Read Your Labels: Bionature Strained Tomatoes



Organic Strained Tomatoes

I gave it four stars because it is not Local or Fresh.


Read Your Labels: Bionature Organic Tomato Sauce…



As much as I wish that I could make everything we eat from scratch, it just isn’t possible unless I remove other things that are even more important to our family. Usually, I cringe when I read labels, but every once in a while, I am pleasantly surprised. I thought I would start posting when I find these products. Let me know if you have found some great products that I need to try.


Organic Tomato Paste



Sounds good to me!! I gave it four stars because it isn’t local and it isn’t fresh, but it is definitely something I will purchase.





My Favorite Traditional Cookbooks…

It can be tough finding cookbooks that use traditional ingredients and practices. I have spent a lot of time finding blogs and authors that make traditional foods. Here are my favorite cookbooks…

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World

The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchas

Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook – Nourishing Recipes Inspired by Our Ancestors

The Elliott Homestead: From Scratch: Traditional, whole-foods dishes for easy, everyday meals

Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too!

Real {Fast} Food

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

Everyday Grain-Free Baking: Over 100 Recipes for Deliciously Easy Grain-Free and Gluten-Free Baking

A letter from the mother of the child, on the floor in the grocery store, screaming swear words at the top of his lungs…

I knew when my son was 10 months old, something was different about him. He would throw fits that would put a 3-year-old to shame.  I had a 3-year-old daughter, and I kept telling the doctor, something is wrong with my son. All I was given in response from the doctor and countless mothers who meant well was, “He is just a boy”. I tried to believe them. I wanted to believe them.

When he was 2, I cried to the doctor, telling him I didn’t know how to handle him, he was so out of control and nothing I did was helping. His advice “your hand is the perfect shape for spanking his bottom for a reason”. Later when I asked for my son’s medical records, the doctor’s notes said that I was distraught and really overwhelmed as a mother. The notes didn’t say anything about my concerns that my son had some kind of disability. They also didn’t have any record of him telling me I should spank my son. This was just one of the many messages over the last 8 years that I have received telling me, it is just my flawed parenting. Just be more consistent, more strict, more patient, more kind, more calm, offer rewards, take away priveledges, lock him in his room, spank him. Not to mention the dirty looks or outright insults that have been flung at me almost every time I have left my house. Why can’t I just discipline him? Even my own family has said things like “he only acts like that because you do not discipline him”.

Enough is enough. I HAVE disciplined him. My poor son has spent his whole life being disciplined. One system to the next, trying to find something that works. Guess what, he is still hitting me, breaking things, swearing.  STOP judging me. I tell everyone that I struggle with my temper, that I struggle with patience. But, do I? Actually, is it possible that I show more patience on any given day, then the average mom shows in a month? I love my son dearly, I am his mom, and I show him love and tenderness, seconds after his behavior has ripped our world apart for the 20th time that day.

So, if it isn’t my fault, who’s fault is it? It isn’t anyone’s fault and certainly not my son’s fault. My son was born with the inability to figure out how to handle difficult situations. It doesn’t matter how much I discipline him. He WANTS to be GOOD. He WANTS people to LOVE him. He WANTS people to be his FRIEND. He just doesn’t know how. I have to hold my son and listen to him cry because he wants friends. It is heartbreaking. Don’t you think that if he could, he would? Kids without these developmental problems, naturally learn how to function in the world through trial and error. Kids like my son need much more than trial and error, much more than discipline. They need it spelled out for them. They need to feel loved and understood. They need to be a part of the solution so that they can see how that solution came to be.

Enough is enough, stop blaming me and all the other mothers out there in my shoes. Stop looking down your nose at us. More importantly, stop blaming my son, stop blaming and hating the beautiful children like my son, who just want to feel and be loved.

Do me a favor. The next time you see a mother at church, at the grocery store, at the park, with a child that has completely gone off the deep end, offer her your support. Show her kindness and love. And please, don’t forget to show that sweet innocent child kindness and love too.

Story Time: I See Sam Books

Nathan has really loved reading these books.  They are similar to BOB Books except that they move along at a slower pace, and we think the stories are more interesting.  There are 52 books in total.  They are in the free domain.  You can look at them and print them for free.  The quality is pretty low though.  I would recommend signing up for a free 14 day trial to Reading Teacher.  It is an online reading program.  I am not recommending the program because I have never tried it, but they have redone all of the Sam books.  You can download them and print them.  They are great!  When I downloaded mine, the website was called and it was a completely free program.  It says that you will have total access to the program for 14 days.


Story Time: The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

The Golden Goblet

This seemed to be Rylee’s favorite out the books we read for Egypt this year.  It is from the perspective of the lower class in Egypt.  I think the ending has such a sweet lesson to be learned.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of any items you purchase through these links.  You do not need to purchase the item I am suggesting.  My family thanks you for using our links.

Story Time: Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Mara, Daughter of the Nile

I enjoyed this book, but I thought it was a little to old for Rylee (9).  It was heavy on the romance (nothing inappropriate).  There is a whipping of a woman that takes place that is pretty harsh as well.  I plan to let Rylee read it in a couple of years.  That being said,  it was an interesting story and held me captivated better than the others I read for this time period.  It is a little bit of a spy romance.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of any items you purchase through these links.  You do not need to purchase the item I am suggesting.  My family thanks you for using our links.

My favorite tools for use in a traditional kitchen…

I wrote about my favorite large equipment for a traditional kitchen yesterday, today I am going to list all of the smaller items that help my kitchen run smooth.


I use Cutco knives.  I love them.  I have a very large set, and I pretty much use all of them.  If I had to choose, I would get a medium sized serrated edge knife (like their medium trimmer), a paring knife, and either a chef  knife or a santoku knife (or both).  I have to admit I love their cheese knife and bread knife, I would have a pretty hard time letting those go as well.

Multiple Cutting Boards

Canning Jars and Lids

All sizes.  No amount would be to many.  I feel them up as fast as I buy them.  You can write on them with a sharpie and then wipe it off when you change what is in the jar.

Victorio Apple, Peeler, Corer, Suction Base

These are amazing.  So fast and easy to clean.  My kids love ours. You can use it for potatoes, but I prefer not to.

Candy and Deep Fry Stainless Steel Thermometer

I really like the one I linked to.  It is large and works really well for warming milk for yogurt.  It works well for cheese making too.

Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer

What a great invention!  Perfect bread, perfect fish.  Where has this been all of my life.

Cast Iron Tortilla Press

Red Stoneware Tortilla Warmer

Hand Crank Pasta Machine

Pasta Drying Rack

Aprons, Oven mits, hand towels, and wash cloths

Cooking with my children is messy. Enough said.

Wooden spoons and spatulas

I can’t seem to have enough of these

Measuring cups and spoons

Both for liquids and dry ingredients.  Again I can’t seem to have enough of these either.

Stainless Steel spatulas and Utensils

Pyrex mixing bowls with lids and bakeware

I seriously never have enough!

Stainless Steel mixing bowls

I like these a lot, but mine do not have lids.  When I need a lid, I use the pyrex.


I use mine almost everyday.

1810 Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

I bought mine from Costco and couldn’t be happier with it.

Hand mixer


I have several and I use them all.

Potato Peelers

I love mine from Cutco.

Cheese grater

Kitchen Timer

Stainless Steel Strainer

Cuisinart Mesh Strainers, Set of 3

I have several sizes in stainless steel.

Plastic Sifter

I use this for cultures that do not like metal.


I can’t buy enough of this stuff.

Pizza cutter

Muffin and pie pans

Cookie sheets

flat ones and the ones with a ridge

Roasting Pan




My favorite equipment for cooking traditional foods…

Considering we are preparing traditional foods, and some of these foods have been prepared for thousands of years, it may seem silly that I am suggesting equipment that requires electricity.  Although these items are not absulutely necessary, they really speed up the process and make it a lot more pleasant for me.

Vitamix 5200

My blender is my absolute favorite piece of equipment.  I have the wet and dry containers.  I use them for so many things.  I use the dry for grinding flour, spices, nut butter, etc.  I use the wet for to many things to name, but smoothies and banana ice cream are at the top of the list. They have an amazing warranty. There is a new model available now, but I have the one pictured above in white. You can probably get it cheaper at Costco though. And if you want the new model, wait for a sales guy to come and demo it in your Costco. You will get a better price that way.

Excalibur 3900 9 Tray

Another very useful tool. I use my dehydrator for so many things. My husband loves to make dehydrated pineapple rings and apples. I dehydrate sprouted grains and nuts. I also dehydrate all kinds of produce. One of my favorite ways to use it is as a low temp heater for my yogurt. I take the trays out, throw my jars of cultured milk in. Set the temp and out comes perfect yogurt. The trays are nice and big. They do not have a whole in the middle. The screens have small holes, so it is easy to dehydrate small things. I also have the liners so that I can dehydrate liquids. I have dehydrated my sour dough starter and many other things.  I have a white one. 🙂

Cuisinart 9-Cup Food Processor

My food processor gets a lot of use around here too.  I do a lot of chopping, slicing, and grating with it.  It is also my favorite tool to make butter with.  I bought mine at Costco, I cannot remember the price.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

I use my mixer all of the time, for almost every baking recipe I make.  I also prefer it for whipped cream.  This blender has lasted about 10 years so far.  When I do have to replace it, I will replace it with a Bosch mixer.

Nesco 6-Quart Roaster Oven

I use a slow cooker almost continuously. If I use it anymore, I will need two running at the same time. I really like this model. It allows you to adjust the temperature. It is a slow cooker, but it also cooks at higher temperatures. I use this for meals, stocks, oatmeal, and all kinds of other things.

FoodSaver V3835 Vacuum Sealing System

These are wonderful. I mostly use it to seal jars of food that I have dehydrated. They sell an attachment for small mouth and large mouth jars. They are about ten dollars each. I do use it occasionally for other things too.

Berkey Imperial Stainless Steel Water Filtration System

I absolutely love our water filter. The water taste delicious. It doesn’t take electricity. The filters last for years. It takes out all the bad stuff and leaves all the good stuff. My husband bought the gigantic one (it purifies up to 11 gallons an hour), but I think the Big Berkey would have been perfect for our family. 🙂

So that is the list of large equipment that I find oh so useful while preparing our traditional meals. They just make life easier. I will make another list of the smaller items that I use frequently in our kitchen tomorrow.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of any items you purchase through these links.  You do not need to purchase the item I am suggesting.  My family thanks you for using our links.

Story Time: What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day

This book is a little outdated, but it is still a keeper.  It does a great job explaining what people do for their jobs.  The illustrations have a lot going on in true Richard Scarry fashion.  You could stare at them for 10 minutes and still not soak in everything.  There is a lot of text on each page, but with all of the stuff to look it, even my most wild child sits and listens without trouble.  I planned on reading about one job each day, but my kids kept asking for more.  We ended up reading the whole book in two days.  We then read it again another three or four times over several months.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of any items you purchase through these links.  You do not need to purchase the item I am suggesting.  My family thanks you for using our links.