems to be getting so much darker now around all of this than it did just last week. And for the sake of debate I am glad you brought up your link. I interpret it like this: blind false-positive thinking can send you running headlong into disaster. But finding the good in what you have and focusing your energy there, and honoring the inner voice that tells you what direction to move, that is valuable. That voice has never done me wrong, and using it as my guide I can move towards my better feeling place.


  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    Yes! Your email plus a few others and finally a phone call helped me determine what went amiss. Thanks for letting me know it was down! So yes, finding some balance today with the bag-over-my-head approach yet again. It is serving me once more. I could not bring myself to read his budget brief. I opened the file and started to skim and felt sick, so I shut it down. Maybe tomorrow. But probably not.

    The Vitamix was a recent splurge that I do not regret.


  9. Melanie says:

    Bummer! This is the method I’ve been using but it never thickens for me! It stays like a lumpy smoothie and that’s pretty much all we can use it for. Any ideas?

    Also, would you pretty, pretty please share your fermented carrots recipe? My kids would LOVE it.


    And I’m happy we can comment again. I was planning on emailing you today if I couldn’t lol!

  10. Rachel Wolf says:

    I would start with a fresh started, and be sure not to disturb it while it is culturing. That is the key. I have had good results with the powdered starter if you cant find a good local yogurt to start  your first batch with. And be sure you dont add too much. That is a sure recipe for disaster. Good luck! And yes, to carrots! Next week I hope.

    ~ Rachel

  11. Stefanie McLaughlin says:

    Thank you, Rachel! I am doing a lot of the same things you are — maybe adding TOO much starter though. My husband actually grows the cultures used for Dannon yogurts, so I get it straight from the source :). I loved some of the comments on the yogurt post about leaving it in the crockpot or oven cooling down. I suspect part of my problem is that I let it culture too long.

    Have you had any success adding flavor? I tried adding vanilla extract (the real stuff) after the milk had cooled down (so it didn’t evaporate) and it works nicely, I think!

  12. Rachel Wolf says:

    Because of the food plan we are on right now (GAPS diet) we actually now culture for 24 hours. Then I gently remove the jar, let it sit on the counter for an hour or two, and then transfer to the fridge. Some whey separates but it isnt chunky. I have only added flavors at serving time because I know that adding any sugar can really jack up the culture and you can end up killing them before eating time. Experiment! You will find your magic combination.

    Best, Rachel

  13. susan says:

    Yay for the re-appearing comment box! When I read this post the other day, I was grateful that after I accidentally destroyed our last jar of frozen chicken stock (arg…double arg), I realized I had enough ingredients on hand to improvise a lovely (and quick) vegetable stock for soup. Soup needed to fight off that familiar head tingle that indicates impending sickness doom. I don’t know if we’re going to totally escape the sickness, but I was grateful for the soup.

    I’ve wondered how well the Vitamix handles nut butters in real life – did it really work?

  14. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Susan,
    The vitamix is not an easy or quiet journey to nut butter. I imagined I could toss the nuts in and turn it on (like a food processor) and it would make butter. Instead I have to use the plunger and press them down onto the blades. But it worked, and we have cashew butter in the pantry. I couldnt do that with my old blender without destroying the motor.


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