Growing up, my mom was a bit of a health food nut, and that was back before it was mainstream. Being part of a co-op didn’t mean going to a store-like place and purchasing from the shelves, for a low yearly fee. It meant ordering from catalogs as part of a group (the co-op!), and then getting together one evening once a month to sort and separate out the amounts that people had purchased, labeling things, making sure everything that had been ordered had arrived. I put in some time, myself, and I think the other members of the co-op were both astonished and relieved to have a trustworthy 12 year old willing to label and sort peanut butter for hours. I sort of liked it – though I didn’t have the words to describe it as such then, I found it sort of meditative to slip into these tasks and achieve things in a group.

It was also cheap, and it was the best way to get the wholefoody goodness that my mom thought was the best way to nourish her family. So I come by my wholefoodiness by nurture, if not nature.

I also grew up with the smells of fresh baked whole wheat bread. I try to make it myself at least sometimes, and it is often frustrating. It was especially frustrating when I lived in Denver – the altitude! I’ve had better luck since moving back to a reasonable altitude, though I get a bit weirded out by the dough sticking and not coming off of my hands while I’m kneading it. (Just add more flour, I know!) I am not a fan of buying stuff just to buy stuff, but I’m thinking about buying a stand mixer for the sole purpose of bread making. (It can be used for the bread mixing and kneading.) I suppose I could get a bread-maker for that purpose, if that is really all I’ll use a stand mixer for!

I have bread in the oven right now. The smells bring me back.

bread in the oven