Summer is here and our homeschool schedule has slowed down. What better time than now, for Leah, our almost 14 year old daughter, to continue pursuing her “Keeper of the Home” skills. A good foundation in the kitchen is an essential part of life skills that will benefit her later on as she starts her own family. Regardless of whether Leah pursues to further her education after high school, I cannot stress enough the importance of life skills both for girls and boys in their respective areas.
Zachary and Leah take turns helping in our kitchen. We have a weekly routine which gives each of them a turn in helping me with dinner and other kitchen duties. Breakfast preparation is pretty simple, vegetable or fruit shakes, raw granola, eggs, etc.. and lunch is easily prepared as it’s usually leftovers from last night’s dinner. As my helper, they get to be my “Assistant Chefs”. Not that I’m a chef by any means but it makes it more fun, and as Assistant Chef, there are privileges; they get input in meal planning! Being in that role allows them to assist with whatever food preparation is needed. They feel comfortable in the kitchen already for the most part and can prepare any meal I ask of them since I have included them for many years, but the value in being my “Assistant Chef” gives them an opportunity to also grow in servitude, especially when it involves doing something they don’t like. I have one who prefers to cook our son Zachary, and one who prefers to bake, Leah. There was a time when Zachary was considering pursuing some cooking classes, especially after watching many episodes of “Alton Brown” on the Food Channel. Alton Brown spends time explaining away the scientific relation of food--I guess you could say, the chemistry of food. Even though Leah is able to prepare many foods in the kitchen, including complete meals, bread making, yogurt, making soups, I still feel she would benefit from a more complete foundation.
Therefore I have decided to pursue some lessons in food preparation, meal planning to help stay on budget, and more learning of nutrition. As a homeschool mom since the children were born, I have used “prepared” curriculums, I have combined curriculums, and I have prepared my own. For Leah’s “Keeper of the Home” curriculum, I am choosing a combination of venues to give her a well-rounded foundation. I am still in the process of selecting what else will be needed. Learning life skills is a journey and is something which never ends. Flexibility is always a big part of our lives and we would like to equip them with the basics before our children marry.
Here is a list of ideas for the Kitchen life skills at a junior/high school level.
COOKING COURSES: Even though I have been involved in preparing real foods/whole foods, soaking and sprouting, making yogurt and kefir, and making breads and pasta, there are still some skills which I am not familiar with and thought it would be good for both her and I to learn and make sure we have the basics down pat. This is another opportunity for more bonding between her and I too! One skill I’m looking forward to learning is making sour dough breads, another is making water kefir. The course I’ve chosen is an online Fundementals eCourse with GNOWFGLINS for healthy traditional cooking. GNOWFGLINS is now offering their classes on a donation basis only. I know this will bless many people who originally were not able to take this course previously. If interested please click here to read more on this eCourse.
The outline of this course is as follows.
• Lesson 1: The GNOWFGLINS Foundation
• Lesson 2: How to Soak Whole Grains, Nuts and Seeds
• Lesson 3: How to Make Soaked Whole-Grain Flour Baked Goods I
• Lesson 4: How to Make Soaked Whole-Grain Flour Baked Goods II
• Lesson 5: How to Soak and Cook Dry Beans
• Lesson 6: How to Sprout Beans
• Lesson 7: How to Cook a Chicken and Make Chicken Stock
• Lesson 8: How to Make Skillet Dishes: A Dinner Formula
• Lesson 9: How to Make Water Kefir
• Lesson 10: How to Make Dairy Kefir
• Lesson 11: How to Make Soft, Spreadable Cheese
• Lesson 12: How to Make Sourdough Bread
• Lesson 13: How to Sprout Whole Grains for Sprouted Grain Flour & How to Bake With Sprouted Grain Flour
• Lesson 14: How to Make Natural Pickled Foods
NUTRITION: Health and nutrition have always played a big part in our lives but we can never stop learning. To complement this GNOWFLINS Fundementals eCourse, Leah and I will be reading a book called Real Food Nutrition and Health by KristenM of FoodRenegade. This book was intentionally written for homeschooling families who want to learn more of a nutrition based diet of whole, organic, and local foods grown, prepared, and eaten according to traditional food ways. As a homeschooling mom who appreciates the Charlotte Mason model, Kristen wrote Nutrition and Health as a “living book”. If interested please click here for more information or for purchase.
This book covers:
- Food, Not Nutrients: An introduction to whole foods & nutritionism
- What Traditional Food Cultures Can Teach Us: An introduction to traditional food cultures and the work of Dr. Weston A. Price
- Healthy Fats & Oils: Discussing fats, essential fatty acids, saturated fat myths & healthy choices.
- Healthy Meat, Seafood, & Dairy: Discussing protein, essential amino acids, the effects of industrialized food production on the healthfulness of meats, seafood, & dairy & how to make healthy food choices.
- Healthy Vegetables & Fruits: Discussing carbohydrates, dietary fiber, what affects the nutrient-density of plants, & how to make healthy choices.
- Living Foods & Superfoods: Discussing vitamins, minerals, enzymes & health.
- Grains & Legumes: Discussing whole vs. refined grains, & traditional grain and legume preparation methods.
- Bone Broths: The benefits of bone broths & how to prepare them.
- Sweeteners: Discussing natural sweeteners.
- The Keys To Health: Discussing what “health” is, examining key organs to health, including the liver, gut, adrenals, and thyroid.
- Real Food For Real Life: The virtue of Real Food, how to transition to eating Real Food, eating Real Food on a budget.
MEAL PLANNING and BUDGETING: One area which I really need help with is meal planning. There was a time where I did make it a priority but was not consistent with it. We are in the process of reintroducing it in our lives. There are so many benefits with meal planning. By far for me it has to be time management and savings. We do live frugally, but at times it can be stressful when meals have not been planned ahead of time. I do appreciate the saying “If I fail to plan, I plan to fail”. Right now I’m just visiting some online sites to gather information on how to properly prepare. I currently own some of Sue Gregg cookbooks which also focus on meal planning. I will need to revisit her writing on this topic. There is one book I’m currently looking at called “Real Foods on a Real Budget” by Stephanie Langford from “Keeper of the Home. Please click here if this book is something that you have been looking for.
This 280 page book covers:
- How to shave literally hundreds and potentially even thousands off of your grocery expenses every year, without compromising on what you buy!
- How to establish a realistic food budget for your unique family, and actually stick to it.
- How to provide better nutrition and cost effectiveness through a meal planning method that suits you best.
- How to find places to buy whole and traditional foods wherever you live and compare prices so that you know you're getting the absolute best deals.
- Why, what and how to buy in bulk and what to do with all that food!
- Which foods are both nutrient-dense, cost-effective, and how to work your diet around them.
- Why cooking from scratch is key to eating real foods, how to find the time to do it, and how to use that time as effectively as possible.
- Why you should purchase your foods seasonally and locally, preserve them for cheaper year-round eats, and even grow them yourself.
- How to evaluate whether couponing can work for you and help to stretch your budget just a little bit further.
- Countless tips for practicing frugality in your kitchen.
- And more... (that's what they all say, right? But it's true!)
So to recap our somewhat draft curriculum for “Keeper of the Home” Apprentice in the Kitchen, this is what I have so far:
- GNOWFLINS Fundementals eCourse ~14 week hands-on course on healthy traditional cooking using Real Foods)
- I’ve canned in the past but need to revisit. I heard canning can be done using the oven.
- This is ongoing as we are trying to garden while living in the suburbs.
- Food Renegade, Real Food Nutrition book ~ nutrition based on a diet of whole, organic, and local foods grown, prepared, and eaten according to traditional food ways
- Revisiting Bible Levitical dietary Laws,
- Keeper of the Home, Real Food on a Real Budget book
- Revisit Sue Gregg’s information on meal planning.
- Senior High, A home-Designed Form + A book ~ this is a great book which helps me with my own lesson planning, many examples in all subjects.
(Note: The products mentioned in this post are products we recommend. We receive a small commission if purchases are made through these links. You are under no obligation to purchase through these links but if you do, we appreciate you supporting Pebble Crossing.
For more on the Keeper of the House Series, please visit:
Keeper of the Home ~ In Our Kitchen ~Meal Planning
Keeper of the Home ~ Apprentice in our Kitchen ~ New Skills
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