Nourishing Food

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The first draft of the cover.

When Joshua was two weeks old, Stewart walked in to the room to find me laughing, baby in arms, laptop open in front of me. I had been in that dreamy first two weeks where nothing really exists except babies and food – ya know, cuz you’re feeding another human. This was the day I was finally willing to fully delve into my inbox.

The email that made me laugh came from an Editor at Page Street Publishing who I now know as Elizabeth. She said she was a fan of Nourishing Days and had shown her publisher our site and he recommended exploring a book option with us.

I laughed for so many reasons. Because I sat nursing my two-week old baby. Because we’d talked to other publishers before and it was never a good fit. Because I was already feeling that guilt you get when you have a new baby and you’re sure all of the other children are feeling neglected. (In reality they don’t, I realize. They get to spend more time with Daddy which is pretty much always way more fun.)

Stewart encouraged me to set up a call and so I spent an hour talking to Will who runs Page Street. No other publisher had offered to sit down and talk to me, and certainly not for an hour, so that was encouraging. He asked what I wanted to write about. He asked why my take on fermentation was different. He told me he wanted to get goats too and that he and his family were interested in going to solar and maybe even homesteading. I could hear his baby girl cooing in the background.

After much prayer and discussion, we signed with Page Street and I got to work. Jars and jars and jars of vegetable ferments filled the earliest weeks. Dozens and dozens of wheat and gluten-free sourdough baked goods came out of my oven shortly thereafter. Milk kefir and yogurt and wild kvasses filled my summer. Hot sauces and fermented vegetable brine-based sauces and salsas ended in August.

I handed in the manuscript, including 80+ recipes, August 30th and celebrated with a huge glass of water kefir. Huge.


A photo outtake including various recipes from throughout the book.

One of the sticking points for me, having fermented a lot of these foods for over a decade now, was to make sure that the photos accurately represented the reality of fermentation – yeast strands in kombucha, bubbles in kvass, the funk along with the pretty. To that end, after a crash course in basic food photography, they signed me on as the photographer for the project. In this respect, they really took a chance on me and I am grateful.

On September 30th I handed in 90-some photos of the 80+ recipes. I celebrated by nursing the baby and picking vegetables from the garden.

The thing that was different about Page Street – and one of the reasons we signed with them – is because they seemed to believe wholeheartedly in allowing me to write the book that I wanted to write. For the first time I was not being shoved into some fermented foods book mold made generically to throw another book on the shelf. Elizabeth and Will cared about my vision enough to let me write about the sustainability aspect of fermented foods, the science behind making fermented foods work in your kitchen, how to use and store these foods without refrigeration, and recipes that go beyond the usual suspects you can find on the internet.

I’m finishing up some edits this week and, in reading back through it all, am so grateful for how this has turned out. I am really excited to share it with you all!

Lord willing, Traditionally Fermented Foods will be available May 9, 2017.


I came across this photo that I took when Joshie was just a couple of months old. He’ll be ten months old in a couple of weeks and I don’t have to bore you with my where-does-the-time-go cliches, I’m sure.

The truth is he got really sick at six weeks old and that was one of the most intense Mama times I’ve ever had. So fraught was I that in seeing Stewart hold him out in the warm sunshine, I sobbed from the kitchen window. The sound of a newborn with a rattling chest cough was the sound of heartbreak to me.

Everyone else got sick too – everyone, that is, except me. I was sure with the tingling in the back of my throat that I was next. When Joshie went down I was certain the 2-5 hours of sleep I was getting would do me in. The hours of prayer as I walked with him in the Moby through the night were the only thing that subdued that certainty and that Mama fear.

Five times a babe had entered my arms after being grown in my body and still I needed prayer. Five times I have birthed at home, surrounded by love, delivered only by the Lord’s grace and mercy. And still… and still I wrestle with unbelief in the midst of a chest cough.

Those nights when it was me and Joshie pacing the floor of the kitchen, hearing Ruthie cough from her crib, seeing Stewart stumble out to comfort the four I was not holding; those were nights that helped me see my unbelief for what it was. What it is. The Lord could have taken Joshie with that chest cough and would have still been the same Holy, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Sovereign Lord I worship today, with Joshie still alive and still in my arms.

Please give us what we need, Lord, is now on repeat. For if there is one thing I’ve learned through my conversion, eleven years of marriage, five babes, and five years as a homesteader, it is this: I am no expert on what I truly need.

But He is.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

And in knowing that I don’t know what I need, and seeing Him supply it over and over and over again – despite my unbelief – I see why the next verse is “Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”



Garlic-Honey Tea

This is the tea I make for the family when throats are sore and coughs are deep. It is actually strangely delicious, despite its inauspicious ingredients.


  • 4-6 cloves garlic, depending on your taste preference
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons honey


Peel garlic cloves and add them to a quart jar. Pour the boiling water over the garlic, cover the jar, and allow to steep for ten minutes.

Strain tea from garlic and pour into four cups. Add one teaspoon of honey per cup, more if desired. Stir and sip slowly.