I grew up on a third generation family farm in rural Minnesota. We lived 30 miles from a restaurant, were on a tight budget, and most of our staples (i.e. beef, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, etc) came from our farm. Naturally, the way I learned to cook was from scratch and with real ingredients.
I have always loved cooking but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I started to notice how processed many of the staples were that I was buying. When our daughter Vaida turned 1, we noticed she was sensitive to overly processed foods. We made a drastic shift to “real food” in our household and noticed Vaida’s stomach problems were solved when we ate this way. Still we live in a society that makes it difficult to maintain whole food bliss…as much as I’d love to, I can’t keep our children in a real food bubble. They have grandparents who sneak them candy, preschool, where friends bring in cupcakes every other week, and they see advertising for “fun” processed foods every where we go.
At the end of a day we strive for a balance. I want my children to love and appreciate inherently good food and that starts in my kitchen.
Feeding my family has evolved from something I had to do (a chore) to something much more important than that. The way I see it, 3 times a day, 7 days a week I have my family’s complete attention. We gather around our table, we pray together, we nourish and refuel our bodies, and we connect with each other. I see the time we spend around our table as something sacred and I know as our children get older we will have less meals together.
As our household’s head chef, I want to make the most of this time and essentially I want my family to walk away from the table healthy and happy. We are a real family, trying to eat real foods and I hope what we do in our kitchen may inspire what you do in yours.
The heart of our home is the kitchen and this is my love story.