5 Ways to Prepare Your Kitchen for Back-to-School

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We are pulling out the books and starting back to the daily school routine, and it seems like whatever time I once had in the kitchen evaporates as soon as the school books open. It’s a shock to the system- because not only do I have less time, but I care even more about what my kids are eating. Did they get fiber and protein for breakfast? How can I make sure they have what they need to stay focused … Read More

Ten Kitchen Skills Kids Should Learn

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The end of the school year is here. The pencils are worn and tired, the workbooks ready for a break. Sunshine beckons and we are ready for more carefree days. Summer is a time of rest, rejuvenation, and reset. As the days lengthen and the lists lighten, there is a bit more time for the kids to join me in the kitchen. My three year-old climbs up onto a stool next to me, eager to help. “Tan I help you?” … Read More

Daily Lunches – a (simplified) guide

posted in: homemaker 13

Lunch is the mid-day reset. No plan survives contact with the enemy. -Helmuth van Moltke The perfect plan- set out in the morning, in the early hours before the house wakes up and the day rolls away from the station- never unfolds quite as I’d hoped. The lessons aren’t finished as early as I’d have liked, the house is a bigger mess. The phone calls I intended to make still linger in my mind and the laundry sits, complaining quietly … Read More

Tradition and Simplicity

posted in: homemaker 4

There were five of us- three wide-eyed girls and two moms- sisters-in-law bound by heart – waiting with bated breath. We were crowded together in the kitchen while the men- my dad, uncle, and older cousin, caught up over apple cider, crackers, and cheese in the living room. My fully Italian Aunt, her shiny black curls pulled back neatly, her apron tied and smoothed primly, was about to unmold the layered Thanksgiving jello. I don’t remember the first year. No, … Read More

Adding Margin to your Days

posted in: homemaker 5

What does it mean to add margin to your days? Ah, margin. The two red lines gently guiding you to give more breathing room to your paper. I can see those lines so clearly when it comes to paper and pen- but when it comes to my time, it’s just so easy to fill my page to overflowing. In fact, I rarely consider margin at all when I am planning my week- let alone my meals. Rather, I am usually … Read More

Cook dinner by formula, not recipe

posted in: homemaker 3

by Tracy Grossmann I think we tend to view people who develop recipes as sitting in a lab, using beakers and grain-measuring tools, precisely doling out the exact amount needed for perfection. If the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon and we fudge it up to 1/2, well, the whole thing might just collapse. In reality, most of our recipes come from a time when people dumped, poured, and stirred in the same ingredients to hone their favorite dishes, learning over … Read More

Two quick (and easy) ways to put meals in your freezer

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by Tracy Grossmann Do you make freezer meals? Some people are masters at this. Armed with carefully crafted lists and ninja-like cooking skills, they fill their freezers with a month’s worth of dinners in just one day.   However, though we love the results of this type of major freezer cooking day, traditional freezer cooking involves some pretty in-depth planning. First, we need to find the recipes we want to use (that our kids will eat+ like). Then we need to … Read More

3 Secrets that Will Make Your Canning Day a Success

posted in: extra 6

My husband still remembers being sardined into his mom’s minivan between his brother and sister, the backseat folded down and piled high with fruit and vegetables from Eastern Washington. The orchard-fresh, abundant goodness made the trip over the mountains more than worthwhile. The heavenly smell of ripening peaches filled the air as they drove, and the kids all had bellyaches by the time they got home from eating so much fruit. His mom would spend the following weekend canning all … Read More

Dinner Isn’t Really About the Food

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By Tracy Grossmann It was at the beginning of this school year that I picked up the Autobiography of Ben Franklin. My husband has long been a fan of biographies, and I have provided them in a steady stream to my kid-readers, who also love them. I, however, have rarely read biographies (in fact, I can’t remember more than I can count on one hand, I’m sorry to say!) Anyway, I was fascinated to find this little gem of wisdom … Read More

Kids in the kitchen – a few tips

posted in: extra 2

Kids in the kitchen: “Mom? Can I make muffins for breakfast?” It’s a question that should be music to my ears. “Can I make dinner tonight? Then you could rest.” What a treat! Should I not be thankful, being in the third trimester of pregnancy, and, many days, in need of just such a rest? I have been blessed with a few older boys who love to create in the kitchen. And yet, I find myself saying “no” more than … Read More

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