G is for Gradually Garner…

G is to gradually garner all that you need for food love! Wisdom, equipment, ingredients, bravery… you have a lifetime to acquire what you need. Today I am grateful to have garnered a few tips from wise friends of mine:

1. Make a menu! My very inspiring friend J introduced me to this concept. How freeing! No pressure to come up with ideas spur of the moment, no disappointment in not having ingredients at the ready… for family life, this is wonderful. I make my menu on the weekend, and make my grocery list at the same time (see column to right of one below). Here are my menus the last 2 weeks:

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You can always decide to change something last minute, but you don’t HAVE to! Awesome! Chili and pizza are once-a-weekers in our family, as have become the nutty yam waffles! Potatoes are a new favorite, integrated much more in our life since our dairy-free, grain-free living experience. We are aiming for 1 squash meal per week to support our oldest newly acquiring the taste for this amazing, local winter vegetable.

2. Make special routines and rhythms around food for your family and yourself. Maybe I added food to this piece of wisdom, but the idea is that if you have ritual and rhythm, these will carry your family through hard times. You can turn to those special places in your family’s quilt, and they will comfort you when you feel low on strength and energy (for food!). Here we are at our new “sunday fun day” spot, the local ice cream shop!

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This ice cream is home made with REAL ingredients – the maple walnut has REAL maple syrup, the licorice has REAL anise, it is simply AH-Mazing, especially when the sun shines like today. Here is the view out the other side:

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In Vernon we had a great many familiar and wonderful spots in our family life: bean scene, the tree canopy at the old library, davison orchards… the list goes on. Here we are starting from scratch, making a new quilt. Saturdays I work at being an entrepreneur. Yesterday I could have stayed home, but chose to go sit at “Zoe’s” for tea. On the Cowichan Bay “strip”, Zoe’s “regulars” drop their money in a tin and pour their own coffee. If they short her, they say “get you next time”. She makes all her own baking – carrot cake, pumpkin pie (from a whole BAKED pumpkin!), and she is a lovely lovely presence. She serves a lot of folks with sea legs (who live on their boats). She hosts a Christmas dinner for folks with no where else to celebrate. She sells whole tortiere made with homemade apple cider (folks donate apples to her and she juices them). Here is her shop:

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