Grandma Club got together two weekends ago and we made cheese. It was loads of fun and way easier than we thought it would be. Noel hosted this meeting and while waiting for the cheese to set she gave us stuff that she has made (or her friends have made) since the last time we saw her. This left me coming home with bags full of not only freshly made cheese, but also homemade Kahlua, home-distilled whiskey, and homemade sweet pickles. I packed away all my goods with the excitement of knowing I will partake in little bits of these items throughout the weeks to come.
Smiling to myself the next morning, I prepared my breakfast and looked down at the table to find...
Taking it all in, I realized just how wonderful this spread was. Everything in front of me, except the coffee, was made by my hands. My pantry...full of stuff made by either myself or my friends. If you would of asked me 5 years ago, hell - 2 years ago, if I would have had such a pantry at my disposal, I would of laughed in your face. I can't believe that I have learned these skills and enjoy making my own food for the household. I am very lucky to have friends to have these culinary experiments with and family that support me in all my weird little projects. And beyond that, the awesome network of people writing blogs that are doing the same thing. Thank you, all of you.
So this is my little note to all of you - if you have any interest in making your own food but are scared, just take a leap and do it, one project at a time. Scared of baking with yeast? Hell yeah, so was I! But I worked on it, learned from my failures and am now a little bread making machine. (And don't use not having a bread machine as an excuse, because I don't have one.) If you want to make jam, or make your own cookies instead of buying them, or freeze fruit you just picked to make something later...stop worrying about the what ifs and just experiment. There is so much information at our fingertips that makes it easy for us to try these recipes and culinary adventures.
In experimenting in the kitchen, remember two things: persistence & patience. My first loaf of bread was by no means amazing, but I stuck at it, and now I'm pretty good at it. (If I do say so myself!) So, what are you all waiting for? Dust off those mixers, buy canning supplies, invite some friends over and have at it!