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An Introduction to Humble Luxury in the Kitchen

Photo of my kitchen by Sam Stenson on 120mm film.

Photo of my kitchen by Sam Stenson on 120mm film.

As I return to recipe sharing after a 5 year hiatus, I’m excited to do so through lens of humble luxury.

HUMBLE LUXURY is the idea that luxury, pleasure, and safety aren’t exclusive experiences for those who can buy it. These are feelings that live within us and are available to all of us. No matter your budget, humble luxury in the kitchen is all about finding a way that works for you.

This is a process designed to help you meet your unique diet, budget, needs, and desires based on what you have access to. This post is here to explain what that means and how it relates to the food on my blog.


Recipe Categories:

You’ll see me mark each humble luxury recipe with categories that note when it’s good to eat this meal. This is a way to both share resources to help you support your body & family with greater ease, and have a quick guide when exploring the recipes on my site.

When recipes are tagged with the following categories, they may check the box for one or all reasons listed below.

  • Hidden Healthies | exactly as it sounds! nutrient dense nourishment hidden inside something like a pancake or cookie

  • Pregnancy | deeply nourishing, hidden healthies to curb cravings, iron rich, protein rich, fat rich

  • Postpartum  | warming, easy to digest, fat rich, protein rich, iron rich

  • Menstruation  | iron rich, easy to digest, deeply nourishing

  • Immune Boosting | easy to digest, immune supporting herbs & foods

  • Sleep Deprivation | easy to digest, deeply nourishing, easy to make, stores well, freezes, tastes good when cold from fridge

  • Toddlerhood | hidden healthies, easy to pack & travel with, easy to hold, fun to include little hands in the cooking process, make ahead & save



Ratios vs. recipes:

Rather than using the common style of recipe sharing, I much prefer to use ratios. To me, this feels more traditional - like something our grandmothers did. They used about this much of one thing and about that much of another. They cooked with their senses. They smelled, tasted, measured in their palms, picked things up to feel weight, and listened to the songs of their ingredients.

This is how I like to cook and my ratio based recipes are intended to be the foundation that allows you to do the same. This will give you more freedom to explore what you have on hand in your kitchen so you can use what you’ve got, instead of buying new ingredients.

What this looks like:

Rather than saying you need 4lbs of bones and 6 quarts of water for bone broth, I share my ratio of bone broth which is roughly 1 : 1.5 (read as ‘1 to 1.5’). That means for every 1 lb of bones used, you’ll need about 1.5 quarts of water. So if you have 3 lbs of bones, you’ll need 4.5 quarts of water. I say roughly because with bone broth, it really is flexible. If you only have 1 lb of bones on hand but you need more than 1.5 qts of bone broth (and if you’re using a stovetop or crock pot method, note some of that water will cook off) then add more! You can always add more flavor with onions, garlic, and other veggies. It’s a guideline.

When I don’t use ratios:

If a recipe calls for an exact amount of something (often in baked goods with leavening ingredients like baking soda) I’ll note it specifically. If something can be loose, I’ll let you know. If it needs to be exact, I’ll let you know that too.



The essentials and then some:

You’ll also notice the ingredients lists for my recipes & ratios are different than most. I’ll always bold the absolute essential ingredients for a recipe and have additional add ins listed as optional.

I do this so that the recipe are accessible financially to many different households. You can scale the recipes I share up and down based on your budget and family size.

Example:

Continuing with the bone broth ratio, you’ll see the recipe listed like this:

The Essentials:

  • 1 lb chicken bones

  • 1.5 quarts water

Optional Add Ins:

  • 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 white or yellow onion

  • 1/4 cup dried or fresh nettle leaf

  • etc.

See the full recipe for Humble Luxury Bone Broth here.If anything needs to adjust in the basic ratio based on the add ins, that’ll be noted. For example, in the bone broth, if adding an onion & herbs I would also add 1/2 quart more water.

I’m excited to share this new perspective in the kitchen with you!

Now I’d love to hear from you! What do you think about humble luxury in the kitchen?