Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Giving Birth at Home: Pros and Cons of our Homebirth Decision

January 17th, 2015 · Natural Health

Gabe smiling

Two-month-old’s giggles may just cure cancer and create world peace, my husband quipped the other day.

We’re in the baby giggles stage now, those amazingly heart-melting “hyuk-hyuks” parents are rewarded with when we smile and laugh with baby, nuzzle his neck with our kisses and tickle his belly.

Yes, dear reader, babies do bring joy to a household. Gabe makes me smile every day and my heart is 110% taken by him.

We’re far enough away now from the birth experience that I’m glad I was taking little notes that week, because I’d probably forget everything negative and anything important about the whole thing.

If you haven’t yet heard my birth story, I really wrote it for me and to Gabriel, but I’ll let you read it:

I promised you a rundown of the pros and cons of a homebirth, and I’m finally delivering.

Do You Want a Homebirth

Just so you have a little background, this was our fourth birth but first homebirth. We have had three hospital births, all “natural” without pain medications or inductions, each progressively quicker than the last: 13 hours labor, 7 in the hospital with number one; 5 hours labor, 39 minutes in the hospital for our second; and 2-ish hours labor (or two days), 3 minutes in the hospital.

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Michigan Vaccination Exemption Law Updates: Did the State Health Department Break the Law?

January 16th, 2015 · Call to Action, Essays, Food for Thought

Michigan's New Vaccine Exemption Rules: Rights Violations or Legislative Prudence?

I want my form back.

I consider myself a thinking person, but sometimes I miss the obvious.

At the beginning of each school year, I drown in paperwork. It took me over an hour of solid writing just to fill out forms for two – two! – of my four kids for their elementary school teachers and office paperwork.

So I admit, when I get the vaccine exemption form, I fill it out just like any other form. Name, address, check this box, check that one, write “philosophical” on the “reason for exemption” line just like the school secretary told me, sign, date, done.

Now that there’s some renewed discussion about that form in the wake of a few rather major changes to the process parents use to obtain a vaccine exemption in Michigan, I realize that signing a document stating this:

By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child and others at risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented through proper vaccination.

…might not be the best paper trail to leave.

Am I in essence stating, “Yes, I am choosing to potentially harm my child?”

I can just imagine the Child Protective Services agent assigned to my wrongful case someday using that as a signed piece of evidence that I knowingly placed my child at risk.

No good.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

In our current world climate, I don’t think that’s paranoid at all. I can’t stop thinking about this poor mother who left her 4-year-old in the car on a mild day while she grabbed one item at a small store — and ended up arrested. I’m not going to put into writing whether I’ve ever done that before…but know that my hair stands on end thinking about having my kids taken away for something so minor.

Kids looking at Gabe

It feels like a very short leap from a mindless form-filling-out session to a piece of evidence in a crazy CPS case against me where I’m losing my parental rights because I let them walk by themselves to the bus stop PLUS I didn’t vaccinate them.

But this post is not about me and mine.

It’s about the new rule changes on vaccine exemptions in the State of Michigan as of January 1, 2015.

And the real question is:

Who is breaking the law?

Me, or the state health department?

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Handling the Whole Chicken Series: Meal Planning With a Whole Chicken (with over 16 Recipes!)

January 15th, 2015 · Tips

Meal Planning With a Whole Chicken (with over 16 Recipes!)This post is by contributing writer Bethany Wright.

Welcome to the final post in our series on Handling the Whole Chicken!

In case you missed the earlier posts, you can catch them here:

  • Monday Mission: Buy a Whole Chicken. See the numbers on why buying a whole chicken from a local farmer is cheaper than buying boneless skinless chicken breast. If you’re still not convinced buying a whole chicken is for you, check out our list of 6 objections that we debunk.
  • Two Fail-Proof Recipes to Cook a Whole Chicken. If you’re a newbie to cooking a whole chicken, start here. I share my two secret recipes to cooking whole chicken – along with a ton of tips and ways to store your cooked meat.

Hopefully by now you’re motivated to buy a whole chicken from a local farmer – or, at the very least, be willing to venture beyond boneless skinless chicken breast at the grocery store.

So let’s look at ways to use up our chicken parts. And at the end I’ll show you a sample meal plan.

Tips and Recipes for Chicken Breast

I’m always amazed at how delicious baked chicken breast can taste with just a few simple ingredients like salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar. Bake for 350*F until cooked through. Yummmmmmm. Delicious.

However, chicken breast also has a way of flying off the table. The meat can go super fast.
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Help Handling the Whole Chicken Series: Two Fail-Proof Ways to Cook a Chicken

January 14th, 2015 · Recipes

Two Fail-Proof Ways to Cook A Whole ChickenThis post is by contributing writer Bethany Wright.

If you’ve been following along in our series on Help Handling the Whole Chicken, you know that our family has been buying whole chickens from a local farmer for a few years now – partly because it’s just cheaper than buying chicken breast at the grocery store! 

However, it wasn’t until this past year that I conquered my secret phobia of touching raw meat especially raw chicken (ew!!!! squishy!!!) and learned how to cut up a whole chicken

So how did we eat whole chickens for several years if I didn’t touch them?

Today I’d like to introduce to you two fail-proof ways to cook a whole chicken.

If you’re squeamish about touching a whole chicken – or you’re in a phase of life where you just need a hassle-free method – I’ve got two fantastic recipes for you.

Meet My Best Friend: The Crock Pot

I stumbled across this method when my youngest was a newborn. I needed a simple way to cook a whole bird without grease splatters (which can sometimes happen when roasting in the oven).

If my sleep-deprived brain had to remember to clean the grease out of my oven after roasting a chicken – I wasn’t gonna make it…
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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.