Posts tagged ‘Psalms’

April 16, 2010

Le Fort Cafe Follow-Up: 1 and 1

Just a follow-up from Le Fort Cafe and the mad multi-tasking that goes on in a day. Okay, I’m 1 and 1. Here’s the breakdown (living in a sports-driven household, I speak with statistics – a language they can really understand!):

  • The Cherry Cobbler = Amazing! +1
  • The Ham Hock = RIP! -1

Moving on, then, from the Ham Hock Horror

For the cobbler recipe, I reworked my classic dumpling recipe which I use for both beef and chicken stews. If you’d like to recreate this heavenly delight….

  • Prepare cherries (or use the can variety)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Fill 9X13 pan with cherry filling
  • In food processor: add 2 cups flour, 1 T sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 T baking power
  • Place cover and while it’s running add 1 frozen stick of butter (1/2 C butter) *
  • Mix until combined – should be crumbly in texture
  • Add 1/2 C of heavy cream while running processor
  • Should have the consistency of pie dough
  • Pat dough into about 9 pieces to top cherry filling
  • Sprinkle with sugar
  • Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes (depending on your oven)
  • Serve hot with REAL vanilla ice cream

Note: Before I had a food processor, I cut the frozen butter by hand using a pastry dough cutter (my sister actually uses a 2 knife method). In the long run, it probably is a faster method with less clean-up:)

EnJOY!

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

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October 3, 2009

Harvesting “Les Raisins”

October 2009090Autumn is synonymous with harvest in the cooler north. The trees begin to show their fall splendor with shocks of brilliant red and golden yellow.  The garden is finally yielding its hard squashes and pumpkins for spice-laden pies and breads.  The cooler nights means that apples of all variety are finally ready to become apple crisps, dumplings and sauces.  And, the grapes…

Picking ripe fruit is an experience of utter joy.  The fragrance fills the air and the colors stimulate the senses.  I’ve had the pleasure of harvesting strawberries, raspberries, currants, cherries and now grapes this year.  But, it’s not only the harvesting.  It’s sense of community with those around you who are also caught up in the moment and in the pleasure.  The excitement in their voice as they exclaim, “You must see this clump.  There’s a bucket-full right here!”

Graeme

Graeme

Grapes, to me, are the grand finale of the fruit picking season. I am lost in the sheer pleasure of the experience feeling a special kinship with my very (very) distant relatives harvesting ancient vineyards in the French countryside. The Bible tells us the God has given us wine/grapes to gladden our hearts. Just the plucking of the fruit is enough to make my heart sing.

Forrest

Forrest

He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:

wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart. Psalm 104:14&15

Colin

Colin

Drake

Drake

Grandmere

Grandmere

C'est moi!

C'est moi!

Grapes!

Grapes!

May 15, 2009

Frugal Friday: Wild Rice

Wild rice is an amazing food.  It is high is protein, lysine and dietary fiber.  Beyond the nutritional value is the flavor.  Wild riceWildricecooked is just plain yummy!

Wild rice takes time to prepare, but it is worth the effort.  Rather than buy it pre-made in a can, this is what I do.  I cook the entire bag of wild rice and divide it up into 2 cups portions.  I use what I need and freeze the rest.  Most wild rice recipes call for about 2 cups so it’s easy to pull a bag out of the freezer and pop it into whatever I’m cooking.  I add it to brown rice as it is steaming for variety, flavor and added protein.  My famous “Minnesota Wild Rice Shut-out Soup” would be less than famous without it.

Pre-cooking foods in bulk and freezing them in portions rather than buying pre-made is both a healthy and frugal thing to do.

Happy Frugal Friday!

Taste and see that the Lord is good…  Psalm 34:8a

March 13, 2009

Auld Lang Syne in March

cake0011Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne ?

-Robert Burns

There are dedicated times in life for reflection.  On New Years Eve, we collectively take a day to reflect upon the year that’s ending as we anticipate the year to come.  Every year, it was a tradition in my family to have chicken on New Years Eve and pork with sour kraut on New Years Day.  In the Pennsylvanian Dutch tradition this is done because the chicken roots backwards and the pig roots forward.  They also believed serving pork and sour kraut as the first meal of the new year brought blessing to the family. New Years Eve is a time of reflection while New Years Day is a time for defining goals, aspirations and dreams.

I am turning 40 in a few days and the past few months have been like a long New Years Eve for me.  There is something about turning 40 that causes you to really reflect upon your life.  Some people will tell you that it is just a number, but I disagree.  What’s important is that we take time at critical junctures in our lives to pause and to ponder.  

In the book of Haggai, God commands not once but twice to consider your ways.  According to “David Guzik’s Commentary on the Bible”, this is a Hebrew figure of speech which literally means to put your heart on your roads.  This implies that we need to reflect upon where we’ve been and where we are going.  But by putting our heart to our roads (to where we’ve been and where we are going), we put our deeds and accomplishments to the fiery test of the heart.  Is this truly lasting? Does this have eternal or termporal significance? What is my purpose? Am I fulfilling my purpose? Am I a positive influence in the lives of others?  In the lives of the next generation? Am I truly serving God? Is my life bearing fruit? 

I would offer after 2 score years what the Psalmist said in Psalms 119:59:  I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.  My desire is to be as it says in 2 Timothy 2:19 an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

March 11, 2009

Muffins with Mom!

p1010023-11Today was a blueberry muffin morning.  Blueberries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C.  I also added some ground flaxseed to the batter for extra nutrition (omega-3 fatty acids) and a cinnamon topping for extra goodness.  Muffins with Mom!

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

March 6, 2009

Tight Places

CB042434I am claustrophobic.  Well, not clinically, but I really, REALLY do not like tight places!  I cannot remember I time I didn’t feel this way. Crowded elevators, no thanks – I’ll take the stairs!  

Recently while reading a familiar Psalm, I noticed something in the footnotes that I had underlined years ago. In Psalm 4, the NIV version reads “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.” Who doesn’t want relief, but the literal meaning of this phrase really spoke to my heart and into my life. This phrase give me relief from my distress literally means make room for me in tight places.  Tight Places…

 Guess what? Now here is a revelation: Sometimes I get very self-centered and think that no one could possibly understand my life.  No one else on God’s green earth (or even the current greyish-white) could possibly be going through what I am going through!  Yet, hidden here in the original Hebrew is a gem of truth: David too was claustrophobic!

Am I speaking of an actual fear of Tight Places? No (but I’m sure this prayer would apply there too). Sometimes life gets very tight.  Sometime it feels as if there little room to move.  Sometimes it feels as if you can barely breath.  

The past year has been a tight place for me – financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally.  So, meditating and praying this Davidic psalm gives me great comfort.  It puts my heart at peace to know that David too experienced the tight places. We also know from reading other books in the Bible that the tight places were not the end of David. He survived those tight places.  Eventually, he also moved on to spacious places and greener pastures.

But how did David find relief in tight places?  I think the answer too is hidden in this verse and in his heart’s cry – make room. The King James version puts it this way: …thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress. I’ve come to understand God doesn’t always remove us from the tight places; although He surely can. Sometimes in His great mercy and infinite wisdom, God simply makes room for us in those places and enlarges our ability to cope.

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.  Make room for me in tight places; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.  Psalm 4:1 (my emphasis)