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It’s YayYay’s Kitchen birthday!

Tea and whole wheat animal cookies using Great Grandma Grace's little rose tea set

One year ago today YayYay’s Kitchen launched quietly, without fanfare, with just two posts up, both easy recipes. The first, this ten-minute experiment making coconut milk.

Homemade coconut milk

This homemade coconut milk took less than ten minutes to make

A simple one skillet supper made with beet greens and chickpeas marked the second post.

Chop the stems rather fine, but leave the greens rather more coarse

Chop the stems fine, but leave the greens rather more coarse

Perhaps most telling, the third post, the day after launch, brought a call to action to help feed hungry kids. Telling because, while most of what I do in my kitchen is about food, it’s not all about cooking.

Pick up the phone and call your assembly rep

Pick up the phone and call your assembly rep

 

While cooking, baking and recipes fill YayYay’s Kitchen with the vibrant colors of fresh foods and pungent, spicy and tantalizing aromas, what happens while we’re cooking–the conversations, the laughter, the fun, and concern for what goes on in the world outside these walls–matters just as much as what we eat. Maybe more. And if you know me, you know what we eat matters a lot!

It’s that concern for what goes on in the outside world that impels me to launch a new, regular feature here on the site.

Help me name the new feature!

Coming soon: Articles about ways we make choices in our lives to live consciously. I’m talking about ways we can consume less, throw away less, re-use more. I’m looking for ways to walk lighter on the Earth, with the intent to harm as little as possible. And I’m exploring ways to contribute, through our actions and even the most minute choices, such as the shampoos we use or the clothing we wear, to preserve our Mother Earth’s human-friendly biosphere while simultaneously improving the working conditions of the laborers who bring us these goods.

Coming soon: How I maintain my thick, wild mane without shampoo or conditioner

Coming soon in the new “Right Living” feature: How I maintain my thick, wild mane without shampoo or conditioner

What do I need from you? Help naming this feature. Working title: “Right Living,” but I’d like to hear from you. What would you call it? It has to be short, to fit in a menu tab, but conjure a picture of all it encompasses. Share your ideas in the comments, won’t you?

Going forward

Looking toward Year 2 here on YYK, you’ll see more of the recipes we love, the recipes I want to hand down to my grandchildren. And not just those recipes, but super easy ones that make cooking more wholesome meals at home a breeze. I’m working on one right now that shows how we make three different quick suppers or lunches from one big pot of pasta I cook on the weekend. Here’s a sneak preview.

Ten-minute pasta salad ready for dressing

Ten-minute pasta salad ready for dressing

But my kitchen is about more than cooking and baking. It’s in the kitchen, when talk “just happens,” laughter, listening, being together. Here, memories are made, the kind that last a lifetime and shore us up when we most need it later in life.

Building memories

Surely you have some tender, piquant, or hilarious memories of shared times with loved ones in the kitchen? Memories like my own, perhaps, of sitting on my grandmother’s cushy lap at the grey Formica table while the grownups tell stores from “the olden days,” each one punctuated with tears or peals of laughter as the story teller embellishes, eyes big for effect, or squinting.

Then there’s memory of another kind, the learning kind. We’re a curious bunch, my family, and I’m maybe most curious of all. Just this last week, I launched a new feature series here on the Kitchen, Under the Microscope, where we will learn amazing things about the minute worlds inside the food we eat. This week, we looked for pollen in our honey.

Suspected pollen grain with ridges and pores in unfiltered wildflower honey

Suspected pollen grain with ridges and pores in unfiltered wildflower honey

Don’t worry, I’m not planning to gross anyone out, but wouldn’t you like to know what a bread-puffing yeast organism looks like? Or see the difference between the fiber-rich bran in our whole wheat flour and the starchier parts of the wheat berry? Or how about watching a video of live bacteria in yogurt? Can we capture that? We’re definitely going to try, the grandkids and I.

Farms, farmers and where our food comes

Finally, I hope to visit more farms this year and learn more about how our food is grown, particularly in this time of extreme drought here in California. Last year we trekked to Eatwell Farm on the other side of the hills, over in the Big Valley, where we met this guy.

This friendly goat helps the sheep fertilize and condition the soil on the farm

This friendly goat helps the sheep fertilize and condition the soil on the farm

This year, I’m especially keen to learn more about raising chickens for eggs, as my children and grandchildren do in the South Bay because, even though I post a lot of vegan recipes, I’m not there yet and may never be. When I bake, I need to assure our fresh eggs come from chickens who live happy, pastured lives.

Chickens and little Bear, grubbing in the yard

Chickens and little Bear, grubbing in our daughter’s yard

That’s a little of what you can expect in the year to come. Interested? What’s on your mind when it comes to food and right living? I’d love to hear from you. Meanwhile, thank you again, to each and every one of you who drop by my kitchen from time to time and share in the fun. I welcome your visits, your conversation, when you have the time, or your stopping by to say hello. See you soon!

 

14 Comments

  1. Happy blog birthday! I would suggest “Earthly Living” for your feature. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished and best wishes for new ventures ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jacquie says

    Happy blog birthday. I learn from your posts as well – THANKS!
    what about treading lightly as a name? or walking …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! You have accomplished much in only one year.

    I’ll send my inner child off looking for a new name. He’s good at finding odd things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darleen says

    Happy Birthday! YayYay’s is a wonderful resource, looking forward to learning lots more from you this year.

    Liked by 1 person

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