Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let's have a heart to heart . . .

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The reason I began this blog was to connect with you on a heart to heart level, to help you to grow, and encourage you to be adventurous when it comes to learning Back to Basics' skills . . .

I haven't always been so proficient in the kitchen. Momma went back to college to become an elementary school teacher, so Dad could retire early and become a full time farmer (in today's terminology, a homesteader). At 12 years old, I was cooking our nighttime meals, (dessert included) 5 days a week. Momma has always been a meal planner so, she left me detailed instructions for the meals I was to prepare. At the time, I chaffed at the simplicity of the meals I prepared, and was always begging for something a little more challenging. Who knew those simple meals would give me the confidence to be fearless in the kitchen?!!!

I discovered making food for those I love was one of my ways of expressing love, and also an outlet for my creativity. I also made a decision early on, that if I was going to cook, the food I made needed to taste great! Mediocrity would never do!

My cooking has evolved, and as I've become more knowledgeable  about the importance of using fresh ingredients in the foods I make, and realizing there are harmful ingredients in prepackaged foods, I've taken a more hands-on approach in the growing and preparation of our foods.

Family and friends gave me wonderful cookbooks to help me in my culinary beginnings as a young bride . . . Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook was my first step-by-step, photo-by-photo cookbook. It helped me confidently tackle more difficult cooking and baking techniques.

These are the wild flower seeds I finally got around to planting back in October 2012. The seeds were dated 2004-2008. I figured they were too old and wouldn't germinate . . . Boy, was I wrong!

In recent years, Food Network's cooking programs opened up a greater love for Italian cooking, and taught me how to use a big knife to chop up veggies (a very important skill to have). A wonderful little illustrated cookbook called ~ CHINESE COOKING CLASS COOKBOOK gave me my start in creating tasty Chinese dishes! And then there's You Tube with helpful, everyday people who sacrificially take the time to make detailed videos about pretty much anything I want to know about!

It doesn't matter where you presently are in homemaking basics, or how skilled or unskilled you think you are! What matters is that your willing to keep on growing! Like Will always says, "What's the worst that can happen?".

These plants had a potential that would never be realized, a beauty would never be seen unless their tiny seeds were planted. You possess potential that will never be fully realized until you are willing to risk trying something new. 

It's time for you to bloom!

The important thing is that you begin . . . You are never too old nor too young to learn ~ bake your first loaf of bread, roll out that homemade pie crust, whip up a batch of homemade Greek Yogurt, make your own laundry soap, the sky's the limit!

Take a moment to think about what new skills and foods you would like to learn how to make this year, write them down on a piece of paper, and put it on the front of your refrigerator or tape it to your bathroom mirror ~ a list of things you want to try this year. Aim for trying to do 1 new thing every month. You might want to go through the Improved Recipe Index on Over at Julie's to get some ideas.

We've included a Home and Health Recipes section with my recipes for homemade laundry soap, deodorant/antiperspirant, hair gel, etc. As I continue my search for a more chemical-free way of living, I'll be adding many new items. And there's a new section on DIY Pantry Staples with recipes for aluminum-free baking powder, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk (non milk), spicy honey mustard. I'll also be adding new recipes to that section, so check back often!
If there is a cooking or back to basics skill you would like me to feature, please let me know, and we can work on it together!

Don't let what you don't know, determine what you do. Life's too short to live in fear of failing . . . just go for it!

Let's choose to be fearless and keep growing!

I'm rooting for you . . . Over at Julie's!!!



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