Friday, June 27, 2008

Trying to find the simple life

This world in which we live is so fast paced. We drive instead of walk. We eat fast food instead of preparing our own. And when we do prepare our own, it's usually convenience food-- from the freezer or a box. I am guilty of all of that. I also work a bajillion hours a week...

To slow down, and take a break from the outside world, I enjoy making stuff. I paint, I do woodwork, I make soap.

I absolutely love making bread. I refuse to use a breadmachine. It is my therapy. I thrive from punching down the dough, to kneading it til it's smooth. And there is nothing equalled to watching my loved ones' faces while they eat the bread fresh from the oven. I will write a blog about bread therapy soon.

I also love making jam. There is no better feeling to me than sweating in a hot kitchen over a water bath canner. And, as my personal homage to jam makers from long ago, I will only use local, fresh fruit in my jam-- preferably picked by me and family members. I am a purist in that sense. I love enjoying natures bounty. In Alaska, I made fireweed jelly. Here I make strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and marionberry. If I were to move back to Texas, I'm sure I would make jalapeno jelly.

I also love sewing and making homemade gifts (and gift baskets). I would love to return to a time when we actually appreciated the gifts of the Earth... and the gifts made with love. This summer I will teach my boys how to make jam. And we will make homemade gifts together to be placed in baskets and given at Christmas time. It is not about saving money, although I always strive to do that. It is about teaching values, and passing on lost art.


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