Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

The Evolution of ONE MORE THING

August 5th, 2013 · 73 Comments · KS lifestyle, My Story

one more thing icon
Sometimes I sound crazy to myself in my own head.

Before you judge me with a, “Well, YEAH, you’re talking to yourself, kind of the definition of crazy!” let me explain.

There are times when I feel like I should do something in the house, something that takes less than 3 minutes like making water kefir, and for some reason I can’t get to it all. day. long.

Other times I want to try something new, whether it’s a new recipe or a new routine (magnesium supplementation comes to mind). These things aren’t difficult, and they won’t take much time, but it might take 6 weeks for me to make a 15-minute recipe and months (a year? more?) before I integrate a new routine into our lives.

My excuse – in my head – is that I just don’t have time for "one more thing." Sometimes I say it out loud, and in my head I think, "That sounds crazy. Surely there’s 3 minutes wasted in a day when I could do this task! There HAS to be enough time for something so simple!"

Then I argue with myself. Winking smile

Have you been there?

Have you been at the point where, no matter how easy other people say homemade yogurt or making homemade chicken stock is, no matter how little time your favorite blogger says soaking dry beans will take…you’re just not there? Your state in life, your daily routines, your family size and structure simply aren’t at a place where you can add one more thing to your week?


The Old Busy

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When I had two kids and a blog and was learning the natural life, I thought I was busy. (I’d argue that point with my old self now; I’m sure you were expecting that.)

I was making homemade bread, I was in a raw milk coop that included two hours of driving and delivering every 6 weeks, I was grinding my own grains, (and some other stuff) and I thought I certainly couldn’t add one more thing to my regimen.

When I posted a recipe that included Parmesan cheese, a reader picked on me for using “green can parm.” I was genuinely hurt. I didn’t think Parmesan cheese mattered in the context of everything else I was doing. I didn’t want to make that change and truly didn’t think it possible in my life.

Shredding my own Parmesan cheese was, at the time, my “one more thing” after which, if I tackled it, I would surely self destruct.

Kitchen Stewardship is built around baby steps and "doing what we can" for a reason, folks.

Fast Forward Three Years

kids check out john

A new house, a third child, a gluten sensitivity and a burgeoning business later, my life is busier than ever.

I don’t bake bread anymore because I haven’t embraced all the "fancy gluten-free flours" very well, and although I printed out a wonderful recipe for a gluten-free sourdough starter months ago, well…you know how I am with that process. I haven’t tried it yet. (I am mastering gluten-free muffins – this gluten-free bacon and green onion muffin recipe is fantastic.)

But I realized that there’s been a change. Since I went on record three years ago saying I "couldn’t do one more thing" and "green can Parm is keeping me sane," -somehow I’ve found the time and energy to make that effort.

Parmesan Cheese to Freeze (2) (475x317)

I just bought my first Big Huge Wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano from Costco and froze hunks for later. (Wanna know what else a real foodie buys at Costco?)

I’ve been buying the real deal for a while now…perhaps a sale at Meijer caught my eye at one point, and I thought I’d try it. Maybe that was it. I don’t even remember how it got started, but I know the tide has turned, because when a friend said that the way she gets her kids to eat asparagus is to put “lots and lots” of Parmesan on top – the green can stuff – I cringed.

My kids love using the microplane grater (at Amazon) at the table, and it DOES help them eat their soup more joyfully. At least more willingly.

Am I going to judge you if you’re still at “love my green can parm don’t even try to pry it out of my bone tired fingers!” stage?

Heck, no.

And if I do, I’m wrong. I’m flawed. I’m living in an egocentric world thinking perhaps everyone is at the same stage of their journey as me.

It’s OK if you’re not.

I hope you can take encouragement from my story and my journey, and when you’re in the "I can’t do ONE MORE THING" phase – again – just tell yourself that whenever you’re ready, you can take one little baby step, and maybe a few years down the road, you’ll look back, amazed.

(That’s what our Monday Missions are for, even if you’re not ready for the ones about big changes yet.)

Then tell yourself you’re no crazier than that Kitchen Stewardship lady, even if you do start arguing inside your head.

And she seems to be hanging in there…

Hey kitchen stewards…what’s your "one more thing" that you wish you could tackle but aren’t quite ready for?

If you appreciated my honesty, the exploration of a tough topic, or just a peek inside my slightly crazy head, you might enjoy the  whole essay series here.

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If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.


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73 Comments so far ↓

  • Sarah D

    Water kefir for me. And hot dogs/lunchmeat. I completely agree with you, though. I used to think I was busy and had excuses for all kinds of stuff. 3 more kids, 1 with celiac and lots of research means my old “sanity” now makes my stomach churn. One day, I know I will have the same thought about processed meat. I know it’s bad for us , but I only have so much time/energy.

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  • Kaylin

    Home made soap!! I’ll get there…one day.

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  • Anitra

    Making my own bread. When I say that I “don’t have time to try baking bread”, what I really mean is that “I don’t have time to fail at baking bread”. Because everything I’ve seen tells me that making yeast bread (especially for sandwiches) does not turn out well the first few times, until you know what it “should” look like risen, how it “should” feel when you’re kneading it, etc.

    I will make my own pizza crust, quick breads, muffins, waffles, etc. But no yeast bread (or sourdough bread, honestly).

    Not a food issue, but… I also feel like I should learn the basics of a sewing by machine. But after having my “free” sewing machine sit and gather dust for 5 years without even ATTEMPTING to thread it or turn it on, I gave it away.

    I tell myself that both of those things are things I can attempt when I’m no longer on constant alert – with a toddler and a preschooler, things can go from zero to crazy pretty fast!

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    RevAllyson Reply:

    Don’t feel bad. I want to make my own bread, too, and I’m PAST the “I don’t want to fail” part. I maybe fail one loaf out of the year, and I do bake pretty often. I have an awesome “no knead” recipe that turns out awesome sandwich bread, that everyone loves, that holds together in the toaster, that makes good grilled cheese sandwiches… and I “can’t find the time”. So yeah… don’t feel bad. :) Want the recipe btw? lol

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    Jeannie Reply:

    Bread is so easy if you go to Breadtopia or just google no-knead bread. Seriously, you don’t know me, but trust me. Simple 4 ingredients, mix by hand, set aside for 16 hours, spread out, put in hot oven, bake!! Yup, that easy. Works EVERY time.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Anitra,
    If you want to make bread…I’d start looking for a $10 bread machine second hand, then make these rolls for starters: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/02/01/seeking-the-perfect-homemade-whole-wheat-our-favorite-happy-rolls-no-4/ I never bake in the machine, but I let it do all the dough work for me. ;) Katie

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  • Lindsey Fratto

    I needed to hear this today.

    I make a lot of our food from scratch.

    We buy almost all organic. I bake my own (grain-free) bread. I follow a no grains, sugar, dairy (except raw), legumes, soy, corn, and many preservatives diet due to food intolerances.

    We invest a *lot* into our health. I have chronic pain, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, and a back injury that I’m recovering from. I also have 2 jobs and work 80+ hours a week.

    But…I struggle feeling inadequate, because I still buy storebought kombucha.

    Because I love the farmer’s market, but…haven’t been to one since I moved to Austin 2 months ago.

    I know that storebought almond milk has carageenan…but putting the effort of making homemade almond milk in my not-fully-functional bullet blender is just one of my “not there yet” things, and I haven’t made time to drive out and buy raw milk (1.5 hrs away).

    I’ve only made kefir once. ever. (Shame on me.)

    We mostly use unpaper towels, and homemade dishwashing detergent, and homemade laundry detergent.

    But sometimes, some days, when I’m on the verge of losing my mind…I have to compromise, and give myself grace for where I’m at in the journey.

    Some days, we just eat at Chipotle.
    Some days, I use clorox wipes instead of vinegar and baking soda.
    Some days, I stop at a coffeeshop for an iced vanilla almond milk latte (that I *know* has sugar in it…but man, they make that vanilla coffee syrup in-house, homemade, and it is SO good.)

    BUT, then I remember what our life was like when we first got married…

    Constant consumption of paper plates.
    “Dinner” consisted of mac & cheese and canned veggies.
    We had lucky charms and pasteurized milk.
    Between the two of us, we drank a large container of international delight creamer every week.

    We have come SO FAR.

    And we are still actively prioritizing our health and active lifestyle, and making continued changes in the right direction.

    When we do “compromise” and eat grains, we only eat sprouted grains.

    If I do want brownies, I make them with natural sugar (raw honey or coconut sugar).

    And we’ve completely eliminated beans, soy, and corn products. We mostly eat a rainbow variety of organic veggies, meats, nuts, and seeds!

    We BRUSH OUR TEETH WITH CLAY!

    So instead of beating myself up for my “failures” of us not taking fermented cod liver oil yet, or eating enough fermented foods, I’m going to celebrate the victories in how far we’ve come in just a couple of years.

    Thanks for the reminder Kitchen Stewardship! I can’t tell you how much I needed it today.

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    Jeannie Reply:

    You rock! Good for you, embrace all the good you are doing. Seriously, I want to be as far along the road to real food etc as you are. :-D

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    Tammie@SimpleHealthyTasty Reply:

    I loved reading your comment! Thanks for sharing I’ve had a couple of very overwhelming couple of months and it is easy to look at all I’m not doing. Thanks for helping me see how far I have come and to focus on what I am doing!

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    Alexandra Reply:

    You DO rock. We can spend so much time on what we have not yet done but really, we need to acknowledge how far we have come.

    I appreciate your post and Katie’s too.
    All this hard work is no good if we are just beating ourselves up because we aren’t doing MORE.
    I feel for me, it is a little “greedy”. I want MORE. More things to say I’ve accomplished. I have to step back and say, “am I addressing my and my family’s health needs?” If yes, then DANG, enjoy it and be with them while they are all enjoying their best health they can for the moment and all of the hard work the homemaker has contributed.
    Practice Contentment. That is what I learned in yoga. It does take practice!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    You certainly have come far, Lindsey! Wow! I can’t imagine doing any of that while working 80 hours a week; I think you’re doing amazing. Keep on keepin’ on! ;) Katie

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    Lesley Reply:

    I’m chuckling about the International Delight creamer. My father-in-law dumps the butter pecan stuff into a glass of milk and my mother-in-law calls it his petroleum byproduct milkshake. Hope that put a smile on your face!

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  • Stephanie F

    For me, it’s more of a “I meant to … and never got time.” I plan more than I actually get to do. It’s frustrating but I seem to add one more thing each week. I’m surprising myself. It seems the more I simplify the rest of my life, the more time I have for my kids and being in the kitchen making nourishing goodies. I donated of half the stuff in my house and now I seem to have more energy to get stuff done and more time to do it. Not as much to pick up after.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Stephanie,
    How awesome to notice the progress like that! :) Katie

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  • Brenda L.

    For me, it’s baking my own bread. I know I can do it, but it just seems so daunting.

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  • Annie

    Growing my wheatgrass. I have all the equipment, including the big 3-tiered rack with lights. I’ve been meaning to do this for two years. Oh, yeah, water kefir, too.

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  • Shari

    I’m crying right now, all because you said you wouldn’t judge me. You know what my “one more thing” I want to do but just can’t right now is? Cooking at home. That’s right. Cooking ANY meals, at all, at home. After 12 years of infertility, I had a baby eleven months ago and as overjoyed as I am to be finally be a mom…. I can barely handle being a mom. I haven’t used any jarred baby food at all, but it was every last thing I could do to puree all those vegetables and now that my daughter is almost a year old, I am lost. I can’t figure out how to fit cooking in the day. Please don’t ask me what she eats because I am so embarrassed to say she survives on yogurt and applesauce. It’s probably not THAT bad, but I wish so much I could get my act together.

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    Kathy C Reply:

    Hi Shari – I would just say….be the best mom you can be and eat whatever works for you. If you eat cold hot dogs and green beans out of a can every meal, so be it. There will be time later in life to work on menus. Just enjoy your daughter. I think it’s more important to work on stress than meals.

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    RevAllyson Reply:

    Congrats for being there for your miracle baby! :) Don’t be embarassed, be proud that she’s there with you. That’s way better than all the other stuff. So long as your kid isn’t living on McDonalds every day, I think you’re doing damn well. I got tofu for our kids when they were that age, and (yeah this is *really* bad) vienna sausages. :) And I bought food, and refused to feel ashamed about it.

    Take a deep breath, and go play peek a boo with your little bundle. :)

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    Anitra Reply:

    It gets better! I went through a long period when I was pregnant with my second child when I felt like a total failure – I had just started to make a lot more food from scratch, and then I had horrible morning sickness and I was just SO TIRED all the time – and a toddler tugging on me all day, so simply staying in bed was not an option. My husband brought a lot of food home, and we ate a lot of PBJ and Annie’s mac&cheese back then. (And my toddler watched a LOT of TV.) I felt like I was going backwards, like we were eating even more “junk” than we had before. But it got better.

    If you’re feeling like you can’t handle just the day-to-day of being a mom, please ask for help from other ladies who know you and know what you’ve been through. Maybe a few “dump it in the crockpot” recipes would help. Maybe you need someone to help watch your daughter while you make a whole week’s worth of meals at once. Maybe you need someone to watch her just so you can get some uninterrupted SLEEP!

    Perhaps you are experiencing post-partum depression. If nothing seems to help you get the energy you need to make it through the day, talk to your doctor.

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    Elisabeth Reply:

    No judgments here. We’ve all been there. Those who haven’t been there in the past are bound to end up there in the future.

    Give yourself permission to be imperfect. You’re probably doing better than you know. You’ll find your groove more and more the older your LO gets, particularly as you catch up on sleep.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Shari,
    Congratulations on your long-awaited blessing!!! What a joy! Do you have friends or neighbors who could support you to help you carve out an hour here and there just to plan, breathe, or be in the kitchen?

    I love that the KS community stepped in and patted you on the back already, and I have to say I was wondering the same thing as Anitra – with the hormones of the postpartum life that your body isn’t used to, it may be physiological that you feel overwhelmed…that and the fact that being a mom is overwhelming! ;) But don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it be juggling your time or asking a doctor to see if you are struggling with depression or if your adrenals are shot or whatever…

    Kudos to you for fighting through and making purees, but remember that mom needs fuel, too. You have to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. When I don’t have time to cook, I fry an egg. While you’re enjoying yours, maybe your daughter would have a taste too! She’s almost at the age where she can climb on a chair and watch you in the kitchen, so keep looking forward to that day!

    {hugs} and prayers,
    Katie

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  • charis

    so there with you. it is all about baby steps and not judging others who are doing the best they can even if it is different that me. i have milk kefir grains and keep almost killing them with not using them enough. i just forget they are there and honestly like making yogurt more, even if milk kefir is “easier.”

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  • Tracey

    For me, it’s cereal. I know I should be making lovely pancakes, waffles, eggs, and bacon every morning. But I just can’t. :(

    Probably because I’m not a morning person and I still can’t manage to get to bed before 11p even when I have to get up at 6a. I’ll get there one day :)

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  • charis

    by the way, i wanted to let you know that posts like this is part of why i prefer your whole food blog over some others. some of them, not to be named, always leave me walking away feeling like i can never do enough and that there is probably something nearly deadly i am feeding my family with good, but misinformed, intentions. i really appreciate both how you integrate your faith and how you are transparent with your process and are okay with others in their process of learning how to be good stewards in the kitchen.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Thanks Charis!
    It’s good to just be human together, isn’t it? Even though we’re probably poisoning our kids with our humanity, right? ;) *shakes head* I hear you on that front – :) Katie

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  • Pam

    I start grad school at the end of this month and am taking on a teaching project at work, which means I will have about 8-10 fewer hours per week for cooking and housework :( To help keep my sanity, I am teaching my 9 year old daughter how to do laundry, wash dishes, and make PB and J sandwiches. I taught my 6 year old son to Swiffer the kitchen floor, set and clear the table, and sort laundry. My 4 year old runs the hand vac and is my little “go-for” guy. I am teaching the hubby how to cook simple meals so they don’t head for the drive thru instead. I tanked up the supply of crock pot recipes for dinners and have worked hard to find some healthier options for store-bought quick-fix items (free of preservatives, dyes, artificial sweeteners, etc.). I am not a complete real foodie, so have never baked my own breads or brewed anything other than coffee :). But when I look back to just 3 years ago and think of all the processed artificial junk laden stuff we used to eat and how little I used to cook, I realized how much better we eat today. We are also much “greener” than we used to be by recycling, decreasing the number of chemicals in the house, and using fewer paper products. You are so right! Taking tiny steps just one at a time can make a difference! Maybe in 4 years after grad school and when all 3 kids are in school all day, perhaps I will take some bigger steps in the kitchen.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Pam,
    What a smart mama! That was some awesome kid-training you did, and the whole family will be better for it! :) Katie

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  • Julie

    Used to be so good about making breakfast every morning…now my kids eat cereal at least 3 mornings a week. :( And I would love to get back into the habit of making homemade tortillas — the ones from the store just aren’t as good!

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  • Susanne

    Thanks for this encouraging post. I have been out of touch with Kitchen Stewardship for several weeks and I sure needed to hear this. I wish I had better breakfasts for my children. During the school year we have to be out the door at 7:20. Hubs and I eat oatmeal, which the kids don’t really like. I resort to boxed cereal. I hate that I do that, but I do!

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  • Mishelle

    Thank you thank you thank you! I found one of your recipes online a few weeks ago and the more I read, the more I actually DO. In my life, I’ve been “inspired” plenty of times. I may even do a lot of shopping to get the “right” supplies/ingredients and start something…but I rarely follow through or adopt it long term.

    I’m not really sure why but your recipes and tips and suggestions ring so true to me. Sometimes when I read recipes or ideas that sound good, my brain goes a little haywire and I get overwhelmed with “well, if i do this then that will have to change.” I dont feel that at all when I read this blog. I feel like I can do the things you suggest and, wow, I’m done. That’s it. I’ve had a stand up freezer for years that has gone relatively unused because I didnt have any good ideas. Now, its like “that’s all I have to do?” I can totally manage that.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Mishelle,
    Welcome aboard! You totally made my day, because that’s exactly my goal here at Kitchen Stewardship, and it’s awesome to know that some recipes are coming across that way for you! :) Katie

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    Mishelle Reply:

    So far today, I’m on my second batch of stock, got two pounds of beans done and in the freezer, and started the soaking pancake recipe. I’m loving saving, reducing, planning ahead and even getting a little organized after a lifetime of barely being able to do one thing. Also love your ebooks. I use them everyday.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Woo hoo!

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  • pam

    I struggle with this topic of where I’m at on the journey thing vs. where others are at a lot. It takes lots of prayer for me to have peace with where God has me today.

    I’ve actually relaxed a little with some things that I used to be quite militant about. We have a little farm and grow and can and have animals. I’ve learned that I don’t have to produce everything we eat (gasp!). I don’t even have to buy everything at the farmer’s market (another gasp!). Sometimes the best answer is to buy some food at Aldi and let go of some of my well-intentioned rules.

    God is pushing me towards other kingdom work and does not seem to want me to spend every waking moment dealing with our food. I have to trust Him to help me prioritize my day and walk forward in all that He has for me and allow others to do the same.

    Many blessings to you!
    pam

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    J in VA Reply:

    Pam,

    I think sometimes we run the risk of idolizing food. The Lord gave us food and we are to make the best choices we can to care for our bodies the best we are able.

    BUT…no matter if we never eat McD’s, drink pasteurized non-organic milk and live on Little Debbie cakes…we are human, we will die and we will face our Father who will want an accounting for how we lived our lives and ask if we accepted his Son as our compass.

    Obsessing over every mouthful is not Scriptural and runs the risk of getting us WAY OFF track.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Pam,
    what a beautiful philosophy! And I love Aldi; readers are always telling me about good real food finds there, and I hear they’re even adding organic produce now! It sounds like you’re doing just awesome stewarding all your resources – including time. :) Katie

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  • Jeannie

    This was a great post. Thank you for your honesty, humor, and encouragement! I just started making water kefir a couple weeks ago. Well actually I just started feeding kefir grains every 2 days, throwing the liquid away every 2 days afraid of the next step. But yesterday I drained the kefir into another container, added lemon juice and am waiting to taste test this afternoon. I hope this is the beginning of accomplishing something I have wanted to do for years. :-D. Next the green can, I ordered the microplaner from amazon

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    caroline Reply:

    Microplaner is great for other things besides parmesan. Like zesting a lemon. I actually prefer to throw the chunks of parm in my food processor – chop some, and shred some. I like the thicker pieces (more like the pre-shredded stuff that Butoni sells with the refrigerated pasta). But for salad’s and things like that I do grate right at the table.

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  • Katherine

    I recently made a lot of “one more thing” steps! Organic! Free range! Grass fed! Probiotic! Lemon Water! And then I looked at the label on the pickle jar…and that seems too daunting a task to tackle.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Katherine,
    Great work! Pickles tick me off – why do they have to put colors in there and everything! Sheesh. Just check out the refrigerated section for pickles – generally much cleaner ingredients while you sit with the idea of trying to make your own (I fail at those every year and am NOT even trying this summer!). ;) Katie

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  • Karen

    I am almost all set to start making pickles for the first time. I even grew a plant from seed, intending on making pickles. I have more cucumbers than I can use and should pickle them. However, it will probably have to wait until next summer…

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  • 'Becca

    Nice post! It’s funny how “one more thing” can become doable over time. For my family, the food thing I’d most like to change that probably won’t change soon is that we eat a lot of cold cereal.

    But the thing that NEEDS to change NOW is that I need to take the vitamins and minerals that treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I have been struggling with this since a miscarriage last year. I’ve definitely felt a lot better in cycles when I took the supplements consistently than in cycles when I didn’t, but I have had trouble getting myself to keep taking them. Especially, if I skip a day and then start to feel bad, I come up with all sorts of weird excuses for “forgetting” to swallow the dang pills. So I’m really working on my habit formation now while I’m feeling good (instead of thinking that because I’m doing fine, I don’t need the supplements!) in hopes that the habit will persist and carry me through the whole cycle this time.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    ‘Becca,
    I’m so sorry; I didn’t know you suffered a miscarriage – that’s a lot of grief even without physical challenges. I hope writing down this goal will help galvanize you to stay on the horse with this habit…you can do it!!
    {hugs} Katie

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  • Molly

    I always have to laugh at myself when I finally admit with a sigh that something is “too much” and I just “can’t do it” — as if someone is actually expecting me to. Who am I really letting down if I decide that I just can’t do one more thing?

    Is the yoke easy and burden light? Most of the time mine is not … A sure sign I’m not walking in the Spirit! Even with real food! It’s not meant to be a constraint, is it? It’s not meant to be a drag, is it?

    Thanks for your words, Katie! God’s grace is sufficient!

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  • Elisabeth

    I read a lovely book over a decade ago entitled Margin. It is actually beneficial at times to forgo doing One More Thing, because we need the mental space at the edges of our lives.

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  • Diva Goes Organic

    Story of my life lately! There are so many things I “just wish I had time for.” I had my first baby 5 months ago and she is such a joy but also much more high needs than I anticipated. Most nights, I feel accomplished if I manage to cook dinner and we eat by 8:00 pm. I seriously need to make stock, bread, yogurt and a million other things. While we have sacrificed more than I’d like lately when it comes to food, I know I’ll never get this precious time with my little girl back. I try to slow down, remember that, and enjoy these small moments. We still eat much better than the majority of the population and I feel good about that.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    You bet! I have to remind myself that it’s not a competition sometimes… :) Katie

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  • Laurie

    Two words for you, Katie, “Child Labor!” ;-)

    Seriously, as the kids get older, odds are they will be a real blessing when it comes to getting done everything that needs doing. Because we homeschool, they *know* everything that goes into raising and preserving so much of our food, and come to appreciate it (and even brag a bit about “their corn” or “their beans”, etc.). (Of course, we have to make time for book work, too, which can be a challenge, but the benefits outweigh the costs, at least for us.)

    Now that mine are teenagers, they are a lot more skillful in the kitchen and garden, but I’ve got some great photos of them “helping” when they were about the same size as your crew.

    I encourage everyone to simply do what you can, where you are, with what you have. The rest will work out on its own.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Yes, yes, child labor! ;) I employed that in unloading the van after a trip today (hubs wasn’t with us) and it was so lovely. Need to do it more often…
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Frances

    Sauerkraut. I’ve been meaning to attempt sauerkraut all summer & have not.

    I’m finally at a point in my life where I just have to believe I’ll get to it when I get to it & be grateful for what I have been doing. Diagnosed with RA, fibromyalgia, and Raynauds, and having a hysterectomy for severe endometriosis…all in the last 2 years has changed me. At first it seemed for the worst. I lived in bed for almost a year & then I remembered there was a way to eat that was healing and about nutritional density.

    Here I am today organic farming. Yep farming! In an apprenticeship that has helped to boost the health eating real food has given me. For years I knew deep down food could be good or bad medicine but it took a crisis of health (and faith some days) to finally make that bone broth soup & eliminate most refined grains from my diet. Being with the plants & the earth has just made my commitment to healing myself & others through real food even deeper.

    And we women have some crazy stigma about doing-it-all. I don’t know who or what fed us this lie but it’s BS. We have a right to rest, relax, and renew. If we don’t, we burn out & then we get sick (at least that’s what happened to me). We cannot give what we don’t have so it makes sense to let go of that one-more-thing. But alas I still struggle to not feel guilty about my lack of sauerkraut. And then I remember Spirit will bring me to it when it’s time.

    Thank you for this post. It’s been a good opportunity to reflect & commiserate. More than that it reminds me to be where I’m at & celebrate all that I have done, including taking time to not DO anything.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Frances,
    You certainly aren’t the first for whom a crisis of health was the turning point, and it sounds like you’re doing a LOT and also keeping it real with a great philosophy. :) Sauerkraut was one of mine too about a year ago. Then I made a few batches, but I haven’t gotten back to it, so I guess it’s a “thing” again! ;) Whenever I want to do something like that, I print a few recipes. Them getting in my way off and on helps move me closer toward actually doing it (and then 9c/lb cabbage at St. Patty’s Day time pushed me over the edge and I jumped into it!). ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stephanie

    Homemade bread. I hate looking at the ingredient list on even the best store-bought bread. And I hate the fact that my 2 kids each a sandwich a piece almost every day for lunch. Quite honestly, I am 32 weeks pregnant and super exhausted, and it’s all I can do to get through the daily tasks. Experimenting with something new might just push me over the edge. I will get to the point where I can make homemade bread some day.

    Here are the positive changes I HAVE made recently: I ditched the canola oil and have started using coconut oil in our baking. I replaced white sugar with raw honey in things like homemade waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc. My kids mostly eat whole fat plain yogurt with fresh fruit instead of the flavored yogurt in tubes. We have all started taking a cod liver oil supplement daily.

    I think it’s important to remember where we’ve been, and not get so down on ourselves about what we’re not doing. The desire to improve and be better “stewards” of our bodies and our family’s health is pleasing in itself to God, and we need to accept our humanity, and ultimately, God’s grace, that will help us to keep on trying.

    Thanks for this post!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Stephanie,
    Your baby is your ONE MORE THING for this season! You have made humongous, awesome strides, and definitely deserve to celebrate that. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Weekend Links - Keeper of the Home

    [...] The Evolution of ONE MORE THING @ Kitchen Stewardship [...]

  • Jackie

    I don’t have children yet, and I am certainly amazed at all the things you are doing! I don’t get everything done and it’s just me, my husband, and our dog.

    I am working on eating healthy so I can be healthier when the time comes to start our family.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Terri

    My one more thing is sauces and condiments, like salsa, Tomato Ketchup and mayonnaise. I try to buy the best ones but still feel bad about it. The thing is, i dont have a food processor, or blender or anything like that so its just too much like hard work. One day………..

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Peggy

    Pasta. Pasta is fast food for us. I make my own pasta sauces from scratch, usually with tomatoes I have to preserved. But I can’t imagine grinding grain and making pasta instead of just opening the box!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Sarah Reply:

    Me too. Maybe one day…

    [Reply to this comment]

    Sheila Reply:

    Making pasta is easier than it sounds, if that helps! I still don’t do it often, but one day I was out of noodles and just whipped some up …. and seriously, it took maybe 10 minutes longer, or less. I can’t imagine why I don’t do it more! If you roll ‘em by hand and just do linguine, you don’t have to have a pasta machine — or WASH a pasta machine.

    On the other hand, the ingredients on the back of the pasta box are just flour, water, and salt, so it’s not like it’s a major priority compared to the sauce or any of the other things I do make from scratch.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sarah

    I hadn’t realized how far I had already come until I found this message and then read your ten things to “start” with and realized I’ve already started them. I started thinking about those “one more things” I have been putting off. Here are some I thought of:
    – Making my own mayo. Just haven’t got there yet.
    – Getting rid of the microwave. I’m kind of waiting for this old one to die and then not replace it, but I’m mentally tallying ways to get around using it when that day comes.
    – Making my own salad dressing. I do it occasionally but the recipes are all so big and I end up throwing so much away when I don’t get around to making another salad right away.
    – Peanut butter. I tried the natural stuff but it is just not as good and my kids will not go for it. I’m thinking of gradually mixing it in and weaning out the “good” (but actually bad) stuff.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lisa

    Oh no! You mean that there’s more to life than green can parm? Isn’t it more expensive to buy the “real” thing? I can so relate to your “Just one more thing” reactions. I, too, have that reaction. Seems like I get my mental list of everything that needs to be done (clean behind the fridge, re-organize and get rid of plasticware, wash windows) and it’s quite overwhelming. Add working part time into the mix and I just want to go bury my head in the sand.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Santhy

    Katie, I love your baby steps approach. I was a heavy microwave user, and that too in cheap plastic containers! Switching to glass was easy enough, but I was overwhelmed by the thought of heating up everything on the stove top. Then one day I opened the microwave to heat something for my daughter, and I heard your voice in my head, encouraging me to just consider if it’s possible to do this any other way, just this once. I realised there was. Then one evening I opened the microwave to find that the metal rack (from baking in convection mode the previous day) was still inside, which meant I hadn’t used the microwave that entire day! That’s when I realised I had actually taken that first baby step! Now I hardly ever use the microwave. The other day, while visiting relatives, the hostess hurriedly handed me a plate to reheat quickly in the microwave. I actually hesitated, and my husband caught my eye and pleaded silently with me to just go ahead and do it:-) How far those baby steps can take you!

    God bless you for your patience, kindness and faith!

    Santhy
    India

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Santhy,
    What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Do You Eat Genetically Modified Foods? | Green Your Way

    [...] I’ve just gotten tired of asking the questions, and although my spirits are heavier when I buy zucchini nowadays, I just don’t have the heart to ask the GM question. I guess I don’t want to know, because you gotta eat something. For me, for now, GMOs are my “one more thing.” [...]

  • Kathryn Arnold

    Tried to Facebook share this post…it said it could not be found.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hmmm, that’s odd. I just tried to share it and it went fine…sometimes Facebook can be wonky on the previews like that. Sorry for the hassle – thanks so much for trying to share anyway! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kathryn Arnold Reply:

    Oh, I shared it anyway…just had to copy/paste the URL. I’m working from my phone, which usually doesn’t matter, but anything’s possible.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sherra

    My next giant leap for me is to begin baking gluten free. I have made the gluten free flour mix (again-a different recipe-second attempt) I am hoping for success this time! Just like you said, it takes south time to actually begin doing it and making it routine. Thanks for your enouraging post!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sheila

    I have a looong list of five-minute tasks that need to be done.
    *Oil the doorknobs so they stop squeaking when I need to sneak in the kids’ room at night
    *Email a friend back
    *Set up a midwife appointment
    *Ask the neighbors if they will watch our cats next week
    *Write in my one-line-a-day journal so I don’t forget my kids’ childhood. Seriously, I have three entries for the past two months!

    Why can’t I ever think of these when I’m in a place to do them? Instead they only occur to me at three a.m., or when my husband says, “Did you ask about the ….” Oops! There is a stale piece of scone on the windowsill behind my sink …. every time I see it, I think, “I gotta throw that away when I’m done washing these dishes!” I have no idea how may DAYS I have thought this and not done it!

    Real food things I don’t do: make sourdough bread for breakfast. Every morning I think “I wish I had made dough last night so I could have something good to offer the kids for breakfast!” And every night the two minutes it takes seem like too much. My starter is going to die at this rate.

    Yogurt: I do it sometimes, but more often than not we drink up all the milk before I ever remember. Getting out the hot pot I incubate it in seems like suuuuch a big step.

    Beans: Today I FINALLY am cooking the beans I’ve put off for days and days. I soaked them yesterday, but didn’t have time to cook them, so they wound up in the fridge. At least I didn’t leave them on the counter to go bad as happened to me once!

    I read recently that the trick to accomplishing thing is to just *start.* Instead of thinking, “I have to make yogurt,” think, “All I have to do is get out the yogurt maker, and then I can stop.” It said that once you get that far, momentum will take over and you will find you may as well finish. Maybe I should try this and find out, because it’s not like I don’t have time in my day. I have time to type this out, after all! I just am tired and don’t wanna get out of my chair.

    Now I’m going to go throw out that stale scone. Ew.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sheila,
    You are just too cute! Someday, we have to meet. I feel like you’re an old friend! I hope you threw out the scone for real… ;)

    I DO think that the “just start” with one thing works. Like for the bread – when you are bummed you didn’t do it yesterday, start it that morning. So you bake it at dinnertime/evening…it’s still good the following morning! And your beans…just drain them and leave in the colander, rinsing a.m. and p.m. and say you planned to sprout them anyway. Ha! Been there…

    I’ve given up on remembering my kids’ childhood after the first year of the first one, during which I wrote at least a few sentences every day. Oh, the days of one! ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Do You Eat Genetically Modified Foods?

    […] I’ve just gotten tired of asking the questions, and although my spirits are heavier when I buy zucchini nowadays, I just don’t have the heart to ask the GM question. I guess I don’t want to know, because you gotta eat something. For me, for now, GMOs are my “one more thing.” […]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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