29 March 2014

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie + A Secret

There is a secret I have been keeping from you! It wasn't deliberate, I just haven't been able to return to this little space sooner.

I turned 30 last week!!! But I bet you are wondering how I feel about it, huh? Fine actually, in fact better than fine. There is something about progressing through life  that makes me feel more substantial as a person, like somehow with 30 years under my belt I'm a little more capable and stronger.

It snowed on my birthday!

I was recently reflecting on the wellness series I held in January with our four guests. Have you also found yourself pondering over their interviews since then? Here are some of their words of wisdom that come back to me often.

Milena (Skin Care): "...our skin is our largest organ and, although it does a great job of maintaining a barrier between what is inside versus outside of our bodies, it is permeable and anything we apply to the surface of our bodies is going to be absorbed and thus circulated elsewhere…"

Tammy (Mind, Consciousness, and Thought)"The outside world has no power to make us feel good or bad, happy, stressed or depressed. We are the creators of our worlds. Clients who catch even a glimpse of this understanding find that once they understand where their health and wellbeing comes from (themselves) they finally can experience the changes they have been chasing for so long."

Laura (Yoga & Ayurveda): "Ayurveda’s first principle is that every person…..has a unique path, and a unique set of circumstances. Start with compassion. Begin by listening. Honor yourself. Recognize that you are worthy...wise. You are nature, too, and you have all nature’s intelligence and healing power inside of you."

"Consistency is the key that turns Yoga from ordinary to extraordinary. The Yoga Sutras call this "Abhyasa & Vairagya,” stating that consistent action with non-attachment to the outcome will give you success in practice."

Maria (Overall Wellness): "….live in the “here and now” or “in the present” for as much of the time as possible, given this makes us realize what we are thinking, feeling, and doing. Another aspect is “to accept” what comes, good or bad, without rejecting it."

As you have probably gathered, wellness and well-being are big-ticket items in my life. I am currently studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Holistic Health Coach. So wellness is not only a personal priority but also my passion to explore deeper and help others work towards. 

I believe that no matter where we are in life, we all have the right to strive for wellness. Yet we often (myself included) toss it aside saying we are too busy. But if we don't prioritize taking care of ourselves, how can we enjoy our lives or give our best to the things we are passionate about like our families, friends, and careers?

So what if we changed the way we thought about wellness? What if it we saw wellness as a mindset, a way of thinking, and found small ways to work this mindset of wellness into our lives?

Wellness is not something we perfect. Rather it's a lifestyle of sorts, a way of being, that we slowly chip away at over time. It's a deeper form of health, rooted in self-love, self-respect, and self-trust. It's about whole nourishment, finding what uniquely nourishes us on all levels, and making small choices that make us feel good from the inside out. It looks something like this: choosing to fill our mind with thoughts of gratitude, finding ways to naturally fit movement into our daily routine and bring more whole foods into our meals, being patient and forgiving with ourselves, and allowing ourselves to feel the way we feel, process it, but trust our resilience to spring back from it.

Even more importantly, wellness is about bringing mindfulness to the present, acknowledging that life has ups and downs and that it's okay if we don't always give enough attention to ourselves. It's about trusting that life is cyclical and that time to focus on ourselves will come back around and our priorities will balance out over the course of the week or month or year.

So when it comes to age, if wellness is a priority, I will argue that age is just a number. Age only matters in the context of being mindful of what our body is telling us, adapting to its needs over time, but as Maria says, accepting what comes, and finding the unique balance that is right for each of us as individuals.

This buttermilk pie was my birthday cake. It's a classic from my childhood, one of my grandmother's many specialties. It nourishes me on a deeper level because it reminds me of my happy childhood and the strength of the women in my family; my Mom, my Grandmother, and my Aunts.

I'm going to be short and sweet here. You simply don't mess with your grandmother's classics. Trust me, I've tried. It does not work. The beauty of this buttermilk pie is in it's simplicity. While I did cut down a bit on the amount of butter and sugar, I've brainstormed this with my mom and Aunt Anna and have decided that a plain pie crust and plain butter and sugar allow the delicate tang and richness from the buttermilk to shine through. Sometimes this is what we need. Simple is best.

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie
Serves 6-8
Slightly adapted from my grandmother's recipe

Favorite basic pie crust, unbaked
1/3 cup (76 gr) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk (full fat please!!)
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).

Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Line plate with pie crust.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy and sugar is dissolved. Mix in remaining ingredients until everything is well combined, don't over mix. Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake for 40-50 minutes, until center is set and a knife comes out clean from center.

Let cool slightly, but best served warm!


  1. What a lovely post! I really enjoy reading about the mindfulness you integrate into your life and how everyone can apply it to their own lives. I look forward to trying your buttermilk pie recipe. Knowing the history of the recipe, I'm hope that when I taste the pie, I will get sense of family strength, as well.

    Here's to many more years wellness and well-being!

    1. Cheers to that! Thank you for such a sweet comment!, Tess! I am still discovering how key mindfulness is. The ladies in the wellness interviews come from different backgrounds, yet they all allude to its importance. If that's not sign enough, I don't know what is! ;-) Hope you do get to try the pie, it's wonderful!

  2. Happy 30th birthday! Welcome to the dirty 30's ( I've no idea why people say that).

    I enjoyed reading your notes on holistic health and fabulous to learn about your studies in this field. I've always wanted to make more time and commit to an Ayurvedic approach to my health. I did before I conceived my boy (it helped hugely). I'm really looking forward to seeing holistic health relegated posts from you.

    1. Thank you so much Deena! I've also heard "flirty thirties". ;-) Yes, ayurveda has so many wise components to its teachings and it's great to hear you had a positive experience with it.

  3. This looks like a seriously good pie! And happy birthday :)

    1. Thanks Lilli. I'm biased of course, but it is a seriously good pie!

    2. What an exceptional post and I loved the pictures of your birthday present -- the snow!

    3. Thank you, the snow was a pleasant surprise!

  4. Happy birthday!! I turned 30 last year and agree with your statement - in fact I probably feel better and healthier now than when I was in my 20s. Great post - very well said :)

    1. So nice to know you feel the same. Thank you for the sweet comment Dearna!

  5. Happy belated sweet Katie!! Love to see the recipes from Judy on here. :) Love you!

    1. Hi Becky - Thank you so much! It is a special recipe, isn't it? Love you and miss you!

  6. Happy Birthday, Katie!! Loved to read this post; there's so much wisdom in your words too. Oh and I definitely need a buttermilk recipe in my repertoire - I've NEVER had a slice of it.

    Cheers to turning 30!

    1. Thank you, Sini! I agree, a buttermilk pie recipe is a must for our repertoire. ;-)


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