I was shelling our black-eyed peas while sipping on a quart jar of tea the other day and the irony of that whole scene was a bit comical. I live deep in the heart of Texas but I most definitely do not fit the bill of a southern woman… even when surrounded by tea and . . .

 

There are only so many ways to eat ground beef before you get bored, right? There’s hamburgers, spaghetti, tacos, stir-fry, soup, and stew. And then I’m out of ideas. Most of our meat is ground beef, because that is the most economical way to buy grass-fed beef in these parts, so as you might imagine, . . .

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the different “diet” types, how our family has dabbled in a bit of them all, and where we fall on the continuum. At one point or another we’ve been grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-fat, high-fat, low-carb, high-raw and just about any other hyphenated eating habit you can think of. . . .

 

When we have grocery stores lined with everything imaginable and the ability to buy many of these things, it’s hard to imagine a culture who couldn’t afford wheat flour for bread, or who might simply choose not to buy it. Instead, the independent people of Appalachia subsisted on mostly homegrown foods with a few staples . . .

 

  It’s just about the hottest part of the year for all of us, isn’t it? And I don’t know about you, but I am not turning my oven on if I have a choice in the matter. That said, we still need to eat and for those of us who consume grains, homemade is . . .

 

When I discovered lacto-fermentation seven years ago now, my mind was blown. What do you mean I can make delicious pickles without boiling everything good out of them and heating up my kitchen?! Not only that, but they can have more of the benefits of a raw, living food. I felt like my whole life . . .

 

I headed out to the garden before the hot summer sun could fully take its toll. I found our Swiss chard standing high, begging to be picked. Between the beets and beans, the former peeking their roots out from the soil and the latter preparing to flower, I bent down and plucked the stems one . . .

 

We eat a lot of tacos. And by a lot I mean almost every day. More often than not I make them with homemade corn tortillas made from a bag of masa flour. While we love tacos, and no one has gotten sick of them yet, it’s nice to have a few other dishes I . . .

 

If you’re anything like me, then you could happily cook all day long without complaint. Three meals a day? No problem! Homemade everything? Sure! Dishes? Hmmm… I know there are some families in which the cook does not become the dishwasher, but when you have four small children I’m not really sure how one works . . .

 

This, our third spring in Texas, has been the loveliest by far. The weather has been cooler and we have had substantial rain right when our spring garden needs it most. The gardens look the best they ever have, and it’s all very exciting. It’s heating up now, but we’re still eating a few peas, . . .