Scratch Value

July 29, 2011 at 7:08 am (Attachment Parenting, Cooking)

Newcomers to this blog might wonder why I include a “cooking” section here, when the blog is intended to be about parenting.  I do enjoy cooking (well, baking, mostly), and I do it often with my kids.  But cooking is more than a hobby for us, and it’s more than simply nourishing our bodies.

I love  including cooking posts here because of what they represent.

High quality nourishment.  We aim to parent respectfully, so we nourish our bodies respectfully, too. Cooking from scratch allows us to eliminate what we don’t need (chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors & flavors), and keep only what we do (whole, natural ingredients).

Time spent at home together; something I value highly.  We cook, we bake, we talk, we eat, we share.  We connect.

Time spent out together; gathering ingredients, experiencing the world.  We shop locally and straight-from-the-source whenever possible.  This means, especially in the summer, our grocery shopping includes lots of visits to farms, farmers’ markets, and fruit orchards.

For example, to make these marion berry muffins, we…

…went to the farm for their cream.  Not just to make a quick stop, but we spent 2 1/2 hours there petting and feeding all of their animals, and playing in the creek on the nature trail.  It was an afternoon of fun and free play.  And we got some cream.

…went to the flour mill for flour.  Bob’s Red Mill is in the area, and when we go for flour, we also stop to have lunch in the restaurant.  We also usually see Bob himself there, looking exactly as he does on his product packages; red vest, newsie cap and all.  On our last visit, he stopped to talk with the kids and I and gave Elia and JJ each a cookie.

…went to the farmer’s market for eggs.  Again, not just eggs, but a morning at the market means local omelets, the balloon man, and walking hand-in-hand together.

…went to the orchard for berries.  We talked and laughed and worked together to fill our buckets with not only marion berries, but blueberries, raspberries, and boysenberries as well.

So the muffins, to me, are not just the end result of a recipe, but they represent all of those moments we shared along the way.

Opportunity for customization.  Sure, there’s a recipe to use as a starting point and some guidance, but we can adjust it so that it works better for our needs.  Such as it is with positive parenting.

So, parenting enthusiasts, bear with me when I post about our latest kitchen creations.  They represent more than simply the featured food item.   These posts represent what our family is about.

(Besides shortcake, here are a few more things we made from our 70 (!) pounds of strawberries we picked this year):

They go into the dehydrator as slices...

...and come out as chips.

strawberry applesauce

The kids call this strawberry-lime juice. John and I call it True Blood.

And here is the aftermath of a True Blood popsicle. No children were harmed in the consumption of this dessert.


  1. change5553 said,

    Kelly, I love this post. Parenting is about so much more tha dealing with behavior challenges. I hope many more parents follow this great example. Thanks, Jane Nelsen

    • Kelly said,

      It really is, isn’t it? It’s all those little, ongoing moments that add up to great connections. Thanks, Jane!

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