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Taking Stock In September

Taking Stock :: nurturedmama.net

Taking Stock :: nurturedmama.net

Taking Stock :: nurturedmama.net

Taking Stock :: nurturedmama.net

Taking Stock :: nurturedmama.net

Taking Stock :: nurturedmama.net

After taking the full month of August off to recoup from a second round of pneumonia, I think a check-in post is a good place to begin again. This is where I am in this moment, at the cusp of fall.

Want to play? Copy my list and fill in your own answers or just pick a couple of categories that jump out at you. Post in the comments or share a link if you post it somewhere else. I want to hear what’s up with you, too!

  • Making: Putting up in jars and dehydrating fruit.
  • Cooking: Soups and sweet breads.
  • Drinking: More water – or trying to.
  • Reading: Bread And Wine, The Language of Flowers, Infidel (all at once!)
  • Wearing: Leggings under skirts as the mornings and evenings start to feel chill.
  • Feeling: Winter creeping in.
  • Needing: More sleep. Always more sleep.
  • Listening to: My Paint To This playlist in the studio.
  • Smelling: Tomatoes (that’s what I’m dehydrating today).
  • Saying yes to right now: Paint and color and play.
  • Saying no to right now: Figuring out where all this is going in advance.
  • Thinking about: The stories I’m ready to let go of.
  • Worrying about: Getting sick again.
  • Noticing: Turning leaves, chilly mornings, and my craving to knit.
  • Working toward: A full, painted journal.
  • Pinning: My Recent Pins reflects the true nature of my scattered attention: Sewing projects for me and her, craft projects, a certain shade of lipstick, art journal ideas, and recipes.
  • Favorite thing Bean’s been doing: Telling long stories that are part memory, part fantasy, part what-if.
  • Least favorite thing Bean’s been doing: Fighting with me over screen time. Every day.
  • Finding most nurturing: Doing handwork in the evening. I’ve been working on a crewel embroidery alphabet sampler.
  • My favorite thing last month: My baby sister’s wedding and my daughter twirling at twilight in the rain.
  • What I’m grateful for right now: Routine. Friends. Trader Joes’ Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies.
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Pinned It. Did It. Kid-Friendly Baked Donuts

Kid-friendly baked donuts :: nurturedmama.net

 

I love fried donuts. I love the crunchy-sweet of maple-glazed old fashioned. I love the sweet cinnamon bite of bear claws. I love messy jelly-filled powdered-sugar-coated donuts.

What I don’t love is how I feel after I eat them. All greasy and bloated and sugar high. And I really don’t like how my kid behaves when she feels all greasy and sugar-high after the rare family donut outing.

Recently I decided I wanted to try making donuts at home, but not quite like the ones we get at the donut shop down the street that make us feel so ick. I wanted to make a baked donut that was more satisfying, less sweet, less greasy, and less guilt-inducing. Something I’d be happy to let my daughter eat on a weekend morning.

And I did. Hop on over to Liz’s blog to read about the two baked donut recipes I tried and what me and my small resident donut-taster thought of them.

Kid-Friendly Baked Donuts – click here to read the full post.

 

 

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Project Cookbook: Spaghetti With Egg and Bread Crumbs

Spaghetti with Egg and Bread Crumbs, from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros :: nurturedmama.net

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through a link I will earn a few cents from the sale at no additional cost to you. This income helps to support this blog. Thank you!

I have to apologize for the delay in this fourth post on Apples for Jam, which I expected to run at the end of July. Early in July I came down with pneumonia and the week I was working on this post I found out it had come back for a second round. At the advice of my doctor and the urgings of my man, I set aside all of my blogging and writing work and took the entire month of August off. Now it is September and I’m feeling much better. But I didn’t want to skip this last recipe from Apples for Jam, so here it is, better late than never!

Spaghettini With Egg and Toasted Parsley Bread Crumbs

This recipe (p120) starts off with the words, “This is nice and simple.” That’s a recipe speaking my language right there! As I wrote in July, we were facing a glut of eggs. I already had some hard-boiled in the fridge, so this seemed like a perfect dish to try for one of my “working” mornings.

Three days each week my daughter goes to daycare and I pick her up at 1. I am so focused on my to-do list on those mornings that I often forget to eat lunch before I need to leave the house to fetch her. Having a plan for a fast and simple meal is what saves me. Because it is written to serve 4, I simply used the recipe as a guideline to make a dish for one. I also liberally deleted and substituted ingredients: No anchovies (yuck!), regular spaghetti for spaghettini, french bread for white, celery leaves for parsley, and extra garlic and lemon zest.

Spaghetti with Egg and Bread Crumbs, from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros :: nurturedmama.net

If you’ve been reading this series from the beginning, you may have noticed that I adjust recipes a lot. My ex used to say that you should always make a recipe exactly as written the first time, then make your adjustments on the second round. I’ve been reading Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist and she shares similar advice given by Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. It is not bad advice. But I just can’t seem to do it. I’m a tinkerer at heart. And I don’t want the need for a trip to the store to get between me and a perfectly good meal.

Spaghetti with Egg and Bread Crumbs, from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros :: nurturedmama.net

And this was a good meal. Fast and simple, just as promised. Enough egg and pasta to fill me up and enough zing from the garlic and lemon and texture from the fried bread crumbs to make me pay attention. This is one I definitely recommend. Next time I’ll try it out on the whole family, with a tossed salad to round it out.

Final Review Of Apples For Jam

Spaghetti with Egg and Bread Crumbs, from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros :: nurturedmama.net

Although I enjoyed the recipes I made from this book, in the end I’m deciding to let it go. I will copy down the formula for fruit sauces and this spaghetti dish into my kitchen notebook, but there just weren’t enough recipes that really called me to warrant the space this one takes on my shelf. Because the collection is largely comfort foods, many of the recipes are repeated in other cookbooks I own. I was also bothered by the text layout. Although beautiful, the styling of the pages made them really hard to read when I had a spoon in one hand and a steaming pot to tend. So, out this one goes.

So, readers, what should I cook next? What are you craving to cook or learn about cooking now that fall (or spring for some of you) is creeping in?

 

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here

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Pinned It. Did It. Handmade Maxi Skirt

Handmade Maxi Skirt - Pinned It. Did It. :: www.nurturedmama.net

For my next project in the Pinned It. Did It. series, I tackled a maxi skirt.

This was supposed to be an easy project but I made a mess of it. It all came out well in the end (I love the skirt, which you can see in the photo above), but I share my lessons learned over on Liz’s blog.

I hope you avoid these problems in your next sewing project!

Read the full post here.

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Project Cookbook: Lemon Curd Goat Milk Ice Cream

This lemon curd goat milk ice cream is slightly subtle and elegant, but also lick-your-spoon delicious. :: www.nurturedmama.net

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through a link I will earn a few cents from the sale at no additional cost to you. This income helps to support this blog. Thank you!

A few weeks ago I posted this photo on Facebook and begged for recipes:

This lemon curd goat milk ice cream is slightly subtle and elegant, but also lick-your-spoon delicious. :: www.nurturedmama.net

Our hens had been very productive during the warm months of May and June and while my health was poor I wasn’t keeping up with their output. I needed egg recipes, stat!

Two suggestions I heard several times were ice cream and lemon curd. Both use 3-4 (or more) eggs each. I did make lemon curd, and we had egg salad for dinner a couple of times (yum, and easy, by the way!) but man, those chickens just keep laying!

Last week I had dinner with a couple of friends, one of whom runs a farm in Northern California. She always brings goodies when she comes to town and had offered to trade me a jar of lemon curd for a jar of her fresh goat milk.

When I was a kid and we lived off the land, we also raised goats. I don’t have particularly wonderful memories of their milk. I remember it tasting really strong and well, goat-y. I was going to just give her the lemon curd and pass on the milk, but she insisted her goats gave really mild milk and I should really try it again. She suggested ice cream.

This lemon curd goat milk ice cream is slightly subtle and elegant, but also lick-your-spoon delicious. :: www.nurturedmama.net

I had seen a recipe for ice cream in Apples for Jam that looked interesting, so I took her suggestion.

Now I know. Trust Bonnie on all things ice cream.

I can’t say if the milk was mild enough for me to drink straight, because I used it all in this ice cream. And it was wonderful.

I started with the Lemon Curd Ice Cream recipe in Apples for Jam (p140), but I used whole goat milk instead of milk plus heavy cream. My ice cream might be a little less rich than the original recipe intends, but it is wonderful. This is no low-fat ice cream. Because the whole goat milk had plenty of cream already, it still has that thick, rich mouth-feel of cream-based ice creams.

I have this Cuisinart automatic ice cream maker, which makes quick work of the actual freezing part, and churns to just the perfect texture. The only problem with this machine is that the bowl has to be pre-frozen, ideally for a full 24 hours. Here’s another ice cream tip from Bonnie: Buy a second bowl so you always have a cold one in the freezer. She’s so smart!

And here’s a tip from me. Get yourself one of these amazing ice cream scoops. My aunt gave me one a number of years ago and my ex and I fought over it when we split. I don’t remember now which of us kept the one we had, but the other of us definitely bought a replacement. It is that good. No ice cream is too frozen to scoop with it, and it is shaped perfectly to get the very last tiny bits out of the bottom of a round container of any size. I didn’t know an ice cream scoop could change my life until I tried this one.

Here’s my modified recipe:

Lemon Curd Goat Milk Ice Cream

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (the original recipe recommends superfine sugar, but I used regular organic evaporated cane juice)
3 Tblsp butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon, or more for a stronger lemon flavor
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (which was 3 lemons in my case)
2 1/2 cups raw, cream-on-top goat or cow milk, warmed slightly.

Bring a pan of water to a boil and then lower to a slight simmer. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a wide glass or stainless steel bowl until thick and creamy. Set the bowl on top of the pan of water, creating a double boulder,  add the butter and let it melt, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon zest and juice and whisk continuously until it thickens. It should lightly coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in the milk. Keep whisking for another minute to help the mixture cool slightly so the milk doesn’t curdle. Set it aside and let it cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Put the bowl in the fridge until it is completely cold before pouring it into the ice cream maker. Follow your machine’s directions for churning and finishing the ice cream.

Do you have any ice cream tips to share? Add them to the comments!

Next week I’m going to try another recipe that uses eggs (because those hens!). This one is spaghetti with soft-boiled egg and toasted parsley bread crumbs. Tune in next week to see how it went!

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here

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Are You A Good Mother?

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through a link I will make a small income from the sale at no additional cost to you. The income helps to support this blog. Thank you!

Are you a good mother? What do you believe makes a good mother? What if we all let go of the mythical Good Mother? :: www.nurturedmama.net
Recently, I read a really excellent book of essays called The Good Mother Myth.

In the introduction, the author tackles the idea of what we, as a culture, consider a Good Mother to be. These are the standards we have built up, based on our cultural expectations and media influences, of how a mother should behave with her children and in the world. It is behind the divide over working moms and stay at home moms. Our expectations for single mothers, non-custodial mothers and mothers in same-sex relationships. How we perceive helicopter parenting, Tiger Moms and that mom on her iPhone at the park – our acceptance or outrage is based in these deep-rooted Good Mother standards.

But that collective vision of a Good Mother is mythical. She simply isn’t real – she can’t be. She’s based on picking and choosing from many different sources of influence, and not an actual real person with feelings and emotions and struggles.

Further, the author suggests that we each hold our own ideal vision of a Good Mother that might be similar to the common cultural standard or not. We use that our personal vision to measure ourselves against as well as other moms around us. And that standard is just as likely to be impossible and unfair. We judge others for failing to meet the criteria we hold up as the measure, and we judge ourselves just as harshly. Even though the measuring stick we are using is impossible, unreasonable, or unfair.

I woke up in the middle of the night after reading the introduction to the book thinking about what my personal Good Mother Myth was. What standards was I holding myself to? Where did I feel like I was failing? And then I got up and wrote it all down.

Just having it out of my head and on paper has been powerful.

Self judgement in my head is insidious and subtle. Written down on paper I can see how outlandish and unfair some of my own judgements are.

Here is the Good Mother list I was carrying around:

  • My child must always be well-behaved and tidy in public or it is a negative reflection on my mothering skills.
  • I should love floor play, pretend play and reading picture books and should jump to participate whenever my child asks me to.
  • I am solely responsible for the running of the household – shopping for and cooking food, cleaning, decorating, gardening, and all budgeting and saving.
  • I should always feed by family fresh, organic, wholesome and balanced meals cooked from scratch.
  • I should always have the energy and desire to maintain an emotionally intimate and sexually active relationship with my man.
  • I should know – or know where to quickly find – the answers to all my parenting questions. This includes health, behavior, and mental and emotional development questions.
  • I should have a close and active tribe of mother-friends who I see often. We should be close enough to share child care and secrets about our lives. We should never drift apart – having busy lives is not an excuse.
  • I should be slim, fit, and look put together at all times.
  • I should never make my child cry by withholding my attention from her.
  • My child should be enrolled in a variety of enriching activities – music, art, dance, yoga and playgroups.
  • It is my personal duty to build my child’s self-esteem, confidence, manners and emotional and creative resilience.
  • I should commit myself to these duties full time (24 hours/7 days). I left my career for this!
  • I should not need help with any of this, and I should feel, at all times, fulfilled and happy.

It was watching that last item on the list flow from my pen that was the sock in the gut.

Because as much as I talk and write about how mothers deserve support and help, that motherhood may not be entirely fulfilling for all women and that mothers need to feed their souls lots of different ways, there it was. Somewhere deep in my heart I still believe that just being a mother should be enough for me. I should be happy with just that. And that when I need other activities, when I need help, when I need time off, that I am failing. I’m failing my partner, and worse, I’m failing my child. I’m not Good Enough.

deserve love and affection

Writing it down and looking at it isn’t the same as letting it go. But getting a clearer view of my own struggle between what I feel and what I believe is helping me pay attention when I hear that self-judging voice whispering in my ear. It is helping me say, “Yes, thank you for trying to help me be a Good Mother, but I’m still working out that definition, and it is also important to me to be a Good And Joyful Human.” Over and over I can set down my judgement of myself.

What impossible or surprising things are on your personal Good Mother list? Which do you want most to set down?

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Project Cookbook: Fruit Sauces from Apples For Jam

Project Cookbook: Fruit sauces from Apples For Jam :: nurturedmama.net

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here

This week got busy and I only made two of the four test syrups I had planned. My apricot tree came ripe, so I made apricot sauce (as well as many pints of jam) and I also tried a cherry version. I’ll have to try the ollalabery and strawberry sauces another time!

Project Cookbook: Fruit sauces from Apples For Jam :: nurturedmama.net

I tried two difference recipes. The cherry sauce is a recommended variation on a raspberry sauce in the Red chapter, and the apricot sauce I found in the Orange chapter. There is also a thinner cranberry syrup in the Red chapter, which would work well with less pulpy fruits.

All three of the recipes are very simple – water, sugar, and fruit. The apricot sauce included vanilla extract and the raspberry sauce included a bit of lemon juice.

Project Cookbook: Fruit sauces from Apples For Jam :: nurturedmama.net

These are quick and easy and a great way to dress up a simple dessert or incorporate excess summer fruit in a new way. I ran both sauces through my blender for a nice smooth texture. With the cherry sauce I strained out the pulp, so one jar is more like syrup and the other is a thick and pulpy sauce. I wanted to use the thinner version to flavor carbonated water.

The recipes recommend using the fruit sauce over ice cream, which I haven’t tried yet. But I did really enjoy the apricot sauce mixed with bubbly water over ice! The thicker batch of cherry sauce would be really good with pound cake or shortcake. Yum!

Project Cookbook: Fruit sauces from Apples For Jam :: nurturedmama.net

The apricot recipe mentions that this makes a lot and it really does! It could easily be halved, or just freeze half the sauce for later.

Next week I’m going to write about a batch of ice cream I’m making with fresh goat milk a friend traded me for a jar of that lemon curd I made recently. I love having friends who make and produce good stuff and who love to trade!

What’s your favorite way to use or preserve summer fruit?

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5 Essential Things To Take On Vacation

What's in your suitcase? Make sure you save room for these five essentials for your next vacation. :: www.nurturedmama.net

photo credit: Gabriel White via photopin cc

Welcome to the July 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Vacation

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month participants shared their family-travel tips, challenges, and delights. 

My post was chosen to be featured on the Natural Parents Network blog for the Carnival. The first couple of paragraphs are below but you can find the whole post over there.

Please scroll to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

I just cleared my inbox of two weeks of old emails that contained a lot of links I thought I wanted to read. After the third vacation-related article that truly didn’t apply to my life, I deleted the rest of them. Then I made a list of the things a Nurtured Mama would take on vacation with her, which I realized was the article I was actually looking for and not finding.

So here you go. Five things you should put in your suitcase this summer:

A Flexible Attitude

A friend asked me recently if my partner and I travel well together. Because we were a few days away from leaving on a trip, I had to pause and think a bit.

We do travel well together. Excellently, in fact. What we don’t do well together is prepare for a trip. I need to have lists and plans and be prepared in advance. He’s happy to pack a bag the day we leave and find a place to sleep when we arrive.

Because we have traveled quite a bit together, I’ve learned to accept this discrepancy in style. If he forgets to put something in his suitcase, he’ll deal. I can make our first night’s reservations so I’m not a basket case on the plane and then let him manage the ongoing planning once we are out the door.

In fact, because I decided to be flexible about that particular issue of making reservations on one trip, we found ourselves spending the night in an Irish castle. That was one of the best experiences of the trip, and it wouldn’t have happened if I’d insisted on making all the reservations from our dining room table in advance!

The best parts of travel, in my experience, are the things you were not expecting. But you have to be open to them or they won’t happen!

Continue reading the rest of the essentials at Natural Parents Network ››

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Favorite Family Vacation Recipe: Staying at Home — The best family vacation Laurie Hollman at Parental Intelligence could ever recommend requires minimal packing, no hotels, unrushed travel, easy meals to everyone’s taste without a bill, no schedules, everyone’s favorite interests, and three generations playing together.
  • Scared of toilets and other travel stories — Tat at Mum in search is an expert at flying with kids. She shares some of her tips and travel stories.
  • Staycation Retreat for Busy MamasLydia’s Handmade Life gives Budget-friendly, eco-friendly staycation ideas for busy work-at-home moms.
  • How We Leave It All Behind — At Life Breath Present, they don’t take traditional vacations — they go on forest adventures. Here are some tips in planning for an adventure, if you don’t just go spontaneously, as they have before. Plus, many pictures of their latest adventure!
  • Traveling while pregnant: When to go & how to manage — Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses the pros and cons of traveling during the different trimesters of pregnancy, and how to make it as comfortable as possible.
  • Our Week in Rome: Inspiration and Craft Ideas for Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers — If anyone in your family is interested in learning about Ancient Rome, if you enjoy crafts, of if you’re a parent looking for a fun staycation idea, check out Erin Yuki’s post for a Roman-themed week of crafts, food, and fun at And Now, for Something Completely Different.
  • The Real Deal: A behind the scenes look at our “Western Adventure” — Often Facebook and blog posts make vacations look “picture perfect” to outsiders. If you only looked at the pictures, Susan’s recent family vacation was no exception. In this post at Together Walking, she takes readers “behind the scenes” so they can see the normal challenges they faced and how they managed to enjoy their vacation in spite of them.
  • Welcome to the Beach House! — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is in love with her family’s new “beach house”!
  • Road Trip to Niagara Falls — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about her first trip out of the country with just her and the kids.
  • 5 Essential Things to Take on Vacation — Five things Nurtured Mamas should be packing in their suitcase for their next trip, in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
  • The Many Benefits of Camping with Friends — Do you want to go camping, but the very thought of it seems daunting? Make your life easier – and your kids happier – and go camping with friends! Dionna at Code Name: Mama discusses how much better camping can be when you join forces with others.
  • My Natural First Aid Kit for Camping, Travel, and Everyday Use — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama gives us an insiders looks at her natural first aid kit for camping, travel, and everyday use. These natural remedies have saved her hide and those of others many times! You might be surprised what made her list of must-haves!
  • Traveling Solo and Outnumbered — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras shares lessons learned from a recent trip with two toddlers and no co-parent.
  • Compromise and conviction on the road — Jessica of Crunchy-Chewy Mama shares the reality vs. the dream of travel and dishes on the compromises she makes or won’t make while traveling.
  • Camping Trauma — Jorje of Momma Jorje offers why she loves camping and why she and her family are a little gun shy about it, too.
  • First in our Books — Writing fresh from her first family vacation, Laura from Pug in the Kitchen has realized that helping pack her parents’ station wagon made for a smooth and pleasant trip that was more than she hoped for!

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Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas: Pinned it. Did it.

Pinned It. Did It. Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas recipe review :: nurtured mama.net

 

My dad has a very particular way of eating a grapefruit. First he rolls the fruit around on the counter “to loosen the juices”. Then he slices it in half, crossways, to reveal shiny little triangles of grapefruit flesh. Next, with a paring knife, he carefully goes around each segment, cutting it away from the skin and from the membrane on each side. Then he scoops out and eats the pieces with a spoon (when I was a kid, we used the tiny sugar spoon that came with the cutlery set my parents got for their wedding for this part. Dad scoffs at those specialized toothed grapefruit spoons.). Finally, he uses one hand to squeeze any remaining juice from the now-empty grapefruit hull into a spoon held into the other hand. You don’t want to waste anything when you are eating a grapefruit.

I always think of my dad when I eat a grapefruit and my whole life I have eaten grapefruits exactly this way, also.

Only in this case I’m not eating grapefruits by our particular family method. I’m making margaritas out of them. Margaritas also make me think of my dad, as they are his favorite cocktail. He makes a mean one. By which I mean it is almost all alcohol with just a wave of lime, and will floor you if you aren’t prepared for that.

So it feels appropriate that I’m sharing this (not so strong) spicy grapefruit margarita cocktail experiment on Liz’s blog so soon after Father’s day, which fell this year on Dad’s birthday. Talk about a celebration!

Happy birthday, Dad!

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Apples For Jam: The Second Month of Project Cookbook

For month two of Project Cookbook I take on Tessa Kiros' book Apples For Jam. :: nurturedmama.net

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through a link I will make a small income from the sale at no additional cost to you. The income helps to support this blog. Thank you!

For the next month of Project Cookbook I’m going to tackle the Tessa Kiros books. You can see them in the photo above – I have four and they are all thick! They take up half a shelf. I have copies of Apples For Jam, Falling Cloudberries, Twelve, and Venezia. And Kiros has written five others!

Right away I can see why I have four – they are beautiful. The inside cover of Apples for Jam describes it as a “keepsake cookbook.” The photos are luscious and often full page. The text layout is graceful.

However, not every recipe has a photo, and the way the recipes are laid out makes them actually a little hard to cook from. The text is printed in grey in Apples For Jam, and the ingredients are listed right justified above the recipe title. Especially after cooking from Alice Waters’ book all of last month, these subtle things stand out as making it harder than it needs to be.

I’d like to just keep one of these books, but I’m not sure which one. Venezia is already headed out the door because I’m just not that interested in cooking much seafood, and a book about the cuisine of Venice is largely seafood. Falling Cloudberries may go for the same reason, though there is more variation in it. Twelve is about the food of Tuscany, which I’m very fond of, so this is the volume most likely to stay. By process of elimination, then, I’m going to focus on Apples For Jam in July.

Apples For Jam has an intriguing format – it is organized by color. Bean will be disappointed to hear there is  no chapter on purple (nor blue) but there are chapters curiously titled “monochrome,” “stripes,” and “multicolor.” The introduction describe this volume as a book of recipes handed down from family members and friends, and “swapped over garden fences.” There is a focus on comfort food, simple (though not as simple as Waters), and rustic. These are family-friendly, homestyle meals.

Many recipes are paired with a short childhood memory from the author and some pages are charmingly illustrated with children’s line drawings. Clocking in at 417 pages, this book would take me more than a month to do a thorough review, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’ll start next week with a few fruit sauces. I found these in several chapters, with minor variations between them. Because of what’s in season now, I think I’ll try four: Apricot, cherry, strawberry and either ollalaberry or blackberry.

Check back next week to see and read how that went!

Are you familiar with any of the Kiros books? Which is your favorite?

This post is part of the Project Cookbook series, throughout which I cook through all the recipe books in my kitchen to decide which to keep and which to let go. I’m searching for simple, heathy ways to feed my family. You can find the rest of the series here

 

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