There’s a reason they call them “convenience foods.”

by threegirlpileup

I’ve been reflecting on that phrase a lot lately. As we’ve tried to increasingly back off our consumption of processed foods, our own production has stepped up–we’ve been making everything from our own yogurt to our own pizza dough. Trying to eat out less and cook more. At the same time, we are at the height of abundant seasonal produce, so I’ve been both harvesting and buying up as much as I can, freezing and canning the local bounty for the fall and winter. So my new canning kettle hasn’t left its place on the stove, and the kitchen, it seems, is perpetually piled up with dirty food-processing dishes. I have a constant mental list of food to-do’s–can tomatoes, make pesto, pack the chicken stock into jars are all on my list for tomorrow. Oh yeah, and make a batch of pizza dough. And go shopping for jars and freezer bags! Which may or may not all happen, but there you are. I don’t find myself longing to go back to more prepared foods, but I do long for more hours in the day to fit in all this from-scratch cooking.

Although the take-out pizza on Saturday night was a truly wonderful treat.

The best part, of course, of all this food preparation is the little hands that get involved. Both the girls love helping to chop things in the food processor, and Maggie in particular is getting pretty proficient with a knife. We also have these great kid-safe knives from Pampered Chef, which work moderately well and can’t cut skin. Anna’s favorite projects are those that involve flour and stirring, or even better rolling or kneading. I have so many good memories from my own childhood of spending time with my mother in the kitchen, which is one reason that I enjoy doing all this stuff with my own kids.

Also on tap for tomorrow…getting some fall plants into the ground. We have broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants, plus seeds for lettuce, spinach, beets, and radishes. And I’ve started some cucumbers from seed. This is our first fall garden, so I’m pretty excited!