The Art of Homemade

Yesterday, I cooked from scratch for the first time in a long while, and I can’t tell you how incredibly good it felt. I used to do a lot of it when the kids were young, but nowadays these domestic tasks are replaced by writing, traveling, or keeping up with social media. Homemade banana bread is replaced by store-bought bagels and cream cheese. Homemade butternut squash soup is replaced with soup out of a carton.

Not that I don’t enjoy a good soup out of a carton, <grin> but there is something in the act of cooking down a squash and creating a gourmet soup that satisfies a creative urge in me.

My grandma passed down a legacy to my mom, who handed it down to me, and I to Mel. It is the Art of Homemade—a love for creating (anything) to share with family and friends. My grandmother worked as a head cook and a seamstress while my mom owned a craft store and ceramic shop. When I was little, she supplemented her income by sewing.

I did so much crafting and cooking when the kids were younger—homemade clothes, soaps, gardening, canning, scrapbooking, etc. We even made homemade noodles and apple dumplings that we sold at the Farmer’s Market for several years.

Then the seasons in my life gradually changed. I went through a divorce and the boys moved out. With the house nearly empty, there wasn’t a need to cook like I used to. This wasn’t the future I envisioned. I expected to be cooking, cleaning, and providing for a houseful for forever.

But change wasn’t bad.

It took me awhile to grapple with the unfamiliar and work through the grief, but once I accepted my new role, I saw opportunity for growth in other areas of my life. Now, my homemade products are the short stories, blog posts, and novels I write. The family I create for is much larger.


Homemade rarely fits into the schedule, and honestly, better food can be found in a restaurant, but on those days, when opportunity presents itself, or I rationalize a need to steal time from my responsibilities, I treat myself to the luxury of homemade because living within the legacy passed down to me feels good. Even if I am behind on my word count.

What is your favorite homemade item?

Did you ever have an item that completely flopped? (Mine was homemade root beer. The fermentation process didn’t quite go as planned :-/)

Have the winds of change touched your life? What helps you cope?

10 thoughts on “The Art of Homemade”

  1. Probably my favorite homemade items are the hallowe’en costumes I helped the kids sew themselves. Home cooking remains a staple in our house, and then kids (now teens) will be taking on their own dinner nights come the fall. My biggest fail is beet soup. Yuck. Absolutely disgusting.


    1. I’ll bet your kids will treasure the memory of making Halloween costumes with you, too. I remember making power ranger outfits one year. The kids played with those costumes almost daily for a year or two. That is special. And what great life skills they’ll learn by cooking. You guys are great parents! I have never made Beet soup. Don’t they call that Consume? Or something like that?


  2. I was just thinking about this as well. From scratch takes longer but it saved us so much money as the kids were little. A teaching job has cut into my from scratch cooking. This summer, I’ve done a bit more cooking, but our schedule with photoshoots, writing, and family has been busier than I would have liked. However, this week, I made up biscuits, and it was so good to taste the hot treat. My family likes my homemade pizza, taco soup, and enchilada pie.


    1. From scratch is definitely a money-saver whether one person or a family. There is price for convenience, that’s for sure. I could live at your house. I love all the things your family loves 🙂


      1. We’d love having you here. I’m missing my Realmie friends I made last month. Hard to believe it’s been four weeks already since we sat together and chatted.


      2. Four weeks! Seems impossible. Hey, don’t tempt me with a visit. I’ve never been to Oregon. Besides Bigfoot what cryptids are thought to live out in that area?


      3. Well, you have quite a selection. We’ll keep that in mind. Right now our cryptid queue is full up through book 6.


  3. I made a Thai soup/stew once I had found in a magazine. We had made several other stews from the same edition and loved them. And this one smelled amazing and looked so good while cooking – until the last minute when I was supposed to mix in some peanut butter. That was the fateful ingredient that turned a delicious pot of stew into something absolutely inedible. No one else would eat it at all. I tried but it sent my stomach into fits and I was afraid of getting sick. What a waste. 😦

    I tend to go through spurts with my homemade efforts. While I do still cook a lot, the baking and extra-effort items come and go in phases. 3-4 years ago I was on a canning spree but now those supplies are buried in a cupboard waiting for my next fit to hit. Mending piles up and then I break out my sewing machine and do it all at once. Hubby had a pair of pants waiting for a new zipper, I finally fixed two months ago. It only took me 2 years to get around to it. 😉 lol I do think if I had the space to leave things out year-round – like a crafting/sewing room where the machine and my clay didn’t have to be put away after every use, maybe I’d get into them more often. We have to move by next May. Maybe our next house will have an extra bedroom.


    1. Too bad about the stew, but I would agree. I like peanuts in my Asian food, but not peanut butter. It’s not the same. Have you ever made Wonton soup? I use a hot and sour soup base. That’s really good.

      That you could put a new zipper in your husband’s pants is impressive. I know there were times when my boys outgrew their pants before I got a button sewed back on. However, I also remember refastening the buttons while they were wearing them. Usually Sunday mornings when every other stitch of clothing needed washed.


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