Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Polivka Family

A warm welcome Project365(3) Day 10

Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week, we travel to Tennessee to tour the kitchen of Courtney Polivka of The Polivka Family

What's a Real Foodie?

A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.

We don't use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.

We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer's markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.

This Week's Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Polivka Family

Courtney and her husband Frank.

Courtney is a designer, wanna-be-photographer, real food lover, doula, and fertility awareness advocate. But first and foremost, She is a wife, and to her, it is by far my favorite thing to beโ€”and the most rewarding. She absolutely cannot wait to be a mother, as well.

Blog Name: The Polivka Family
Blog Author: Courtney Polivka
Location: Tennessee, soon to be Georgia
How Long Blogging: August 2012
House or Apartment: Small house
Size of Kitchen: 7 x 9 feet
Things You Love About Your Kitchen: I like that it's a 1940's style kitchen, and I like the checkered floors and red walls.
Things You Would Change: Um, nearly everything! I can't wait to move! Hopefully, we will have a bigger kitchen in Georgia (even if the decor is not as cute). We are renting right now, so not much I can do. But the counters are very shallow. It's a good thing we don't have a microwave! Also, the cabinets are so shallow that I can't fit plates in them!! It's crazy! I have to keep my pots and pans in another room, and our deep freezer is in another room, too. My spices are in yet another room (which is supposed to be the dining area, but we use as an office because we have no where else to put the desk)!
Favorite Tools & Gadgets: My Vitamix, all my mason jars. I collected mason jars before I became a real foodie, so now I'm glad I get to use them all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚
Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food: One of my biggest challenges, I think, is figuring out what to make as the seasons change. But it only takes a week or so, and then I'm good. It's like…when you transition from not wearing socks in the summer to wearing socks in the winter. It's weird for like…a day. Then you're good! The other challenge would be time. Cooking real food takes longer. Sometimes I'm forgetful and start something in the afternoon, then I need to set an alarm for 4am so I can turn it off or strain it, etc.
Current Family Favorite Meal: This is a tough one! We love everything we eat. Can I pick a few dishes that make up a full meal? For the entreรฉ, tandoori butter chicken, with a side of aloo gobi and punjabi cabbage, with carrot halva for dessert! ๐Ÿ™‚
Favorite Cookbooks: On my shelf, I have [easyazon-link asin=”0967089735″ locale=”us”]”Nourishing Traditions”[/easyazon-link]. But I mostly read blogs for recipe ideas. In general, I don't follow recipes. I seek out flavors and flavor combinations, and then try to make them come to life. If I find a recipe I think I'll like, I'll follow the recipe the first time, but I change it by the second time I make it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Full view of my tiny kitchen.

I was in the middle of making chocolate for the chocolate peanut butter bananas, when I took these pictures, so my coconut oil is out.

From left to right, there is kefir fermenting, FCLO, an orange, grass-fed raw butter, cacao powder, vanilla, cocoa butter, seeds drying, grade b maple syrup, my glass water bottle, my sport Berkey, Cutco knives, Great Lakes grass-fed gelatin, & the compost. As I was taking pictures, my husband, Frank, said, “Wow, we really have a crunchy kitchen, don't we?” Yup. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My pantry

Sink and tiny window. There is actually a brick wall a few feet from the window outside, so we only get light for a few hours a day. Bummer :/

My spice shelf that lives in the dining room/office area around the corner from the kitchen. It was Frank's idea to organize them alphabetically, and I really like the way it looks! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kombucha and pecans in the living room.

This is our utility room, where the rest of my kitchen lives. In the foreground, you'll see the deep freezer next to the crate I use to pick up raw milk. Behind that is my 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil and the big white shelf that houses my canners, my 16 qt stock pot, more bulk ingredients for cosmetics, the ice-cream maker, the baking soda, and other random things. To the right, is the cabinet/counter I found on Craigslist to house my pots and pans. The last house we lived in actually didn't have a counter in the kitchen, so we bought it then. But it's certainly coming in handy now!!

The pans that are on the stove never get put away because I use them everyday. The double boiler is only out to make the chocolate. Also my free cheesy fruit painting rules!

Our Royal Berkey water filter. We finally broke down and bought it, once Frank saw I had almost stopped drinking water because the chlorine bothered me so badly. (I was going through a ton of raw milk instead!)

Lastly, I thought it would be fun to our fridge magnets. ๐Ÿ™‚

Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts


Let Us Tour Your Kitchen

Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you'd like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?

Please email me at annmarie AT cheeseslave dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they're too small, I can't use them.

Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).

As much as I'd love to include all the photos I receive, I can't guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I'm looking for creative, good quality photos.

Some ideas for photos:

  • Show us what's in your fridge or what's fermenting on your counter
  • Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
  • Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
  • How about a lovely herb garden?
  • Kids or pets are always cute!
  • Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen

And no, you don't have to have a blog to be included in the tour.

Photo credit: A warm welcome Project365(3) Day 10 by Keith Williamson, on Flickr and photos by Memories by Michelle

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the worldโ€™s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.โ€จโ€จ The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

16 thoughts on “Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Polivka Family

  1. In one or two of the kitchens we’ve had, the cabinets did not close if we had plates in them. I’ve always wondered if plates have gotten bigger, or if the cabinets were shallow because the kitchens were small. I started keeping my plates in bottom drawers, which actually solved a number of issues.

  2. Yes, I love the kitchen tours and soon (ish) I’ll be sending in my pics because I want to put my kitchen on tour here at Little Prairie Homestead. Okay I love this couple. You two are so sweet together and I loved your wedding photos. Also your kitchen, despite being very small is very inviting. The recipes look very tasty. Thanks for submitting this and I hope to see your new kitchen in Georgia.

  3. Great kitchen. Inspiring spice cabinet ! I think that if it had more light each day the limitations of your kitchen would not be such a concern. Light is a huge factor isn’t it? I know that I need it. Hope that the next kitchen is filled with happy cooking and eating.

  4. Cute kitchen! Bold move with the artwork–it works! Love your spice shelves. Share your new kitchen too when you get to Georgia ok? Congrats on creating a ‘crunchy kitchen’!

  5. Love your kitchen….very inspiring! I have to know what that nifty gadget is called…looks like it is a pecan/nut cracker? I think we need one of those!

  6. Wow, what a neat and organized kitchen. I confess that I am not at good keeping things so well organized and clean. I am a little surprised that soy milk is not considered wholesome. I believe that it has been drank by the Chinese for hundreds of years. Regardless, I can tell from the post the the Polivkas know a lot about eating good healthy foods and cooking.

  7. I love these kitchen tours, especially the ones of smaller kitchens like mine. I have the same chest freezer, and I have to keep it in the dining room. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I just love these posts on Real Food Kitchens. They show that people don’t have to have everything perfect to live the Real Food way!! Thanks, and your kitchen is adorable!

  9. I really like your spice shelf that lives in the dining room/office area around the corner from the kitchen. Some good stuff is there ๐Ÿ™‚

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