Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Problem In a Bean Shell

These beans are causing an existential crisis. 
Or perhaps it's these chocolates:

Huh? Wondering if I've flipped my wig once and for all. No, not yet at least.

See, my issue is best explained if you look around my kitchen. While drafting this post, on the island is the above beans and chocolates.  On the counter to the left of the stove is fresh ground wheat awaiting it's ride in the mixer for it's one-way trip to Breadville. To the right of the stove is about fifteen bars of soap curing. They need to sit out a bit before I package them up. My three sons are doing math at the table. Is my problem starting to become clear yet?

  • The chocolates are luscious and have a depth of flavor so absolutely amazing I'll never buy See's again. Never. They weren't that hard to make either - more time consuming than difficult.
  • I have ridiculously sensitive skin. My dermatologist said I am the only patient he's ever seen react to saline during the scratch test. Commercially made soap is too harsh so I make my own; we have for years, I can't imagine going back.
  • Store bought bread is gross and has weird stuff in it that I don't feel good about feeding my family. When we do buy bread we all wrinkle our noses up. It's just not nice.
  • And we homeschool for too many reasons to go to in this post.

So why am I bothered by a harmless bowl of soybeans? 

They represent another area of my life where if I know how great the alternate is, I may never go back. Whispers of delicious soy milk and tender, fresh tofu have been creeping into my conscious. When I grab a carton of Silk, there is a nagging knowledge, pulling at me, that we could do so much better ourselves.

But as a woman, a mother, a person plagued (at least for now) with chronic illness, do I really want to add another thing to my already over-flowing plate? 

When most folks run out of bread or soap they pick up a bar or loaf at the grocery store. For me, it's a three hour venture. Would I change that? Of course not. But do I want to add more to the list of things where the responsibility falls squarely on my shoulders? I'm not sure. Not sure at all.

Once I soak those beans, there's no turning back without failure. Because once we know how good it can be, why would I settle for less for the family I've been so blessed with. If making our own soy milk and tofu becomes the norm; then the times when I can't will be yet another concession my dear ones have to suffer in the name of my bad health. Soaking the beans will turn what is now acceptable into an unwanted compromise.

See: Beans = crisis.


Carol said...

Oh my word! You clearly already do so much for your family, hate to see you consider anything you are doing (or not doing) to be a failure. If you DO soak the beans, go easy on yourself and don't assume you can never go back. Its okay to walk the middle of the road for a little while.

Stephanie J said...

Oh how I wish I lived on your mountain, or you lived in my fields. You could teach me so much, and I could help you when you need it. Soak the beans, try your hand at making soy milk & tofu... and know that every little thing you do is appreciated by your family, and if you're not able to do 'x' on any given day, they will understand - and appreciate when you can so much more. (If that's even possible)

Maggi said...

I can see how you would feel that way, lol. I'm sure it will be successful and I will hope for an easy process so that if you do add it to your list, it won't be too much. lol Good luck!

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

I'm with you on the bread thing...and I love cinnamon soap and you can't buy that...and I want to try your homeade candies, so I'm not help!

But maybe the soymilk thing can be a boy project? I'm serious here...one can research it, they can all try to do it together, you can be the taste-tester to see if Silk really is the way to go...

Laura O'Donnell said...

if you already bought the beans I think you know you're going to try it. so let us know how it comes out!

Scrapamum said...

You are amazing! You are everything I want to be. I do make my own bread but gosh to make my own soap. I wold love to if I had time. We do get a great one from Van Island. I like it, it's natural but wow to make my own would be awesome.
Making your own soy??? Seriously wow! We have been buying Eden's organic but it is bloody expensive. Let me know how it tastes.
Don't over do it. It's great to make your own wonderful things but remember to take time for yourself.

Caroline said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your budget ideas. I would love to hear more about how you scrunched to save money and pay off debt. That is SOO awesome. Good job!

We are hoping to homeschool when the little one is a little older, and we are already planning our "trips"...haha. That is so cool to hear someone else taking a similar approach.

I'm your newest follower!

Mima said...

This isn't meant to sound gloomy, but whatever you do make sure that you don't overdo it and take steps backward. I am always amazed by all the wonderful things that you do for your family, I think they are very lucky to have you. If you think you can manage to have a go, then maybe try, but please don't make yourself feel like a failure when you are anything but!