The Essence

Living and growing a family in the North awards you with a real and tangible connection to the land. As a mother of 5 and as a home baker and wannabe chef, it is this connection that seeps into everything - motherhood, food, harvesting, and experiencing the very heartbeat of the bit of earth that sustains us.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

For Me

I've recently been reading Molly Wizenberg's novel/cookbook, "A Homemade Life", and she has inspired me to update, rename, refocus my blog. My last post was in 2010 - a lot has happened in 5 years! I'm not sure why I tucked it away, it had something to do with ineptness with the computer (and then it broke) and the general hustle and bustle of my life which is prohibitive to sitting down to write, let alone collect my thoughts among answering the endless requests of little ones (and not so little ones) who are just a little bit self absorbed.

Our youngest of 5, Luke
(yes there was another one born since I last wrote!) is now almost 4 years old and I've been thinking a lot lately about what I am besides a mother. There will be no more babies, I have surprised myself by feeling genuinely quenched of my thirst for newborns.

Though I've always kept myself busy with things like School and Town Council, Volunteer Ambulance, and on a variety of commitees and associations, I haven't felt that those were "real jobs". They may have been my way of exploring what I like, what I'm good at, what I'm interested in, but none of it took hold. In the fall I took a position at our school as an EA. I thought, "This is a dream job! I'm at work the same hours as my kids are at school, I get summers off, I get benefits, what else could you want?!" But I missed my home, I hated catching up on all the laundry on Saturdays, and I really missed my kitchen.
So at Christmastime I gave my notice and felt relief wash over me like fresh rain.

So now what? We have a big move coming up, to 30 beautiful acres and an inkling of a farm, a business, a paradise.The picture up there with the title is going to be our new home. What do I want to do? What do I want to be? What fulfills me, other than that little hollow beneath Luke's ear, or the feeling of June's eskimo kisses, or the way Lydia twirls around the living room to Taylor's "Shake it Off"? What makes me proud, like the look on Dustin's face as he opens acceptance letters from university, or the way my Emily shone playing hockey at the Canada Games? What makes me satisfied, other than laying next to TJ, feet entwined, after a crazy day?

Buns steaming from the oven.
Bubbling Apple Pies.
Moose Stew simmering.
Hunting and Harvesting food from our land.
A counter full of cookies on trays.
A fat trout pulled from the lake.
Homemade apple sauce.
Caribou meat hanging in the meat shed.
A cranberry plucked and added to the thousand more in my bucket.
Writing about all of it.

I am a cook. I love baking. I would actually shrivel and die without my KitchenAid. I bake and cook everyday. If I am away from my kitchen, like I was when I was working at the school, there is a wanting unrealized, a feeling of being without, of being lost. I love writing, and I need to make more time to put pen to paper (or type onto screen). When I graduated from highschool, I had absolutley no desire to pursue higher education, and it was partly because I didn't know who I was yet, or what I wanted to be, or what I loved. I was soon distracted by marriage and babies and being a grown up, but now, as my babies grow up and I'm slowly gaining more time for myself, I know that I love hunting and harvesting my food, and I love transforming ingredients into something wonderful that makes people happy. I love having a full freezer of Yukon grown wild meat that I took off the land. If ever the time is right, I would love to go to culinary school.

I want to transform this blog into something that somehow resembles cooking and baking (and recipes!) and harvesting and motherhood (because that intersects all) and writing the stories behind the lives we are living here in the Yukon. I know it is a unique life, a marvelous life, a life that warrants documentation. I'll toast that!