In the early 2000s I was obsessed with Nigella Lawson’s TV series and cookbook called How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I was barely drinking age at that time, still living with my parents, and definitely not a domestic goddess. But there was something about Nigella’s demeanor – her humor, her unabashed love of food, and the way she took pleasure and utter command in the kitchen – that resonated with me deeply.
Although I had no kitchen of my own, I bought the book, watched the show religiously, and tried out a few of her recipes (they’re great!). Somewhere along the way I got too busy to think about my aspirations of becoming a domestic goddess, but I of course have cooked and meal planned since I moved out of my parents’ house in 2004. And just like a fine wine, I’ve gotten better with age 😉
Still, those dreamy images of spending hours in the kitchen whipping up homemade comfort food were mostly forgotten about, until recently when I started unlocking new levels of domestic goddessdom.
In an effort to learn new skills, know what’s going into the food I’m eating, and to save money, I’ve started making things from scratch that previously I’d just purchase at the store. In the past few months I’ve started making my own mayo, ketchup, salad dressings, sauerkraut, biscuits, pressure canning food, and…I just made a no sugar jam with farmer’s market peaches. The jam is just WOW.
I think I’m most excited/proud/surprised by making kraut and the jam. I’ve started learning more about food preservation methods in the last few months and am enjoying the process of creating and putting away food using natural methods rather than buying things made with a lot of chemical preservatives.
I haven’t tried either kraut yet, (they’re still fermenting) but I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe and I have faith they’ll turn out wonderful. I have about one more week left on the green cabbage, and almost a month for the purple. I’ll update you all on how they turn out, and I’m also thinking of fermenting some mixed veggies next.
Preserving by canning has been a great learning experience. Pressure canning the veggie broth is keeping my freezer from looking like a game of Tetris and I like knowing I have some canned meat on hand for quick meals.
The peach jam was my first attempt, but won’t be my last. I just followed the directions on the Ball Low or No-Sugar pectin package and I can’t wait to try my hand at other fruits, like strawberry! If I could, I’d send you all a small jar of jam because everyone should have a bit of jam in their life.
I may try my hand at kombucha next because I have a friend who makes it who said they’ll give me some of their scoby! Stay tuned for more updates as I continue on my domestic goddess journey.
This article is part of a series called Everyday Adventures, which is how I document exceptional food and drink, weekend camping trips, or inspiring moments in nature.