When I was a little girl I used to play in the kitchen and make “concoctions.” I would carefully go through all of the cabinets and cupboards and add a little bit of all I could find to a glass of water: dustings of spices, squirts of extracts, spoonfuls of powders and liquids–until I was satisfied that I had exhausted my resources. Then I would try to make my little sister drink it! (Fortunately she never went for it. She was a clever one.)

Today I am sort of doing the same thing, but now I have my children to make “concoctions” for! And, if I am lucky, they actually taste good and are good for them. This is my hope anyway; nothing is assured with my cooking. It is a lot of trial and error, but I find the mixing and concocting very relaxing and at the same time stimulating to my creative side. In fact, cooking for me is an almost entirely creative endeavor. I readily admit that I am very challenged to follow a recipe exactly as it is printed. (I’m actually not sure that I ever have!) And so I mostly use recipes now as “templates,” basic blueprints or foundations to begin with and then add in whatever I find calling my attention at the moment. I know this may be aggravating to some, who need to follow an exact recipe, but I think of cooking as an art, allowing my creative energies to flow, being fully immersed in the present moment.

I also cook under certain limitations, so creativity is a must. For instance, both of my children are dairy- and gluten-free, so I rarely if ever use wheat or gluten-containing grains in my cooking. Dairy I’m more tolerant of (I love fresh yogurt and golden butter from grass-fed cows and whole milk which has not been overly heated or homogenized), although in recipes for my children I keep it out. I try to soak all of my grains, nuts and seeds to help make them more easily digestible (more about this in a future blog). I love naturally fermented and cultured foods, such as true sauerkraut made the old-fashioned way and lacto-fermented condiments and drinks, all still alive and bubbling with dynamic energy! And I love spices! And herbs. And whole foods fresh from the garden or local farms. I do use canned products, such as organic coconut milk or tomato sauce, so I do the best I can at any given time. That’s all we can ever hope for, isn’t it?

I understand that cooking the way I do, mostly from scratch, takes a lot of time and energy, and I know it is not for everyone. My intention here is to share ideas and loosely-woven recipes (please add to and alter and tinker with as you like), so that there may be a little bit of something for everyone. There are so many wonderful and nourishing food blogs out there already, and I am inspired and encouraged by them. I may really have nothing new to share, but it is done in my own way, with flavors that follow the ramblings of my eclectic tongue and sensory muses. I hope that what you find here is a little bit of inspiration, information, and good company.


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