I’ve noticed that the more homemaking skills I have gained, and the longer I have done them, the more people seem to have this notion that my cooking is perfect, my house is spotless, and I just know how to do everything that we do.  HA!  If anything, my skills (and occasional lack thereof) have made for some very entertaining conversations once the crowds have cleared.  Don’t believe me?  Maybe this will convince you….

This weekend, we hosted a Farm Day, where a crowd of about 40 folks showed up to learn about what we do out here.  One of the events involved me teaching them how to make vinegar cheese–a very simple, can’t go wrong, soft goat cheese. I have been making this cheese for months, and have NEVER failed or made a bad batch.  Until Saturday, of course, when 25 people were gathered around my counter to watch!  I had a volunteer actually making the cheese, and after pouring in the vinegar,  I forgot to mention that she was only to gently swirl the vinegar into the cheese, NOT vigorously stir it.  Before I knew it, she was stirring away, and, of course, the cheese completely flopped.  After trying everything I could think of to save my full gallon of milk, I still had something that looked like yogurt.  At least the chickens enjoyed it!

Oh, and then there’s the bread.  I have been making our bread from scratch for about 3 years now.  I have used many different recipes, re-learned the skill each time we moved to a different altitude, and certainly had my fair share of useless bricks.  Yesterday, however, due to an unexpected series of circumstances, I made what turned out to be the 3 ugliest loaves of bread in my bread-making history! 

At least the bread was edible, even if very crumbly and dense.  I’ll at least get some bread crumbs to freeze out of it.  I’m not always so lucky in other areas:

  • I have never in my life prepared a full batch of pancakes without blackening at least 30% of them!
  • I can’t make a moist roast if my life depends on it!
  • I have yet to make a pot of porridge without scorching the bottom.

OK, I think I’ll stop before I insult myself too much and become afraid to make dinner for my family and our guest. 

In any case, my whole point to this post is to hopefully enourage you.  If you think cooking from scratch is too intimidating, know that perfection may well be impossible without years of schooling and practice.  Add in a few children and normal home distractions, and I can probably guarantee you that EVERYTHING you cook will NOT come out perfect!  However, if you are willing to accept a few not-so-great meals in the learning process (and even after), you CAN learn to cook wholesome, healthy, and nutritious foods, and you can bet that eventually, MOST of them will turn out pretty good ( we call it “guest-worthy” around here).  So, if there’s something you have been wanting to learn, but have been putting off, just go for it!  If nothing else, at least you can know you tried!

Speaking of trying, I’ll end on a good note, with a photo of our first, home-grown, home-dressed, and home-cooked, fresh turkey.  It turned out absolutely DELICIOUS!

At roughly 20 lbs, he almost didn't fit in my casserole dish. I think it's time to invest in a good roasting pan!