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Life in the slow lane

Jura, Switzerland

My two youngest girls are off with their class in the mountains today. They left a little after eight this morning and won’t come back until after almost six tonight. They were so excited to go.

All the mothers watched the children get on the train with their teachers.  The children looked so big and so happy.

Farm in the Jura

I prepared their picnic lunch this morning. I made peanut butter sandwiches using the bread I had baked last night. Of course, the sandwiches will be the best ever because they were made with all my ‘Mama love’.

Or so they tell me.  :)

Ghost of a wish

I am looking forward to hearing all about their day when they get back.

For dinner, I am preparing a cassoulet because I know they will be hungry. It is the first time I have made this from scratch.

The smell from it cooking is filling the entire apartment. It is divine and I haven’t even added the meat yet.

Vilay and I are trying to pay close attention to what we spend on food.  I am cooking almost everything from scratch.  Truely, from scratch…As in I make as much as I can using basic ingredients.

I am even making my own egg noodles now.

I am dreaming of a pasta machine so that I can make my own.

My goal is to eat as little as possible from the box.  Any box.


Even if we live in Switzerland, we are not rich.

In no way whatsoever.

So, I am looking to the days of my great-grandmother for inspiration.

I want to give my family the best while spending the least.  Luckily, home cooked meals are far more tasty and healthy while being cheaper than anything else.

It isn’t hard to cook or bake from scratch.

Most of the time it only takes a little more time while other times it takes a lot more time.

However, it is worth it.

Every time.

The things I make from scratch taste so much better than what you buy at the grocery.

I was afraid to cook from scratch before because I thought it was hard.  Now, I understand that it isn’t hard and it gets easier and easier the more you do it.

You begin to understand how everything works together in a recipe.

I think that in the past I was afraid to slow down and look at my life.

Afraid to break from the mainstream thinking.

Afraid to step out of the safety of the box that I had created for myself.

Today, it is all about breaking the rules.

It is about living my life.

For me.

For my family.

It is about going back to the things that matter and the things that are good for us.

…Like making meals from scratch.

When I cook I relax.

It isn’t work.

It is an art.

I am creating.

I take my time and I grow as a cook, a baker and more importantly, a person.

I am making my life and not relying on a box filled solution.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Paige Orloff June 18, 2009, 4:44 pm

    I love this post. I love to cook, but I too struggle with making time to create healthy dinners for my family every night–sometimes, it just seems such a struggle. But when you get it together–it’s bliss. Very impressed with your breadbaking, by the way, so impressed that I’m thinking I might have to go down and start a loaf myself–never mind that it’s been years since I baked my own bread. But I was shopping yesterday (at the inexpensive market) and the only healthy bread they sold (no high fructose corn syrup) was almost $4/loaf–that’s a lot. Off to the mixing bowl…

    • Pumpkin June 21, 2009, 6:49 pm

      That’s why I am baking as much bread as I can at home now. We are eat healthier and cheaper. Can’t get better than that. I do agree that it does get to be a challenge coming up with the meals and the time to plan it out and make it. But, it is getting easier and easier.

      Good luck with your bread making!

  • anne June 18, 2009, 9:03 pm

    Your little girls are having so much fun, travelling by train for a trip..they will be so excited, and the stories will be amazing.

    I cook from scratch but not to the extent of making my own noodles or bread..I don’t have family at home, but I do everything else.

    You will get the hang of it, and the satisfaction will be immense..as you say…”You are growing” xo

    • Pumpkin June 21, 2009, 6:51 pm

      I have finished my first week of almost everything from scratch…I have been working up to it over time…and it isn’t as bad as I thought. I think more and more people are starting to do the same because of the focus on health and savings.

  • Shaun June 18, 2009, 9:23 pm

    Great post…. very nice to read.

  • Hexe June 19, 2009, 1:16 pm

    Good for you. I too find that making meals is not only more healthy, but taste better. I even tried making pasta with just a rolling pin – a bit too thick – but an adventure! Enjoy your “art”.

  • Susan June 20, 2009, 12:40 pm

    Add me to the list of people who love this post. I admire your desire to live simply and provide high quality meals to your family. Saving money is the icing on the cake, as it were. I’m not ready to begin baking bread, but I plan to look for more opportunities to get back to basics in my cooking. Thanks for the nudge.

    • Pumpkin June 21, 2009, 6:53 pm

      I started out getting back to the basics as you said. But, I found that I got more and more confident in my cooking and wanted to do more and more at home. You may do the same over time.

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