Get Real! Dinner Edition

I was invited by my friend Adrie to join a little blog party series called “Get Real!” A handful of bloggers are going to write about a variety of different topics related to homemaking, and how that really looks in our lives. I thought I’d come out of semi-retirement to join in because if there is one thing I like, it’s being real. 


Today we’re to talk about dinner. Here’s what I have to say: I like it simple, I like it planned, and I like it by 5pm. My great dream in life is to actually sit down at 5 for a meal that is perfectly cooked by a relaxed chef (could that be me?) and with a family that is scrubbed and smiling. But the sun has been shining kind of late in the day, and that’s such a fine time to take a walk and let the family freely unwind, that well, we eat before 7 and that does just fine.

I meal plan once a week, and archive those plans, just in case next time the week of March 24th rolls around I want to just repeat the genius. I often tell folks that meal planning is my secret to eating well on a little. I flatter myself that I am a little famous amongst my flock for being the most frugal shopper. Meal planning is one secret. The other is not buying much food. My husband likes to ask once the groceries are unloaded, “Did you get anything to eat?”

While on the subject of dinner, and speaking of getting real, I’d like to confess that my name is Kyce and I am on a Special Diet. There, I said the words I never thought I’d have to utter! It wasn’t so bad. Nor is the diet. It’s been a week since we began eating what you might call Hard Core Nourishing Traditions. You know, GAPS. No grains or potatoes or pinto beans. Gallons of bone broth. 4 dozen eggs a week. Yogurt cultured almost past recognition. Fish oil for breakfast.

There is something radical happening in my kitchen right now. The amount of attention and care going into preparing our food is not tiresome or restrictive, but enlivening. Our food deserves this level of commitment, and I feel blessed to find myself giving it. It is very reminiscent of my last special diet, aka the plastic fast. Remember that, old friends? During that time I felt this amazing feeling of “Wow, I didn’t even know it was possible to live like this!” and I’m feeling the same way now: If I always thought I had to eat grains with my meals, and it turns out I feel great without them, what else do I believe that isn’t really true? 

Also, it’s kind of fun to try on this super-bad-ass and a little most-high kitchen persona. I’m, like, one of those people that can go through a bottle of apple cider vinegar in a week, now. Whoa.

What else? Pretty much a crockpot of bone broth is going round the clock. All our nuts are getting soaked and slowly dehydrated in the pilot light warmed oven. I’m fermenting vegetables–and I’ve always wanted to be not just a person who fermented veggies, but also ate them, and here we go, it’s happened. Every mason jar in my house is being used not for jam but for tallow and chicken livers. Kefir is around the corner, though I swear I’m not doing kombucha. But I will trade chicken stock for it.

I’m far from perfect. Let’s just say it’s good luck that the invitation to write this post didn’t come in the midst of one of our special mac and cheese diets. I have many dear friends that have been on the journey of eating as well as possible for a long time, and they have inspired me along the way, even as I’ve resisted–for a whole host of reasons–major changes. I’ve always done my best while staying within my comfort zone, and felt it good enough, so this is a radical new direction for me and my family. And yes, it is stretching my frugal ways, and asking for certain compromises. For instance, half our milk is raw goat milk, but not organic. The other half is organic but not raw or grassfed. What a problem, right? I try not to feel too sorry for myself.

Who knows how long this will last or where it will take us, but for now, it has been healing on many levels. Like Sandor Katz says in Wild Fermentation about fermenting, it’s kind of like “a health regimen, gourmet art, multicultural adventure, form of activism, and spiritual path all rolled into one.”

There’s so much more to say–about the commitment we make through our food, and about extending that commitment not just to our own health, but the planet’s. Perhaps another day, but just know that is on my mind right now.

In the meantime, I need a home for my sourdough starter if anybody in the hood is interested. It makes very, very good bread, if memory serves.

Any revolutions brewing or fermenting in your kitchens? Share the good word, please, without fear of being real, and then stop by the other blogs in this series to see what they’ve got going on:

Plain and Joyful Living ~ Hullabaloo Homestead ~ Our Ash Grove ~ This Blessed Life~Fields and Fire~ Shivaya Naturals


12 Replies to “Get Real! Dinner Edition”

  1. Love this! I really appreciate how you say our food deserves much thought and attention, and how it is enlivening.
    Meal planning is our key too- I like the idea of archiving it too because my poor tired brain can’t remember things like what we had one week that worked so nicely for us!

  2. I’m glad for this blog series because it introduced me to your blog! Which is lovely. 🙂 I am so impressed by your fermented goodies and sourdough starter making. That is an area that I fail at most times I try it- I am not good at planning ahead and following through with those things. My starter always goes bad… However, we do go through gallons of bone brother each week. 🙂 I look forward to your other posts in the series.


    1. Well likewise! My attempts at making my own sourdough starter were pretty half hearted. I have friends that do it beautifully, but it’s not my gift. The one I used for over two years (!) was made by a friend of a friend with French baker pedigree. It was a champion for surviving long stretches of neglect! I found the secret to fermented goodies has been to use yogurt whey. For longer than I care to admit I used whey from other cheese making ventures, and failed dismally. Can’t wait to see what you write about in the coming weeks, too!

  3. Fermenting is really my one big goal this year and I really could relate to the part about balancing frugality with nutrition. We spend more on food than anything else but our health is worth it. Even so, sometimes the store bought saurkraut has to wait because I haven’t bothered to make our own yet – it is $7.00 for a small jar here.
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey and looking forward to the coming weeks.

    1. Yes, sometimes we just have to do it ourselves, and when we finally begin, we see how simple it is. I have been making simple fermented dilly carrot sticks and things like that which require minimal preparation–sauerkraut seems more complicated, for some reason!

  4. I totally remember your plastic fast!!! I remember a photo you posted of three small things that you accumulated in a month’s time or something. Good times! And I agree…we have been on the same dietary journey for the past 6 months, and I have finally got to the point where I am conscious about not buying much while grocery shopping. My husband said a very similar thing, to which I replied, we have tons of food…it just needs to be made. I take notes too 😉 Because I am convinced that someday I will have this craziness perfected…and I’ll need t remember how I go there.
    🙂 Lisa

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! Yes, our food is worth attention and thought. I’m guilty of rushing through the process of preparation. But I’m putting on my super-bad-ass persona and making a commitment to attentiveness. We need not be perfect, but aware.

  6. Oh my dang, I’m so excited for you! What guts! What drive! We’ve been practicing nourishing traditions for a few years now, but have not gone the extreme. I’m always fantasizing about it, though 😉 Continue to tell us about your process, please! Warmly, Lindsey

    1. Thanks, Lindey. It’s not my nature to go too extreme, but when there is good reason, as there is for us with this diet, I rise to the occasion. Otherwise, I tend more towards lazy nourishing traditions, which is still plenty nourishing…

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