Archive for family rituals

Real, raw orange juice

What’s in your store bought OJ? One of my favorite food bloggers, FoodRenegade, wrote an excellent article on this topic that you can read here.

I was thoroughly disgusted and swore off of store bought orange juice for nearly a year. Ya know what? None of us died of the flu or scurvy!

But then I joined an organic produce co-op. We began eating fruits and vegetables in VAST quantities. It feels wonderful to have such an abundance of healthy foods. We are quite literally surrounded with food the first few days. I find myself urging the kids to “Eat those pears! They are at the peak of ripeness today!” I have turned into my mom in that I tuck oranges into peoples palms as they leave my house, urging them to take more.

But weekends! Weekends were MADE for making fresh squeezed orange juice. Joe is Pancake Dad. Every weekend he makes pancakes for me and the children. Usually we drift out to the kitchen after he has started and we smell the pancakes. Today however, I awakened the children with the call to come help me squeeze the oranges.

Zip! Boom! Bang!

Three kids ages 6, 12 and 15 were happily rolling oranges, chatting it up with slices wedged between lips and gums and using my lemon juicer to make their own glass of juice.

It doesn’t look like the stuff in the cardboard box. It really didn’t smell like it either. But, GOLLY! It sure tastes good!



Making venison breakfast sausage



Step One:
Lounge lazily in front of the Grizzly all morning while hubby disassembles the venison from the bones.

Step Two:
Disappear from the house for 3 hours while hubby first grinds the venison, then shops for spices.

Step Three:
Wear out all the children playing “Dog Pile of Love!” Game until all giggles are out of them. Put them all to bed.


Step Four:
Begin measuring spices, mixing, bagging and labeling different sausage recipes. One by one, older children creep out of bed begging to “help” with sausage making. Conversation degrades into imitations of drunken, belligerent sweat shop owner and Dr. Who, leaving all of us laughing so loudly we threaten to waken FlyingBoy.

Step Five:
Fall into bed exhausted, swearing to each other that we won’t leave sausage making until the last day of hunting vacation ever again, knowing full well that it is one of our favorite family traditions.


Family Rituals


Doing farm chores can be a real drag for the children. I don’t want to create an environment from which the children long to escape, rather I hope they enjoy the aspects that interest them and look forward to certain annual rituals.

One of the rituals surrounding the honey harvest involves a giant bowl. When Joe and I are done loading the hive boxes to be processed, we bring the excess honey comb out on the picnic table in a giant bowl. The comb is sticky with honey and has bees whose wings got dripped on and feet that got stuck in the honey still covering it. Now we all gather around the bowl and begin the dance of flicking the remaining bees away from “our” honey in order to enjoy and chew the dripping comb.