I am a “retired” home school mom to the “five best children in the world”–as their dad always speaks of them–who, yes, have gone on to lead productive lives. They have embarked on a variety of paths that are as unique as they are. One is self-employed with ever expanding skills, and a growing family (soon to be five children, also home schooled). Another went to Hillsdale, the college of her dreams. Her twin brother is climbing the corporate ladder through hard work and great people skills. My youngest daughter is a gifted artist and teacher, and it is her dietary needs that provided the initial fuel for this blog. My youngest son is working toward an associate degree at the local community college while tutoring to pay for his education.
This blog is an invitation into my world to experience the blessings of family and faith, the occasional struggles and trials, and always the joy and laughter while delighting in what funny people we all are. The media would want us to imagine that families are dysfunctional, with parents being fed up with their children, and they in turn rebellious toward the foundational principles nurtured in them. They would want us to believe there is no love that bears all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. I say otherwise.
I embarked upon this journey when I was blessed with the idea of an incredibly unique and quirky title for the sharing of recipes and techniques that I have discovered, while creating tasty dishes from an extremely limited array of foods due to my daughter’s food sensitivities. I am eager to impart the things I have learned and continue to learn.
My home is in the Willamette Valley of the Pacific Northwest. We live on a gentleman’s farm. We can actually drive to the barn, breathe the sweet aromatic perfume of a ripe hay field with its ebb and flow as it surrenders to the nudges of a warm summer breeze, gaze at the horizon as the ever changing clouds of varying shades of gray roll across the sky. We have over one hundred blueberry bushes for which people wait with great anticipation to u-pick as the warm summer sun slowly but surely sweetens each purple jewel to a succulent burst of “blueberry.” As my own children yield the delights of their youth to new and fresh visions of adult life, five grandchildren are filling their steps, experiencing and discovering the delights of blueberries, green apples, jumping grasshoppers and crickets, dogs and cats, an occasional chicken… just to name a few.
Throughout 2011, my normally energetic daughter Anna was becoming more and more tired, often sleeping over twelve hours a day, with a nap most afternoons. She had severe stomach cramping that eventually occurred multiple times a week, frequently causing her to retreat to the couch in the family room while she wrapped herself in an emotional cocoon of favorite quiet movies and gentle snuggling that would not invade her bubble of comfort. Her entire life revolved around how she felt that day, that moment. Her skin was unhappy and was not responsive to traditional treatments. Upon hearing of our concerns, our chiropractor, who also practices wellness along with nutritional counseling, ordered a blood test that brought us much needed information. A mother’s love for her daughter compelled me to educate myself about an entirely new way of food preparation. And because of Anna’s great enjoyment of eating, I had and I still have continual motivation to come up with new ideas that fit her dietary restrictions as she continually improves, while remaining enjoyable for both family and company.
While driving a familiar stretch of highway in our foothills, I saw workmen prepping their chainsaws along the side of the road. I turned to my husband and said, “There are two things you always want to check yourself, chainsaws and parachutes.” With that comparison came an epiphany as I realized it was identical to the situation I was facing in helping my daughter. With her long list of food sensitivities, we have become experts in label reading and investigative techniques just to make certain there are no hidden ingredients. My niece has frequently told me to start a blog– family stories and escapades, humorous anecdotes, recipes… Armed with an ever growing treasure of modified recipes as well as original ones, and a great desire to share the discoveries I have made along this challenging, yet so rewarding, journey–I started a blog. The rest, as they say, is history.