HOW TO: COOK BEANS + Smokey Lunch Beans w/ Sage

Smokey Lunch Beans w/ Sage | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

The recipe I share here today is a true labour of love. You see, last summer I had these grand plans to grow a large harvest of drying beans that we could use over the winter. I didn’t exactly think I would grow enough to last the winter but I hoped to at least make more than one meal. Miles from the Garden Organics seedling stall at the Nelson Farmers Market gave me two small bags of beans, including verbal directions [as he does so well] about the height they would grow and how to space them. I was quite excited, and immediately secured a space in the garden. We built a very sturdy 2 meter high bean tower with stings spaced just right. I sowed 2 beans per hole just in case one didn’t survive. Kept them weed free, watered and fed. They grew well, right to the top of the 2 metre tower and had beautiful plump bean pods which we left on the climbing strings to dry in the late summer sun. The green stalks turned brown and they were ready to harvest, I just had to find a moment to get out there and bring them inside.

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Double Chocolate & Sea Salt Cookies | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

I have a schedule for the recipes I share here that is planned about a month ahead. This way I can organise the ingredients, test the recipes, find props if needed etc etc. I am used to working with planned deadlines for magazine articles and book projects so it kind of suits me to run things this way. I truly believe consistency is the key to a good blog and this way I know what I am doing each week and can plan ahead. However, every now again I create something in the kitchen that just needs to be shared RIGHT AWAY, most definitely not in a months time.

These cookies are case in point. The result of a cooking afternoon with my 4-year-old girl, just me and her in the kitchen chatting, weighing ingredients and cracking eggs. Admittedly – and I am sure I am not alone here – it is not easy fitting in one-on-one time for this part-time working Mum with 2 children who makes virtually everything we eat from scratch. But I know how important it is, and if I have to leave my blog post for another day so I can make time, that is my priority. Family is something to cherish and nourish with time and love. This is also why writing another cookbook is not on the cards anytime soon [sorry to break the news this way but I do get asked this often].

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Raspberry White Chocolate RAW Cheesecake / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

My sister and I have our birthday’s within 10 days of each other. I am older, quite a bit older, than my sister so while we were growing up it was often my task to make her birthday cake. Not that I complained being a budding foodie from a young age. Her favourite was a black forest cake, double layered with cream and cherries in the middle. However, that recipe will have to be recreated next year as this year the choice was in her hands. When asked via text if she wanted ‘raspberry & white chocolate OR ‘dark chocolate & sea salt’ this was the result.

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Winter: is cold nights snuggled by the fire watching movies and knitting. Cold grey days [luckily not too many in Nelson] also mean time inside staying warm and keeping ourselves occupied beyond movies. This winter I have been enjoying planning sewing projects with my 4-year-old who thrives on Mumma time doing grownup things. My Mum and Bonnema [grandma] taught me how to sew and knit and I look forward to sharing these skills with my children as they grow. There is something so satisfying [and therapeutic] about crafting and making things from scratch. A little bit like cooking I suppose, maybe why I like it so much!

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Nourishing Chicken Soup / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

My Nana knows how to make a good soup. We often had dinner at my grandparents while we were growing up. Both my parents were busy working so it was not unusual for Nana to pick us up after school and take us back to her place to watch a spot of TV [we didn't have TV at home so this was quite a novelty] and then help her make dinner. I recall every dinner we made consisted of 3 courses – soup, main [your typical meat & three vege] and always a teeth-tingling sweet dessert. How my Nana managed to get 3 courses on the dinner table every night being a busy doctor’s wife with 5 children, I do not know. I struggle some days to even get a single course on the table!

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Sinus Clearing Chest Rub | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Although it may appear from the outside this space is a place of calm and simple living, we are certainly not like this 100% of the time. My intention in creating Homegrown Kitchen was to share some of the simpler ways of living and cooking that we integrate into our everyday living. Some of it has rubbed off from my own up-bringing. While most it comes from an inner yearning to slow down from the busy fast-paced life we find ourselves engulfed within. My hope is that you can come here and have a moment of calm, time to yourself, to be inspired.

And just as our life is not 100% calm we are in no way immune to the common the illnesses that are shared around at this time of year. I do make an extra effort to boost our food with immune supporting ingredients during the cooler months. And next week I will share a family recipe handed down to me by my Nana for an Immune Boosting Soup plus tips for stocking up on the immune goodies. This week is a simple handmade remedy I made recently to help clear the sinuses. This Sinus Clearing Chest Rub is especially helpful at night when nose stuffiness can make sleeping difficult. Made from 3 ingredients and takes all of 10 minutes to prepare, this is a must-have in your natural home remedy arsenal. I used an aromatherapy blend called Sinus Synergy from Aromaflex which we also use in an electric oil burner overnight in the children’s room when they are down with a cold. A small $10 bottle goes a long way, alternatively use equal quantities of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils – directions below. Continue reading →