Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Nourished Kitchen Review...

"Traditional foods are the foods of our great-great grandmothers- the foods of gardens and farms.  They represent a system of balance, emphasizing the value of meat and milk, grain and bean, vegetables and fruits."
~Jennifer McGruther

I simply could not wait to get this cookbook by Jennifer McGruther as I thoroughly enjoy her blog, also about traditional food practices.  And I certainly wasn't disappointed when it finally arrived. 
McGruther presents her recipes in stunning form...both in photographic appeal and food education.
All of the recipes are exquisite in nature...as if they would be best suited for a four star upscale restaurant, but her approach is very down to earth and she details even the simplest of techniques such as blanching nuts for example.
Within the contents of The Nourished Kitchen, McGruther turns traditional food preparation into an art form...with recipes like salmon baked in cream with sweet bay, thyme and dill; pan-fryed savoy cabbage with bacon; and strawberries in minted honey syrup.  And while the recipes may seem intimidating at first, all of the handy charts, definitions and explicit directions take the reader from overwhelmed to inspired.  Where there is one picture of a beautifully prepared bean dish, there is also a list of every bean known to man along with its flavor description, nutrition and suggestions for preparation.  McGruther leaves no stone unturned in educating the reader on whole foods and how to incorporate delectable and healthy meals into everyday living.
I particularly enjoyed all of the explinations on cultured dairy products and fermented beverages.  I can't wait to try her kombucha recipes!
At the back of the book, McGruther also lists a number of resources to support your quest in the traditional food movement, which is nice to be able to go to find even more information specific to your location.
Overall I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking to transform the way they eat.  It is obvious, from cover to cover, that the traditional foods movement doesn't have to be scary.  But it can and should be rich, diverse and elegent...while being simple all at the same time. 
I recieved this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yarn Along...

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? ~
Joinging Ginny for her weekly Yarn Along...
I'm a slow knitter.
My Scarf With No Name is not complete as I expected it to be.  Sometimes life happens and little time is left for knitting.  I have accomplished a few rows here and there, but right now our daughters are in full bent revolt.  They bicker, they complain, they ignore (me)...I suspect it's a phase.  I pray with all my might it's just a phase.  Because while the girls are busy not getting along or sassing mama, their brother is scaling table tops and attempting to pull blinds down.
My goal each night after the children are in bed is to relax with my essential oils and my knitting... hoping to actually get something accomplished.
But inevitably, as soon as my butt hits the bed I'm out.  Motherhood is exhausting.  And I'm well aware this is nothing new to most of you.  But some seasons are just so jam packed with "stuff" there's nothing else left at the end of the day. 
That's where I'm at right now.  But I hope...I realllllllly hope...the tides will turn soon.  And I'll find that place of welcomed respite.  A place where little ones play quietly and nicely...where one year olds don't constantly try to defy gravity.
I look forward to that place and time...if there is such a thing.
As for reading...I'm bringing you a review and giveaway of Nicky Epstein"s Knitting ReImagined.
As I looked through all the patterns tucked beneath the covers of this book I wondered how in the world I was going to review it in a favorable light.  I, personally, just couldn't grasp the lines, the detail or how modern the knits were.  All I could imagine was how nice a coffee table book it would make.  Really more of a book best admired for it's photographic splendor rather than actually attempting the work within.
This is not your Grandma's knitting, for sure.  ReImagined is an understatement in my opinion.  The patterns are very avant garde...with unusual lines and boxy shapes.  If I could combine Andie Walsh (you know...Pretty In Pink heroine) and Katniss Everdeen into a sweater, that might give you a good idea of what to expect.  It is not my style of knitting, nor even remotely on my skill level.  The pictures are lovely to look at, though.  Epstein presents her knits in stunning form.
But as I continued through, it began to occur to me that maybe that's the point of the whole thing.  Knitting ReImagined isn't meant to appeal to your delicate, traditional or heirloom knitting.  It's meant for a new generation of fiber artists.
I know I wish I had learned to knit from my grandmother or even my mom.  But I didn't.  I learned from You Tube.  However, it is something I intend on passing down to my girls and when they are grown, their knitting is going to look so much different from my knitting.  Instead of it being an art on the brink of extinction, maybe it will be busy with revolution.  New rules, new fibers, new stitches, new ways of wearing the finished product.  Maybe our knitting, if pushed out of the box a little, can be left to evole into something beautiful yet modern that our children and their children can enjoy for years to come.  Afterall, knitting is about legacy, right?.  It certianly is not about what is lost, but about what is gained.
So even though this book isn't necessarily my style now, that's not to say it won't be someone's style later.
I fully intend on trying my hand at at least one of the patterns...if not more.  And I would recommend this book to any knitter looking to push their boundaries a little...explore a different technique...and live on the knitting edge. :)
Would you like to win a copy?  Leave a comment about your knitting legacy.  For an extra entry, share this on your blog and leave me a link in an additional comment.  I'll be choosing a recipient at random on Friday morning around 10:00 am (EST).  I'll then contact the winner via email.
Many Blessings to you all.
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I recieved this book (and one additional copy) for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Yarn Along...

"Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?"
Joining Ginny for her weekly Yarn Along...

Remember the Scarf With No Name that I mentioned last week? The yarn that had started out as many things, but ended up frogged every time?

Well, here they are. This was last night. I'm well into another pattern repeat now and getting ready to start a third. As intricate as the pattern looks, it moves really quickly. And it isn't boring like the knit one row, purl one row baby blanket (which still isn't complete...ahem).

The original pattern on ravelry initially gave me a run for my money. Apparently the written pattern did not match the charted pattern and only the charted pattern was correct.
That's fine and dandy for someone who reads charts easily. I, however, am not that person.
Fortunately some brilliant ravelrer translated it and posted to their page. Thus my handwritten copy. I don't do well with following instructions via a web version. I have to have hard copies and our printer is out of ink, so talk about old school.

I anticipate my scarf will be done by next week's Yarn Along and it will mark the second completed project that I've made for myself in three years of knitting. That number needs to go up.

I'm perusing through Nicky Epstein's Knitting ReImagined right now.  It's interesting for sure...not your average run of the mill knitting patterns.  I'll write more about it next week in my review and I'll also have a copy up for grabs.  So stay tuned for that.
Can't wait to see what everyone is working on this week.
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