I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Filling Plates and Pages: Meet Beth Hautala

“So, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

I remember that ubiquitous question being tossed in my direction when I was six or seven. Clearly not old enough to articulate a response with any kind of certainty. It’s something adults say to kids when we are trying to make conversation and want to be amused by their responses.

“I’m going to tell stories.” I said. Which, of course, elicited the appropriate amount of amusement from whatever unassuming adult had asked.
But, amusing or not—then and now—here I am telling stories. Written and otherwise. . .

I grew up under a roof where the idea of nurturing was tied heavily to held hearts, educated minds, and full bellies. And I’ve done my best to integrate that ideology into my own home. I spend my days wearing all the hats, er—aprons, (if we’re going to carry analogies all the way through here), but especially those of home cook and writer. And most recently, teacher.

Homeschooling has always been on my radar. I grew up homeschooled and loved it! But as my own little tribe grew and my writing career grew along with it, I balked at the idea of having to rearrange life too much. “One year at a time,” My husband and I have always said. And as self-employed artistic-types, that was truly the best we could do. And it has, ultimately been the best for our family. *Wipes brow* But God is calling us to new things. And so here we are, marching into a brave new world, educating our four children at home. —And me, telling stories and making food.

Cooking was part of my education at home. It was a skill my two sisters and I knew we would not be able to survive without. I entered college with a full recipe book of family standbys and quick meals that made enough to feed my entire dorm, should the need arise. But I didn’t fall in love with the art of cooking—of nourishing—until much later when it became apparent that a couple of my children had some severe physical issues with food, and texture sensitivities. I was forced to get creative. Innovative. I learned to experiment. To cook without measuring tools and without recipes. I figured out what worked and what didn’t, and along the way, I discovered that making food partners neatly with writing stories.

Both require courage and a willingness to make mistakes. Both begin with a knowledge of the rules and then grow until breaking them becomes part of the process. Both begin with need—one with physical hunger, the other with intellectual and emotional hunger. And both cooking and storytelling have the same goal: To leave those you seek to nourish, satisfied.

Homeschooling brings a third and unexpected ingredient to the mix.
My aprons: Storyteller. Cook. Teacher.
But unexpected ingredients make the best dishes. And the best stories.  Wish me luck! I’m off to come up with something satisfying to feed my tribe as we start another school day.

Nut Butter Snack Bars

Nut Butter Snack Bars Recipe

Because I’m a perfectionist, I have a hard time letting my kids get involved in my cooking process. Oh—the mess. But none of us learn without spilling flour and cracking eggs on the floor once in a while. This snack is a great solution to mid-morning grumbly bellies, and a nice way to get little cooks in the kitchen. The more the merrier! Gather your tribe and pull up your collective sleeves.

*Note: you can use any nut butter for these bars. Cashew butter is my favorite. And if you care to make your own, go here for that. If, on the other hand, nut allergies are an issue for you or some of your tribe, sunflower-seed butter is a great substitute.

½ cup butter (melted)
½ cup nut butter of your choice (melted)
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup cheerios
1 cup raisins
½ cup chocolate chips (these can be omitted if you’d rather avoid the sugar)
1 brick/package graham crackers, crushed

In a large mixing bowl melt the butter and nut butter together and stir to combine.
Add the other ingredients, one at a time, stirring to incorporate.
In a well-greased 9x9 baking dish, press the mixture tightly, packing it down. I find it’s easier to do this if your fingers are also greased a bit.
Slide it into the refrigerator and chill for one hour.
Cut into squares and serve.

Looking for other snack ideas? 

Here’s a couple of my favorites.
Blueberry-Banana Yogurt Muffins

1 comment:

  1. Now I never even realized you had a blog, I just enjoy your wonderful dishes pictured on Instagram and have thought of them as really inspiring! You should see how glad I was when I saw that you actually share the ingredients list as well! Thanks to this post I have come to that revelation. BTW, I really enjoyed this post. Welcome! It's nice to meet ya.