Patternmaking, Fermented Foods, and Castles

My husband had this past week off from work. Each morning Fae would look over to see if he was, in fact, home again, as if it were an endless weekend. She was always so pleased to see him lying in bed next to us. He got a lot of cheery-morning-Fae love, and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have a husband whose just so connected to his daughter.

With Jared home I got the extra time I needed to finish the patternmaking for my cloth diaper system–I’m still a bit in shock that it’s actually done. We also had more time to research food–we’ve become a bit obsessive with health. And our plans and goals for the future got another, more in-depth, going-over as well.

As for cloth diapering, I designed and drafted an elegant system, an all-natural, simplistic one, with little decision-making involved (I believe the less unnecessary decisions for moms the better) and consisting of hemp and cotton fitted diapers and wool covers. It includes a four-sized wool soaker (a pull-on diaper cover)–I had planned on a three-sized pattern, but I much prefer to have four sizes for the best fit; a one-sized wool wrap (a snap-on diaper cover); a one-sized fitted (an absorbent snap-on diaper); a newborn fitted; and a newborn wool wrap. I couldn’t be happier having all of this accomplished after two and a half months of what seemed to be endless planning and research during all of my spare moments (mainly Fae’s naps, as she sleeps in one of our carriers). Now I’m ready to begin production.

As for food, my husband and I already eat healthy–in that we avoid packaged and artificial food and preservatives–and eat as much organic as we can. We’ve become fastidious ingredients-list checkers, and now even concern ourselves with how particular food is cooked, avoiding highly heated oils. We eat very basically, as close to nature as we can as often as we can, which isn’t too challenging for us because we enjoy simple foods. But this past week we’ve taken our diet to the next level; we’ve added in homemade fermented foods. Apparently most cultures in the world, except Americans, routinely consume fermented foods for their amazing health benefits.

So, a couple of days ago I made us a batch of Raw Milk Greek Yogurt with my crockpot, following an easy recipe I found on an inspiring and newly-discovered blog. Jared was a little apprehensive, maybe because the process seemed a little ridiculous–wrapping the crock in baby blankets and stuffing the whole thing in the oven for the day. But it turned out awesome, so rich and tasty, and cost less than buying pre-made yogurt. We’ll definitely be making it every week to come, and I’ll finally be breaking my peanut-butter-on-a-bagel-with-honey breakfast addiction–the only food that seemed to get me through baby-raising until lunch-time. Now I’m having yogurt with honey, and peanut butter on a banana. Not so different, but it’s the bagel that I wanted to eliminate.

The other fermented foods I’m working on include a ginger bug, and thereafter a batch of probiotic Ginger Beer; some whey with which I’ll try Lacto Fermented Lemonaid; and a baby scoby for Kombucha (an effervescent tea), a gift from my future sister-in-law waiting in the fridge to be brewed. I feel so good making these things. Old-fashioned natural living; medieval feasts of homemade bread, cheese and mead; living off of the local community; and just making things, everything that I possibly can–these are the fantasies I’ve always had.

Here’s my greek yogurt, whey (strained from the yogurt), kombucha scoby, and ginger bug.

In relation to our plans, I tried to convince Jared that we should build a castle once we have some land, and money. I found a team of structural masons, CastleMagic Castle Builders, that actually build real castles in the U.S. I was so excited. He was hesitant. But, we did compromise on the image of a stone villa of sorts, on a beautiful swath of land, somewhere real. I do plan on incorporating a roof-top terrace though, but more for the view than for protection. Don’t misunderstand, we haven’t won the lottery or anything, we’ve just decided to figure out exactly what we want. Now. While we’ve just started our family, so that we can make it real by having a clear vision to work towards.

Here is a photo that I took of the only castle that I’ve ever actually been inside of, Chillon Castle in Montreux, Switzerland. It was incredible.

Fae is playing with my bikini tops very excitedly. She likes to yell “Ehh!” when she sees something that excites her, and my bikinis did just that. She’s treating them as if they have little personalities.

16 responses to “Patternmaking, Fermented Foods, and Castles

  1. Congratulations on finishing your patterns! They sound really great. I loved your pictures and description of your little girl’s reaction to daddy being home, so sweet. ❤
    The castle idea sounds fun. A roof-top terrace sounds wonderful and I am sure would become everyone favorite place to be at. ~Sasha

  2. What a great post! Jehryn also gets extremely excited when daddy is home! It gives me such a warm feeling to hear them playing together as I make breakfast. Way to go with your progress on the diaper system! I look forward to these updates. As far as the fermented food goes, I needed a little motivation. So, thank you 🙂 I used to brew kombucha and make fermented veggies, but stopped toward the end of pregnancy. Now that I’m getting the hang of juggling, I would like to begin doing that again. That castle is breathtaking!

    • Thanks! I’m just so excited to be making things again, from food to cloth diapers and my other art projects. It wasn’t until Fae turned 6 months that I was able to dive back into being productive–in a non-baby-raising way that is. I know that you understand how it can be with your own little boy wanting constant time in your arms 🙂 I feel like becoming a mom must bring on some serious multi-tasking abilities and tons of ambition.

  3. Wow, congrats on finishing your patterns and being so productive! My daughter is only 2 1/2 months so I’m still lucky if I have clean laundry and dishes. It’s good to hear that it gets better! 🙂

    I’m intrigued by your yogurt making. I make my own (regular) yogurt with an incubator.

    • Thanks! I’m still constantly behind on the laundry though, and I can just barely keep up with the dishes 🙂 I didn’t realize before that greek yogurt is just regular yogurt strained through a cheese cloth, and then you can use the whey for other beneficial things. It’s so exciting for me–to be doing things from scratch like this.

  4. Wow, love your blog! Thanks for leaving a comment over on mine. It’s always nice to meet someone who has discovered how easy breastfeeding really is. And also a love of Real Food!

    I had to laugh about your castle. I want a yurt, and my husband had the same sort of reaction yours did. Except that we are much older, and my husband is not the adventurous type at all. There is probably not a yurt in my future. But I keep the idea alive, because we’ll probably have to move someday, and who knows?

    I think it will be awesome if you’re able to actually build your castle/villa. Think I’ll stick around to see how it goes.

    • Thanks so much! I’m hoping that all of this works out. I figure that it’s a great step to just know what you want, so now we have our goal and we’ll see how it goes.

  5. I’m curious where you got your kombucha scoby. And what is a ginger bug? I think I might need it. I already do the yogurt and whey (the whey is wonderful to use in homemade sourdough…) ❤ your blog!

Any thoughts? I love hearing from you.

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