Interview with Jenny McGruther

Real Food Blogger to Launch Online Cooking Course

Jenny McGruther’s Nourished Kitchen is a gorgeous blog. It was chosen by Foodbuzz.com as a Top Green Blog last year, out of 6500 blogs, that is a great achievement!

A farm market manager in Crested Butte, CO and self-taught gourmet cook, Jenny is now an in demand speaker and online publisher. Her laminated photo-recipe cards were a popular foodie gift idea last Christmas. Now she is about to embark on a new endeavor, an online cooking series, How to Cook Real Food. With emphasis on seasonal produce, grass-fed meats, and fermented foods, this is a basic Nourishing Traditions course that will appeal to even seasoned veterans of the local foods trend. Here is a recent interview with Jenny about the course.

Kimberly: How long have you been a traditional foodie?

Jenny-McGruther

Jenny McGruther

Jenny: I came across the Nourishing Traditions cookbook in a book swap in 2006. It was truly a coincidence!

Kimberly: Why did you start blogging?

Jenny: I started my Nourished Kitchen blog in June 2007. Prior to my discovery of Nourishing Traditions, I had another blog.

Kimberly: So, you were an “early adapter” to blogging!?

Jenny: Yes, I started my first blog in 2005, where I talked about sustainable parenting. It was called “Green Mommie.”

Kimberly: Is that blog still out there on the Internet?

Jenny: No, I took it down since I wasn’t adding to it anymore.

Kimberly: Tell me about your family.

Jenny: I have been married for 5 years to my husband and we have a 4 year old son. I am the office manager for a real estate company, my husband is a stay at home dad.

Kimberly: So, is your husband on board for this nourishing traditional food lifestyle?

Jenny: Oh, yes. It is a joint project for the family. I am a picky eater, so I do most of the cooking, while he cleans up afterwards. It works!

Kimberly: I know you are a farm market manager, how did you get interested in that?

Crested-Butte-Farmers-Market

Crested Butte Farmers Market

Jenny: My husband and I started the Crested Butte farmer’s market together. We do it as a community service to give back to the community. Most farm markets are funded by the community they serve, most of the money collected pays for expenses, we end up with only around $1000 a year for compensation for our efforts, which works out to about 75 cents an hour (maybe less). Which is just fine, because we do it for the love of farm fresh foods, and the farmers we help.

We now have over 50 vendors. It began 4 years ago with a mere 14 vendors. It has more than tripled in size, which is so exciting.

Kimberly: What is the most important thing you have learned from this lifestyle?

Jenny: That is so hard to quantify. I guess I would say, learning to maximize nutrition whenever you can, increasing the nutrient density of the food I serve my family. A close second is, I have learned to love liver!

Kimberly: In what forms do you eat liver?

Jenny: Mostly pate, my husband and child love it. I also serve it mixed into ground beef or bison, in sauces, meat loaf, beef stroganoff. I mix 1/4 chopped raw liver to 1 lb ground beef, then I proceed with the recipe.

Kimberly: You are about to launch your first ever online cooking class, how exciting! What is it that you most want to teach the students in your class?

Jenny: I want to teach them how to master the simple techniques of maximizing nutrition with time honored preparation methods, coupled with making local foods the center of each meal.

Kimberly: If someone has been eating the WAPF diet for a while, is there something in this course for them?

Jenny: Yes, traditional foods enthusiasts will enjoy the recipe development aspect of the course. You’ll learn how to move beyond the techniques, to learning how to utilize seasonal, local ingredients to prepare wholesome, delicious, nourishing meals.

Kimberly: If someone has never taken an online course before, what can they expect?

Jenny: Once a week, everyone who is taking the class will get an email that the new lesson is up. They will then login to a private portion of my website. The video(s) will be available on a private site for course registrants eyes only, along with printable materials, worksheets, charts. There is an online forum for students to post questions and get them answered. You log on at your leisure, when it works for you. It is independent study and self paced, similar to correspondence school.

Kimberly: How much time will the class sessions take?

Jenny: It depends on the individual. The downloadable materials range from 10-20 pages each week. 2-3 videos 10-15 minutes each. I estimate from 20-40 minutes of time, depending on how much time you wish to devote. The videos, for instance can be watched over and over again, if you wish.

The materials on the course site can be accessed for review at any time, in fact the course entitles you to lifetime access to the materials. This means the students will have the opportunity to do a lesson any week they want, for instance, they can save week 2 lesson for after they do week 4. Or they can do a lesson next year, or two years from now, if they want to take the class slowly, over time.

Kimberly: Is there any hands-on aspect to this program?

The goal is to apply the material in your home kitchen. Their may be a few people who just study the materials, but I think most will want to try the techniques and then use the online forum to share their successes (or failures). This forum will give the class members a chance to discuss among themselves what they are learning, and troubleshoot the challenges. It makes the course interactive and will inspire hands-on home work!

Here is a sneak peak “Bonus Lesson on Nuts and Seeds” to entice you to take the plunge into the entire course.

Kimberly: Jenny, it took me two years and a number of Nourishing Traditions classes to integrate Sally Fallon Morell’s ideas and recipes into our family’s lifestyle. I am so glad you are doing this, especially for those who don’t have a local cooking teacher to help them. And, the fact that your course can be taken on a “need or want to know” basis is also fantastic. I found there were certain things that I wanted to learn first, and other things that I implemented much later. This lifetime access concept is a real gem. Good luck with your first course, and I hope we can look forward to many more!

Kimberly Hartke is a Real Food Media Blogger and an affiliate of Jenny’s ecourse. This means a commission will be earned for every student her blog inspires to take the course.

Sign up or learn more about the How to Cook Real Food Course here.

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