On Making Stuff from Scratch

Raw ingredients

Even a Practical Pioneer has a sense of humor.  I mean, we really crack ourselves up around here on our little mountain homestead. . .it’s kind of sad, really, what gives us the giggles. And it doesn’t just have to be the first time we hear something, either. Some jokes never seem to get old to us, and this one is no exception:

‘I wish I had stock in the Scratch Company!’
‘Why?’
‘So much stuff is made from it!’

Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Bordering on pathetic, isn’t it?  I apologize!

Tragically, this oldy-but-a-goody gets dragged out just about every time we make something from bare ingredients.  And that’s pretty frequently. . .we do like to make stuff from scratch around here! We like the feel of basic ingredients, the rhythm of chopping and sorting, or sawing and hammering, the process of blending it all together, and the gorgeous result of home-made food or hand crafted items.

But, to us, it’s way more than that.

It’s the time spent in creating something with your own hands that reaps the most value. If alone, cooking is a cathartic, mellow moment of reflection over the day, or a chance to puzzle through a problem or concern. While hands are busy doing their work: chopping, peeling, stirring, etc., our minds are free to wander wherever they will. In the midst of a hectic day, cooking can sometimes be the only pause we have between waking and hitting the pillow again.

Or, it can be a wonderful opportunity to connect with someone else. So much life is shared over the top of bubbling pots and ancient chopping boards if you’re properly cooking. If you’ve chosen to open a box and microwave some peas, there’s hardly time for a hello, let alone sorting out the world’s problems.

But there between the chopping of onions and snapping of beans, between the peeling of potatoes and filleting of fish, there lies the opportunity to connect, and dig deeper, and really take time to listen.

Same goes for time in the barn or garage or workshop, or even yard. As you chop or stack wood, mend a fence, mow the lawn, or work on a little bench to go in the mud room, you have time to think and communicate with yourself or another.  And that’s pretty awesome.

So we like to make things from scratch.  We like to take our time and talk and listen.

You should try it, too.  Even if what’s being said is a tired old joke!

(Photo credit: uddermilk.com)

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