Monday, March 3, 2014

Feeding Our Families

I thought I would share a bit more of our kitchen today.
We have very little, by choice, and keep our "things" to a minimum. 
Almost all of what we have is used regularly with a few exceptions.
On our large wooden shelf we have the rest of our garlic.  There is still lots so I am using about a head a day in my cooking - so good for you.  The mixing bowls are stainless steel with one pyrex I bought at a thrift store.  They are used nearly every day for our bread and baking.

I have a small collection of cookbooks.  When I need some new inspiration, I do some searches online but am open to purchasing a new one if it is really good.  Any recommendations?  One that I have on my wish list is The Art of Fermentation.  This is something I want to become comfortable doing this summer with our produce.  To me, it is a method of preservation that makes so much sense.  The process doesn't need heat/energy to preserve and the food retains their nutrients.

We use most of these very often.  The whisk every morning to mix the yeast and sweetener for bread.  The hand beater for eggs.  The strainer for rinsing beans or wild rice.  The ice cream scoop for our once a week ice cream treat.  The bottle opener for an end of the day micro-brewed local beer.
Currently, we don't own a blender or food processor and instead use a hammer or rolling pin when we need to crush something.  But, at some point I would really like a blender for cream soups.

The play kitchen is in the kitchen.  The children recently made a batch of play cookies with home made baking clay and painted them to look like frosting.  I made a little bunting with Renee's sweet granny squares to go above it.

This is our main work space.  The stainless steel counter top was here when we bought the house.  It is nice and wide and two people can work at the same time (or more) from both sides. 
I have just a few pots and pans.   All stainless steel and a couple of cast iron skillets.

Please visit these other wonderful women who are sharing today, some aspect of how they feed
 their families ~

Melanie from Our Ash Grove

Jules from A Little Crafty Nest

Melody from Bespoke

Sarah from Our Island Home

Taisa from Small Wonders

Lisa from Hullabaloo Homestead

Heather from Shivaya Naturals

Renee from Heirloom Seasons


  1. I love the simplicity of your kitchen. I really appreciate this series.

  2. I think you're very brave to tackle all that you do without small appliances, I live and die by mine! I admire your dedication to your family enormously. But as that wonderful quote in your previous post says, sometimes we have to fly too ; )

  3. That book does sound wonderful, Tonya! We have many similar books on our shelves, too...and our Joy of Cooking looks almost as well loved as yours. I also love my simple hand tools in the kitchen and appreciate their functionality. And you know what...we own a blender and I don't ever use it!
    xo Jules

  4. Hi Tonya, You might want to think about being on the lookout for a stick blender. I found mine in a thrift store for $3.00. It is the best thing I have for cream soups, you can use it right in the pot while it's hot and it really works well, even when you are feeding a big family. Plus I like that it is smaller than a regular blender so it takes up much less space to store.

  5. I was also going to recommend a stick blender (immersion blender)! I like being able to store it in a drawer and not have a blender taking up counter space. I use it for pureeing soups, sauces, making pesto, and you can use them for smoothies and things too.

    Tonya, I have been enjoying your blog so much! And I am sending good wishes to your family in this time of transition.

  6. I was also going to recommend a stick blender (immersion blender)! You can do everything with it that you would do with a regular blender, but can store it in a drawer! I use mine to puree soups and sauces, and to make pesto. You can use them for smoothies and things too.
    I have really been enjoying your blog, and am sending good wishes to your family in this time of transition.
    All the best,

  7. I remember my mom's hand blender, and I loved loved loved working with it. I think that I am going to have to be on the lookout for one for the younger kids to use. Love this post, Tonya.

  8. I third the recommendation for an immersion blender (stick blender). They are so wonderful because you just leave whatever you want to purée in the pot and blend it straight away, no extra mess from transferring food to blender.

  9. Hi Tonya,
    I have two books to recommend, the first is "Feeding the Whole Family" by Cynthia Lair which is a wonderful book filled with great recipes that are simple, delicious and whole foods based. The second is as much a book on food philosophy as it is a cookbook. It is called "An Everlasting Meal" by Tamar Adler and it is like gleaning all the how tos and wisdom from a wise old relative. It is not just what to cook, but how to manage it all. It is a wonderful book that has changed the way I feel in the kitchen. I recommend it to everyone who wants to feed themselves and their family well, and enjoy their time in the kitchen.

  10. Dear Tonya, you have a beautiful, simple, and functional space. I love it, and we also have little in the kitchen, on purpose. Though I have to say, we've broken too many dishes at this point in our antique ceramic sink- and I need a couple of bigger mixing/serving bowls!

  11. Thank you for inviting us into your space. It's always interesting to see how others organize their workspace. I love the print and bunting hanging on your walls.

  12. What an inviting, simple kitchen. I love functional cooking spaces like that! We also have a pretty small space--though we have many shelves in our pantry (which is our primary cooking space)... I like many of those cookbooks that you have. But I also (not being a meat eater) have a love of old vegetarian cookbooks (moosewood, vegetarian epicure, laurel's kitchen) :)
    More with Less is one of my favorites, though. ;)

  13. I once got the Art of Fermentation from our library, I'm sure you would find it incredibly useful. I should probably check it out again, I would like to start culturing a wider variety of vegetables.
    I always enjoy the peeks at your kitchen areas. Yes, get hand held immersion blender! (Make smoothies right in a mason jar!) We have a food processor but almost never use it. It was a wedding gift, so 14 years old, and it took me at least 5 years to even use it for the first time.
    Not quite knowing what to write about this month, I almost just posted pictures of my mixing bowls. (Okay, not really almost, just jokingly considered….)

  14. Love your counter space...xx

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely kitchen. As for blenders, I can't recommend this little guy enough: I've used it to do everything I used to use my old, bulky blender for including blending soups, making smoothies (it blends ice cubes!) and making baby food. I love it's price and it's quality as well as the fact that it takes up so little room. I hope you don't mind the plug. I've just been so happy with this little guy!


  16. That play kitchen is stinkin' adorable. For some reason, when my kids were the right ages for it, their play kitchen setup drove me nuts, and I got rid of the whole shebang as soon as I possibly could (and felt terrible about it, of COURSE). But looking back now, I think it was really the amount of stuff that went with that kitchen that drove me nuts.