Dry Skin Brushing & My Sensational Skin

Dry Skin Brush Head - Natural Bristles

People in the Sensory Processing Disorder world refer to their kids as “sensational.” Well, I may be full-grown, but they could be talking about me! So many things annoy me. Sometimes I know exactly what it is, other times it’s a low-level frustration that makes me irritable and irrational. Sounds like people chewing, electronics humming, and vacuums drive me crazy. I get overwhelmed by clutter and things that don’t line up visually. I guard myself against smells. Chemical scents and air fresheners are especially bad, but even lovely flowers can overpower me.

I took the dry skin brushing challenge … Continue reading Dry Skin Brushing & My Sensational Skin

Adventures in All-Natural Oven Cleaning

Chickens ready for the oven, destined for the crock pot

Chickens ready for the oven, destined for the crock pot

When we moved into this house, it came with the major kitchen appliances. There was a broken dishwasher, a refrigerator that leaked coolant and made noises like it was about ready to blow, and a whirlpool oven from 1985 that looked like it had been used plenty, then sat untouched for the next ten years. That made sense, given the state of the rest of the house. The month we moved in I led an out of town retreat for a week and had a thousand other things to fix … Continue reading Adventures in All-Natural Oven Cleaning

Menu Plans vs. Reality

Menu Plan

Menu Plan

I’ve never been much of a meal planner. Back before GAPS I’d just go to the garden or the market, pick whatever looked good, and figure out what to do with it about an hour before dinner. I had a few regular favorites for breakfast and lunch so I didn’t really worry about that. Every week or so I’d make up a big batch of something or other to enjoy variations of all week long, or a special treat I’d actually planned for. The kids complicated things, of course, but not too much. I just made what I … Continue reading Menu Plans vs. Reality

Swapping Chores with Your Spouse

Joy with some home-canned goodness

We’ve had a big few weeks here at The Liberated Kitchen and I’m not going to lie: it’s been brutal. First, my gluten challenge came to its dramatic conclusion. About a week after I finally got to stop eating gluten again, Kelsy started her student teaching. This turned our domestic life on its head. She’s now at work before we used to get out of bed, and sometimes not home until 10 PM due to her continuing classes and tutoring gigs!

For a couple years now, Kelsy has done most of the cooking. She made the yogurt, the ghee, the … Continue reading Swapping Chores with Your Spouse

Bulk Buying Without Breaking the Bank

ketchup, salsa, green beans, apple butter, applesauce

Today our cow is ready for pick up: the whole thing, all at once, in lovely little freezer-ready packages… in just one day we spent almost as much money as it takes to feed our family for a month!

Ketchup, salsa, green beans, apple butter, and applesauce made from this year's bulk buys.

Last summer it was the same deal, but with produce. We support our local economy, eat only the highest quality food, and shop in season for the best prices. But that means buying and drying, freezing, or canning a year’s worth of strawberries, raspberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, … Continue reading Bulk Buying Without Breaking the Bank

Glutening My Kid, the Dangers of a Mixed Household

No tree climbing when you're glutened :(

No tree climbing when you're glutened :(

When I started my gluten challenge I wasn’t worried about hurting anyone but myself. We had made our home 100% gluten-free last year, so I had the basics down and knew I’d need to be very careful not to cross-contaminate anything with gluten.

Our son, Jupiter, is very sensitive to cross-contamination, but most people who are gluten-free actually live in mixed households. If they could do it, I reasoned, so could we.

Gluten is Poison!

Things started off on the right foot. Since I wasn’t going to have much gluten in the kitchen, … Continue reading Glutening My Kid, the Dangers of a Mixed Household

Do I Really Need a Chest Freezer?

Yes. Yes, you really need a chest freezer.

I could wax poetic about how a chest freezer is a glorious place where your favorite foods are kept in their original, delicious states, waiting for you to come fish them out and enjoy. I could rhapsodize about eating blueberries, strawberries, and peaches in the dead of winter that didn’t come from South America. Pesto, lentil soup, chili just as delectable as the day you prepared them. Dried fruit that never molds. Nuts that never go rancid. But I won’t.

I’ll talk cold, hard numbers. (get it? like ice!) A little disclaimer … Continue reading Do I Really Need a Chest Freezer?

Gluten-Free Travel Essentials

Hit The Road! Image from Poetic Home

Hit The Road! Image from Poetic Home

Since we’re striving to be 100% gluten-free, we have to plan ahead to make sure safe food will be available wherever we go. It’s also critical to make sure our gluten-free food doesn’t get contaminated when we prepare it.

Grocery stores are usually available on the way and at our destination. Not being able to find “gluten-free” packaged products or restaurants isn’t a problem if you are prepared to cook meats and vegetables. If we are going somewhere where we won’t be able to get organic produce and pasture-fed, organic meat, we pack … Continue reading Gluten-Free Travel Essentials

New Year's Resolutions or Recognitions?

Joy at The Liberated Kitchen

Joy with some home-canned goodness

Think on the word for a minute: resolve. It’s a rigid word, and implies finality, conclusion, force of will. But our New Year’s resolutions, at their core, are about the better person we hope to be.

Making sustainable changes to how we live and who we are is not about having all the answers settled and a will of steel. Instead, it’s about recognizing the patterns in our lives, and rewriting them.

It’s a cliche that New Year’s resolutions never stick, and with good reason. We imagine feeling better, looking better, having more time and … Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions or Recognitions?

The Inefficiency of Local Food

Kelsy harvests carrots from our garden.

Local food is near and dear to my heart. We’re kind of local food poster children, actually. We grow lots of veggies and raise our own chickens, rabbits, worms and eggs on our urban lot. We buy our beef, lamb, pork, duck, and extra chickens, eggs, fruits, veggies, and Christmas trees from local farmers. Those farmers are people we’ve met in person, and they are doing their best to produce food without the use of pesticides, hormones, or insecticides. They use more sustainable practices such as pasturing animals, letting land lie fallow, rotating crops, … Continue reading The Inefficiency of Local Food

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