I use recipes that are usually simple, but from scratch. I like to do as much as possible in my own kitchen, using my own chicken stocks, breads, jams, and even yogurt. I also keep many staples on hand: rice, beans, wheat, dry milk, pasta, canned tomatoes, olives, corn, and frozen berries, mango, peas, and nuts. I cook and freeze chicken stock, dried beans, and have experimented a little with freezing lemon peel, juice, and herbs. I find that by avoiding processed foods, I avoid sugar, sodium, and preservatives, and keep our grocery bills down as well. I usually only buy fresh produce ($40-$60), fresh dairy ($25) and fresh meat and fish ($20) at the grocery market every week, and occasionally supplement with a trip to Costco, B.J.s, a health food store, or the Cannery for pantry staples.
My commitment to making our family’s food means I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but I love how willing and interested my kids and husband are to help and to enjoy the processes, from bread and pizza doughs to chocolates and yogurt. It’s satisfying and creative to work with food and my favorite way to spend time in our home.