Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

autumn welcome

The calendar and the kitchen are in agreement.  It's soups and stews and chowders and yes, please, I'd love some more of that in my bowl kind-of-days.  It's been cool and rainy and windy and then sunny and windy and cool and through it all, the comforting foods of shorter days are making their way back into my kitchen.  The comfort is soaked up as I watch with some sadness, the green in the garden give way to more yellow as the plants start to give in to the colder mornings and earlier evenings.  And when the soup is long gone, the comfort remains:  
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
So, with that in mind, we will enjoy this change in season and give the garden its time of rest while the seed catalogs beckon and new plans are hatched and saved for the longer, warmer days that gardens like best.

Potato and Bacon Corn Chowder
 (the full fat, no real recipe version)
-boil diced potatoes in broth in Dutch oven(I use chicken, 2-4 cups)
-cook bacon in skillet, remove bacon, do not drain
-saute chopped onion and minced garlic in bacon fat (oh yes, I do), throw in green onions if you have them
-when potatoes are tender, blend partially with immersion stick, leaving as many chunks of potato as you like
-add frozen or cooked corn on the cob
-add any type of cream or milk, (I don't measure, perhaps a cup)
-stir in onions and garlic
-crumble in bacon
-add salt and pepper to taste
-add fresh or frozen parsley
-let it thicken for a few minutes

make again and again, using whatever you find in your fridge until spring shows up and different comfort foods are required. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

God's people

Our first class together and my co-teacher,  Milly.

Yesterday was the beginning of our new year in Sunday School at our Reformed Presbyterian church and I am teaching a class of four and five year old children, almost all of whom I taught last school year. I thought a review of how the nation of Israel came to be would be appropriate since I'm not sure the children would remember who Israel was and to help acquaint my new students with our lessons.

Way back in January, I had begun making these tents, but never finished and used. I explained earlier in this post, that the inspiration came from the fact that Hebrews records that Abraham lived in tents.

As I finished sewing the last few tents on Saturday night, I wondered how I could show the kids that the Israelites we were learning about back in May were from Abraham.  The idea of more tents came to me.  Lots of tents.  I could never sew that many so I switched to cardstock and made lots of tents that grew smaller and nested inside each other.

Every child had their own set of tents in their own color, including "Abraham's'" big brown tent and the last, little tent had their name on it*.  I wanted them to understand that the Bible tells us that because we believe and obey God, we too are in Abraham's family.
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. ~Galatians 3:29.

I think they liked all the "nesting" tents and they enjoyed setting them up in various arrangements around Abraham's tent.  This paper set above belongs to a girl, Karis, who was not there on Sunday, so I'm showing you her set.  They were kept together with a large paperclip which the kids seemed to able to clip and unclip themselves by the time we were cleaning up and then stuck inside the big brown tent to take home. I wish I had thought of taking a photo of all their sets of colorful tents set up on the table;  it surely represented the nations of the world that are blessed through Abraham!

I have mentioned before that I am trying to incorporate more of Charlotte Mason's ideas of children and teaching into this Sunday school time which is why I try to bring in natural things from God's creation to add beauty and goodness to our time together and do some group narration where they retell the story and ideas back to me.  We did a little narration together at the end, but I hope to do better in this area.

We ended by coloring the paper covering the table and having all sorts of fun, discussing the leaves, flowers and jars of acorns, bees and squirrels and other interesting topics.  It's going to be another fun year, mostly because you never know what kids are going to say next.

*It did occur to me to make an even smaller tent for them to write on showing their future family, but I wasn't sure I should go there and run the risk of having to talk about them getting married and having babies!  But the idea of training children to think of their children and their children's children as being part of God's people is important, but perhaps we can do that at a later time. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

back-to-learning-together day

*photos:  Coloring pages from the Sebastian Bach book set by Opal Wheeler available from the Opal Wheeler set and listening to Bach on cd;  playing with acorns collected this morning from the large oak trees along the river; delicious back-to-learning-together cupcakes to encourage and sustain us.

Monday, September 03, 2012

summer fruit pastries

With fresh summer fruit available right now and comfortable, cooler weather to enjoy, I finally put into action a baking plan for peaches and blueberries. Earlier in the summer, my dear friend Vanessa, surprised me with a cookbook from Mennonite Girls Can Cook because she saw them listed on my blog list. It is a wonderful cookbook with words from each of the ladies about their families and their Christian life.  I do highly recommend it.
This past week, using their pie pastry recipe, I made a yummy peach wrap which I ate for dessert and breakfast... more than once. I did share some with our neighbors too, so clearly I'm not that terrible of a glutton.  Oh dear.

 Yesterday afternoon, I made a blueberry one which also came out very yummy. They are very easy to make; let me illustrate by way of example.
 I made the blueberry one, with not only my two girls, but also with my one year niece playing in the kitchen with the play kitchen stuff dumped and spread out all over the floor while I chatted with my sister-in-law. I also was in the process of cooking our dinner.
Yes, there was some serious multi-tasking going on and yes, I had to re-measure the flour because I caught myself making a mistake.  But it all came together and following our dinner and an episode of Drive-Thru History, Holy Land, we each enjoyed a small slice with French Vanilla ice cream and hot mugs of tea.

Click on the link below for both the pie pastry recipe and fruit filling suggestions.  My altered version  for making the wraps was to use half the pie pastry rolled out and placed on my baking stone(or baking sheet) and add the fruit mixed with the flour and sugar.  Then I went around the pile of fruit in the middle, folding the pastry over gently and finished with a sprinkling of sugar.  Very, very simple.  I baked it 425 F for about 30-32 minutes until it was golden and flaky.  Delicious!

 Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Saturday, September 01, 2012

September garden

It has been a great year in our little garden! I am so thankful for God's goodness and care for us as we continue to enjoy the beauty and the bounty He provides.