Homestead Kitchen Tour: Naturally Living in the Maritimes
This week, I am featuring Lauren from Naturally Living in the Maritimes. Lauren is taking us on a tour of their temporary apartment “homestead kitchen” in Halifax Nova Scotia.
Welcome to our kitchen! It’s really the hub of everything in our one bedroom apartment which is good because in the Maritimes, the kitchen is really where the party’s at. When you get out into more rural areas of the Maritime Provinces, you’ll know what I mean when I talk about a Ceilidh or kitchen party (a social get together involving music, dancing, and often food in my experience). And our kitchen is no exception – even if it’s just two people, a house bunny and a soon-to-be baby partaking.
You’re actually seeing the kitchen at a good time when it’s been cleaned and functional (two words you couldn’t use to describe this room during my first trimester…).
My husband and I are both from Halifax but spent the past two years away on Prince Edward Island in while he attended school. We’ve been together for three years and are celebrating our first anniversary in the next few weeks. When we met, neither one of us was big cooks – let alone healthy cooks. What we did have in common was a shared dream of eventually homesteading outside of the city. We’ve been working towards building up skills and saving money to eventually get to that point and one of those skills was learning to cook from scratch. That from-scratch journey started a few years ago while I was vehemently vegetarian. It took a few years of learning, reading and trying things before we are at the place we are today: a completely gluten free and (mostly) dairy-free omnivorous kitchen. Let me take you through what our kitchen looks like and what’s cooking.
We do have to start at the most important part. Binky is our house bunny, furry composter, and resident kitchen guard. She has more personality than you think a bunny would but she’s cuddly as can be. Her favourite place to nap is in the kitchen because she’s close to all the kitchen scraps like celery, apples and tomato. We don’t need a green bin (for the most part) because Binky takes care of it. She also likes to give kisses and have her ears rubbed. Binky is still confused though that all food in the kitchen isn’t for her. My husband had a friend over for supper and Binky jumped right into his lap to try and eat his ribs. We’ve tried to explain to her that she is an herbivore but it doesn’t make much of a difference. Her favourite treats are banana chips and she loves sneaking sips from your apple cider (alcoholic or not). We’re trying to wean her off that habit though…
This is the side of our kitchen that experiences the most cooking action. Since we’re renting to save money, it’s not the prettiest kitchen in the world but it functions. The oven is (by our guess) somewhere in the 20-25 year range. Is it energy efficient? Hardly. Does that bother me? Yes. Will my landlord buy a new one? Nope. But we use it as efficiently as possible and try and run it as little as we can to avoid a ridiculous power bill. Right now, I’ve got some bone broth going because we made a roast chicken the other day, hence the stockpot and mason jars. We’ve also put out our more commonly used gluten free flours – brown rice and an all purpose – as well as our organic sugar and honey. And the behemoth in the corner is our Big Berkey. When we lived in Summerside, PEI, we lived in a very old house and are positive the piping was original or at least old enough to be leaching SOMETHING into the water. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Berkey really kept us healthy living in that place. Here, it’s essential as Halifax water is fluoridated and chlorinated and we don’t really like to be ingesting that.
On the other side of the sink, we’ve got our knife block which is a god send. Seriously, if you haven’t cut with a good kitchen knife, you haven’t lived. Aubrey (my husband) keeps them all sharpened pretty meticulously so it’s SO easy to chop through anything. They’re one of my favourite kitchen items we have. Please excuse the green soup thawing and kombucha brewing in the background.
Our cupboards are a little messy as we’re using them as a pantry. Whoever built this kitchen did not build it for cooking – or at least cooking from scratch. We’re working at phasing out some of our older spices for new ones we can purchase locally through a great herb shop. There is an amazing difference between culinary spices you buy at the grocery store and these guys! I like to think of cooking as a healing art and if we’re using the right ingredients, we’re nourishing our bodies (and our guest’s). Why not use the best we can find? Often, this means going back to methods of grocery shopping our grandparents would have done before the advent of the supermarket – going to specialty shops like butchers, markets, spice shops and herbalists, etc. If you have the right mindset about it, it makes grocery shopping fun! Other fun pantry fact: Our coconut oil has started to harden up so Summer has officially come to an end in Halifax
My fridge is a bit of a mess but you get the idea. We’re big about leftovers and when I can, I’ll try and save them up and make meals a bit easier through the week. I’ve got a bit of the last batch of bone broth, some cold chai rooibos tea that I mix with soda water for a healthy pop, and leftover homemade pizza from last night that will be lunch today (with my green soup!).
So that’s the kitchen. It’s small but it works for us, and we love having the opportunity to make meals that are healthy and fresh. What matters more to us is what comes out of our kitchen than the look of it so if we’re judging by that, we’re doing pretty well. That said, I’m planning on finishing up a loaf of bread and some chicken stock before my ultrasound but if you’d like to stop by and see what we’re cooking, I’m always sharing recipes and ideas on my blog: www.naturallylivinginthemaritimes.com
Photo credit: Naturally Living in the Maritimes
CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE HOMESTEAD KITCHEN TOUR POSTS:
Want to take us on a tour of YOUR homestead kitchen??? Contact me at angi at areturntosimplicity dot com! (You do not have to have a blog to participate!)
This post has been shared at The Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Monday, Tuesdays With a Twist, The Backyard Farming Connection, The Homestead Blog Hop, Down Home Blog Hop, The Home Acre Hop, Simple Lives, Link and Mingle, The Pin Junkie, Freedom Fridays, From the Farm Hop, Old Fashioned Fridays, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Clever Chicks, Mommy Monday, and The Art of Homemaking.