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 →


Chocolate Hazelnut Aduki Bean Fudge | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

There are certain times in our lives when everything can change in an instance. For me it was opening a book I had pulled down from a shelf while I was nannying in Canada 12 years ago. A book that would change the course of my life. In all honesty it was a time in my life when I was searching for something, to do, to be. I hadn’t gone to university after school instead choosing to study professional cookery at polytech so I could work my way around the world chasing the snow. However, by 23 I was yearning to learn something beyond the world of hospitality.

The book was Healing with Wholefoods by Paul Pitchford. It was reading this book that led me to studying natural nutrition while I was living in Canada, and catapulting me along this path of writing about, and teaching others about wholesome food. Although I rarely open Healing with Wholefoods these days it still has pride of place on my bookshelf to remind me where this all began. So, where am heading talking about books when really you want the recipe for this oh-so-divine chocolate fudge…

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DRY-CURED OLIVES + Cooking Workshops Update

Dry-cured Olives | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Last month I stumbled upon a crate of plump olives at the Farmers Market. I am not one to pass up such fabulous local food offerings so I filled a bag and headed home to research olive preserving methods. I have cured olives once before, not very successfully, and I suspect it was more the variety of olives I foraged rather than my curing skills. Some olives are best for pressing into oil while others for eating. The variety I have prepared here are supposedly Barneo but the grower wasn’t 100% sure on that one.

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PULLED PORK TACOS w/ Tangy Cashew Cream + How to Make Corn Tortillas

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

A weekly meal plan has become an essential part of family life. Although I don’t write down a physical list every week I certainly have a plan in my head for the coming week. Monday night is ‘Daddy’ makes dinner night and then generally the rest of the week is my domain. Before children I would have never had a meal plan as I loved the creativity of cooking a meal at the end of the day with what we had on hand. And it wasn’t really until our second child arrived, dairy allergy in tow, that I actually put pen to paper to write a weekly plan. I can plan the shopping, soak beans/ lentils ahead of time and defrost meat as needed. It really makes life easier for this busy Mumma.

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