Monday, April 21, 2014

The productive home

I remember about two years ago when I was still knitting my own dishcloths an onlooker asked me if I had never heard of "Mr Price Home". For international readers this store is where you can buy almost every kind of home decor and necessary thingamajigs you will ever need. Most of the stuff is made in China and is cheaply priced. I would hate to have her in my home to see all the other things that I do from scratch, even if I do not knit dishcloths any longer due to time constraints.

There are so many things that I can buy instead of make, but I know that I will not get the same quality or flavour, in the case of food, from the shops compared to what I can make at home. I once bought a ready made macaroni cheese for my son when he was much younger and just would not let up nagging. He had two mouthfuls and the rest was given to the chickens. I remember doing the same with another convenience food that another child had to have, and they too agreed that it was much better to eat a home cooked meal of the same kind.

I have not subscribed to a convenience lifestyle for many years, even before growing my own veggies and developing my cook from scratch skills. I would love to say that knitting and sewing were still part of my reality, but they are not. I used to sew all my babies clothes but by the time number 4 came along it was no longer feasible. I do not need to knit, but I do need to cook, so I let the knitting fall away. Perhaps one day when Superman and I travel the world, I can knit as I go :)

Having a cook from scratch mindset develops a productive mindset. When a woman thinks that the only option to her is to grab a convenience food off the shelf, or buy take aways a couple of times a week it does free up her time for other things, but it also makes her less productive and it stops her learning wonderful skills.

I know that everyone does not get the same joy out of preparing a meal as I do. That's ok...you can switch off here, but I will write to those who do or who want to grow in their cooking skills. A special and close friend once said to me that she really detests cooking as it seems that it creates a whole lot of mess, is gone in 10 minutes and then the kitchen has to be cleaned before the next meal needs to be prepared.

There is no way around that...here is my kitchen this morning...it's messy! We felt like a special breakfast so I made poached eggs on spicy spinach topped with hollandaise sauce.

Background: sons science experiment, newspaper pots!


Being productive does equal mess. Mess is easily cleaned with the many hands we have and it is worth it when the labour and learning are compared to the clean up. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:4 "An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable." 

Our every day activities, whether it be the books spread all over the dinning room table as we learn together, the seedling pots halfway through the making, the soil on the picnic bench where the children were sowing seeds, the mess in my kitchen from creating meals, all brings a profit to us in some way. Our income is learning skills so that in a future world where REAL food is going to be hard to get, we will be equipped to grow our own and to turn other raw materials into something useful.

We hope that one day, even if it is as a retired couple, we will be able to raise our own meat animals, but if not we will continue to source our meat from local organic farmers.

I hope that if you are battling with the messy's you will see the profit in your work. I have always felt that as long as the underlying spaces are clean, tidying and washing dishes is an easy process and has shown we are busy and productive in our home.

Whenever I find it all get's too much, I turn to my favourite lady and look at the legacy of productiveness her life shows:

Proverbs 31:10-31

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

3 comments:

Wendy Manson said...

A wonderful post Wendy! I love that passage of scripture as well. All good wishes to you.

Ruwen Niklas Gierls said...

I totally agree with you. When I'm with my mom and we cook from scratch with veggies from the garden, I get so much more joy out of it then from anything else... Being productive is so satisfying.

Cindy White said...

That was a great ! Thanks for the share. I love your smeg oven.... I recently got one from my hubby.... LOVE it... Love your food ideas, as cooking is my passion