Slowing Down

One things about working to dedicate our food choices to traditional preparation is that for the most part they are also slow foods, and sometimes our modern schedules just don’t align.

I have been promising the kids a fresh batch of granola for a few days now, but I kept getting caught up with a myriad of other tasks from paying bills to preserving hawthorns to canning to starting work on a new set of bone runes for the shop. Not to mention homeschooling and coordinating homeschool schedules with another mom we frequently do activities with.

This evening I finally had a window of time. I started straining the yogurt because I needed whey. This is step one for granola, though, I suppose making the yogurt was step one? I eat the yogurt with the granola, my children prefer it with milk though. It occurred to me as I started that I really should just teach them to make granola. I’m not sure why I haven’t yet, my eldest loves to cook. Regardless though, here I am folding and tying the cheesecloth bag of yogurt to hang over a bowl to collect the whey.

wheyWhy is the whey important? It is part of what I soak the rolled oats in. Sometimes I do a complimentary soak of rolled oats with buckwheat groats, but I’m out of groats right now, so just oats tonight. The whey is necessary as it’s acidity coupled with an overnight soak makes the oats more digestible.

Also, possibly more importantly, we love the taste of soaked granola.

I started typing this while I was waiting for a cup of whey to strain out of the yogurt. I just need a cup, but I know it will take about half an hour. That cup is mixed with enough water to cover eight cups of rolled oats. I have the bowl of oats ready, with a flour sack towel to cover them. A podcast about Rapunzel is playing in the kitchen while I work (all hail Vanessa Richardson’s wondrous voice.) Tomorrow I will mix the soaked oats with some other ingredients and dry them out spread on sheets in the oven for hours, and then finally, we will have our granola.

I don’t usually blog while I wait on things, I usually move on to another task, for all my talk of slow food, I admit, I am a bit of a workaholic. So the idea that some people have that I lead a slow and purposeful life and not exactly accurate. Purposeful, I like to think so. Slow? Not so much. For the record, I do not suggest workaholism as a coping mechanism for life stresses. I’m working on it, hence feeling called into this space, just to slow down a little, and just type my thoughts with no real purpose in mind.

I was talking to someone on my instagram earlier who messaged me via one of my stories and said “I wish I could do everything like you.” I don’t do it all. I told them that. That my spouse and I are very much a team. That my children are on board with this life. Tomorrow we are making gnocchi. I riced the potatoes earlier for them. We are all on board with sitting around the table, listening to some podcasts, and just busting out a huge batch. There was a time in my life I thought slow food and slowing down still meant doing this all myself. No. I need my tribe to do this.

potatoesI also told the person on Instagram that they could do what I do, but it means sacrificing something to make room for the time needed to slow down. A quality that does not have much appreciation in current culture. For me, slowing down enough to have time for ancestral ways was leaving the nine to five behind, for others the sacrifice might be different, it probably would be, most people don’t have a spouse die as my first one did, leaving behind social security benefits (not as much as you would think for the record, but enough so I don’t lose the house. Hence us also needing to work, and work hard, but in non-standard ways.)

I talk about this topic of slowing down frequently with my best friend, who has a stable nine to five. Choices frequently comes down to good, cheap, and fast – you can only pick two. I need things good and cheap, like these soaked oats. I know that it isn’t going to be fast, but I live inexpensively and have the luxury of time at home. Conversely, if you want good and fast, it isn’t going to be cheap, so you are going to spend more time making the money, which won’t leave you much home time to make.

I am fortunate in that my current spouse and I have chosen paths that lead us to work from home most of the time. Slow food can fit around our schedule. I am keenly aware, as someone who has worked crazy schedules for crazy companies, how much of a luxury this home work life is in our day and age. Even with our choice to live this way, modernness still creeps its way in with its own frenetic and attention seeking needs. (My spouse and the children are playing Minecraft as a before bedtime treat in the next room as I type.)

Anyhow, the whey is ready, and now I have a mind to make some no-bake cookies as a treat to my spouse who is going to out of the house tomorrow, but it was nice taking a moment to pouring my randomness into this keyboard. I hope you find some space for slowing down today.


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