How to fit traditional food cooking methods into a very busy life…

I have received many questions about how I fit traditional foods into my life.  I have a secret. I have not made everything from scratch this last month since Londyn was born… gasp. 🙂  I am getting back on that bandwagon though, so I thought it would be fun to start writing down everything that I do each day in food preparation.  A blog post each day seemed a little much, so I came up with the plan to give a description of what I do each day on my Pioneer Journey facebook page instead.  Maybe I can handle a weekly recap blog post.  We will see. If you haven’t already, head on over to facebook and like my page so that you do not miss my updates.  I am not going to promise that I will not miss days, but I will do my best to keep up with it.  As time allows I will blog some recipes and tutorials on how I specifically do things.  I will not have enough time to do them all at once, so let me know if there is something in particular you are interested in me providing a recipe or doing a tutorial for.

Londyn’s Birth Story

Warning: Contains details you may not want to read. 🙂 Also I am not one hundred percent sure that I got the exact order of things correct, it is a little blurry in my head. 🙂

March 31st, 2014 @ 1:30 pm: I was laying in my bed nursing Xanthe to sleep for her nap and I felt a pop in my stomach.  For a second I thought “that was weird, that wasn’t a kick, what was that?”.  Then I remembered the pop during Nathan’s birth and I realized that my water just broke.  I stayed laying down and called for Rylee to bring me a towel.  She brought a towel just in time.  I called my husband, midwives, mother in law, mama, and my doula.  Charlene- one of my midwives was out of town, so she couldn’t be there.   Then I took a shower and put on a comfy dress.  Rylee helped me clean up the house some.  Tim came home.  Not much happened for a while.  My doula Lisa came over and hung out for awhile.  She helped me make my bed for birthing.  She helped my husband get the birthing pool up and ready.  My mother in law came over.

At about 4:00 I started getting uncomfortable contractions.  Tim made me a smoothie.  One of my the assistant midwives Glennin came over and started monitoring me.  At about 5:30 the contractions really started hurting. My mother in law took my oldest two kids.  My midwife Charlotte came over with another assistant.  By now my contractions were pretty painful.  Charlotte checked me and I was only at a 3.  I think it was about 7:00?? I have always done all the work in the last two hours, so this didn’t overly concern me.  Tim ordered pizza for everyone.  As my contractions continued to get worse, I really wanted to get in the birthing pool.  Charlotte encouraged me to stay laying down because the water might slow me down.  I nursed Xanthe until she fell asleep. I wanted to get it over with so I listened to her advice.  My contractions continued to get more and more painful.  I tried to eat a slice of pizza but as soon as I had my next contraction, I felt like I was going to throw up so I stopped eating.  My husband rubbed my back each time I had one.  I kept thinking they are really bad now, maybe I can get in the birthing pool now.  But then I would talk myself out of it and decide to try to wait it out a little longer.  Lisa kept adding hot water to the tub one pot at a time so that it would be ready for me.

I ended up just staying in the same place on the end of my bed laying down the whole time.  Tim’s mom came back with Nathan and Rylee.  Xanthe was still sleeping.  Rylee wanted to stay for the birth, but she was planning on taking Nathan and Xanthe (if she ever woke up) out again.  I continued to have very painful contractions. I had a really horrible contraction and I was trying to tell them that it was time to get in the water, but it wouldn’t stop and all of a sudden I remembered that same sensation from Xanthe’s birth.  I could only get out “Maybe I am farther along than I thought” and  then I just started pushing.  I knew immediately that it was time.  I gasped for Tim to get the kids out of the room.  Charlotte checked me and realized that I was pushing the baby out.  Rylee stayed and encouraged me and rubbed my forehead.  I pushed and pushed, it was the longest five minutes of my life, but apparently it was five minutes.  Finally, I felt the baby come out.  They put the baby on my chest and as soon as I saw her face I said, “It’s a girl”.  They looked and sure enough, it was a girl.  She looked exactly like Xanthe to me.  She was healthy.  About that time,  the total euphoria kicked in and I felt so overwhelmed with it.  I felt like I had been given some drug that hasn’t been invented yet.  I think I said something to the effect of ” I love having babies, I wish I could have 30 in a row”.  I was able to nurse her right away.  She latched on so fast, she nursed for a long time.  She nursed on both sides. I delivered the placenta and Tim cut the cord. Nathan saw the baby and then my mother in law took him to her house to spend the night. Xanthe finally woke up from her nap and was very excited to meet the baby.  After a long time, I gave my husband the baby, and the midwife did her newborn check up. The midwife assistants pushed on my stomach and tortured me in all those ways that they do. 🙂  I tried to get up to go to the bathroom, but I had to lay back down because I was so dizzy.  Tim brought me a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich that Rylee had made for me earlier.  I ate like 3/4 of it in about two minutes.  I didn’t realize how hungry I was.  Then Tim brought me a smoothie.  I drank some of that.  They helped me into the bathroom.  After awhile I managed to pee, but I got really dizzy again, so they helped me back to bed quickly.



My doula Lisa let Xanthe enjoy the birthing pool for a little while since I never used it.  🙂

Rylee’s Birth Story Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Nathan’s Birth Story Part 1 Part 2

Xanthe’s Birth Story Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Nathan’s Lego Money Bank…

Nathan thinks he should get his own youtube channel. 🙂

Breaking out the birth stories…

Now that I am getting so close to having my sweet baby #4, I couldn’t help but reread my other birth stories.  Here they are (read at your own risk) :)…

Rylee Part 1

Rylee Part 2

Rylee Part 3

Nathan Part 1 

Nathan Part 2

Xanthe Part 1

Xanthe Part 2

Xanthe Part 3

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.