How are those resolutions going? I know they tend to fall by the wayside and can be discouraging. Don’t let this get you down. Today is a new day to try something new and exciting! Let’s get moving!Read More
Grab a beverage, find a comfy chair, and catch up with what we have been doing. You can read it all here on our blog page
We pack our Face Balm full of skin-goodness—and that helps you combat dryness and fine lines. Keep reading to see all the different ingredients we use to make this product so good!.Read More
Modifying recipes to make them more gut-pleasing is easier than you think. Let me show you how!Read More
Making changes in your life is a lot like running a race. Sometimes, you need to walk in order to finish the race. Don’t quit! You can do this!Read More
How many of you made New Year’s resolutions?
Don’t be shy, raise your hand.
That’s what I thought.Read More
Come on in a set a spell and see how our Body Butter is made!Read More
So much has happened since I last posted that it would be many posts before I got to this particular writing. In case you don't remember (because it's been, like, forever since I've written anything) , I like to cook using fresh ingredients especially if it's come straight from our homestead.
This recipe I'm going to share with you, comes from Two Peas &a Their Pod website, but I tweaked it to suit me and my ever shrinking food list. So without further adieu, I give you a a comfort food that is easy on the gut.
Roasted Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 large head of cauliflower chopped
1 tbl olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 c unsalted butter
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 c rice flour
qt. Of homemade chicken stock or two cans of vegetable broth
1 1/4 c almond milk unsweetened
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet and toss in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 29-25 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes. Add the carrots and celery, cook for a few minutes more.
3. Pour in broth and stir. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
In this recipe, I omitted adding 1/2 c cheese and used rice flour in place of Regular flour. I am gluten free, dairy free, and we keep the salt to a low level (for my hubby). This soup was amazingly satisfying and very delicious.
Well, the end has finally come to the Blog Your Brand 30 Day Challenge. I made it. Just barely. So many times I wanted to quit, whether it was because I was tired, internet was horrible, no cell service, whatever excuse I could come up with, I over came. I hope you enjoyed a better look behind the scenes of our daily lives here on our homestead. Part of the rules of the Challenge was to not promote our products, at least not very often. So with that, I am shamelessly going to promote something that is new for us.
I'm super excited to tell you about how Blossom's Barn can now be obtained through hosting a Facebook Party. No need to get dressed and put pants on to go to someone's house. Pour a favorite beverage, get the jammies on and fire up your computer. All that is required from the host of the party is to be a cheerleader and invite all of your friends to do what you just did. Slip into something comfortable, pour a drink and let's have some fun! I do all the rest.
There are always prizes to be won, hostess gifts of free stuff. Ya, who doesn't like free stuff? And I pad everyone's boxes with some extra special goodies, just on the the party night. So if you want to earn free stuff, have some fun, and all without really lifting a finger (okay, I guess you have to type, if you want), then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's set up a date. I will then share with you the way to earn free product and extra credits.
I know it's a bit early to even speak of this, but here it is. Start thinking about (Christmas) and please keep us in mind when picking out the perfect selections for your loved ones. We make great gifts for all occasions.
Do you have any idea how many times I've heard that in my lifetime? Too many to mention. I was raised around firearms, so they are not a scary item to me. Although, when my kids were small, I didn't want any in the home. As my boys grew, it became increasingly evident, that it is ingrained in them to be intrigues with military arms or firearms. Believe me I tried to keep our home "gun free". They weren't allowed to watch any sort of violence on TV. No water guns allowed or anything that looked like a gun. What a joke. So even though my boys really weren't around any sort of guns, they still made them out of Tinker Toys, Legos, and just using their fingers. I gave up.
Instead of trying to keep them away from guns, we decided to allow them to learn about them and go to NRA summer camps, so they could learn to properly use firearms and be able to shoot all sorts of them. They learned to respect them and safely hold, carry and store. They even went small game hunting a couple of times and brought home some squirrel and pheasants. I needn't worry about them starving in their futures. They will be able to provide for their families, if need be in this fashion. It's only been done this way since forever. And it's healthier.
While I have never feared firearms, I also never really learned much about them. Well this weekend changed all of that. This lady here, went through the Conceal Carry course, all 16 hours of it, in order to apply for conceal carry in Illinois, if I should choose to apply for the permit. There is a lot to think about. A lot of responsibility that I never thought of. And let's just say, I'm not running out any time soon to send in my application. I need to pray about this.
As you can see, I'm not a bad shot! Part of the certification requires you to shoot thirty times, ten times each at three different locations. The shots are also not to be trick shots either. No smiley faces or continuing to shoot out the same hole. The teacher is suppose to be able to count all of the shots. I think all 30 of mine made the mark. Not bad for someone who hasn't used a firearm much, ok barely.
I'm not one to live in fear. I have God on my side and when my time comes, then so be it. But also, I believe we have a right to defend ourselves with force if the need arises. It was long days of learning, but I think overall, it was worth it, whether I choose to go through with obtaining the permit or not. Hey, at least I know I'm a decent shot.
Probably the thing I hear many people, women in particular complain about is trying to balance life and work. I'm going to cut through the chase right now and tell you, it's a myth. A big fat lie that glossy photos and Cosmopolitan magazine-type articles tell you. That you CAN have it all and do it all. Ok, I guess you can. But can you do it well? Are you satisfied with mediocrity?
Being an older woman (here we go again), I can safely say, that I've tried it all. I've lived it all. And I failed much. Actually, I probably fail every day. But there is a difference now. I've learned something along the way. It's okay to fail. It's okay to be happy being a stay at home mom, one of the highest and most important jobs on this planet. But it is also okay to be a working mom, too. I've already alluded to what I believe to be the best of it all, but I'm not talking about this in my blog post. Every woman needs to do what she is called to do. But does that mean she needs to do everything all at once or at the moment? No, I don't think so.
There is a time for everything. A time to bear and raise children. A time to learn and grow and be creative. A time to climb the ladder. A time to be a wife. Actually, this last one is very important. If you are a married woman, your husband needs to be your first priority. One of the goals of raising kids and if you did it well, they should at some point move out and be self-sufficient. You are then left with the husband of your youth. If this relationship is not nurtured and put first in your life from the get go all the way until the empty nest, how can you expect to pick up those pieces? Marriage is hard enough without having to rebuild the relationship from scratch and find that spark again. Fan the flames NOW!
Thinking you can balance all the things of life and be great at all of it will just wear you down and cause you think less of yourself. Instead, try prioritizing what you need to do right now. If you are married and have kids. Start there. Do this well, first. Then add in other things slowly. I know it's hard sometimes to do this, but I did it several years ago.
When my boys were in 2nd and 3rd grade, we pulled them out of school to homeschool. Best thing we ever did. No joke. At the time, I also had a successful landscape/design business that I worked by myself and I liked it that way. I learned very quickly that I couldn't do both well. So what was important? My kids of course. Having a business is not that important to me. While I love doing my own thing and being creative, I found other ways to satisfy these urges while schooling my kids. As the years moved along, Blossom's Barn became alive. For the first four years, it sort of stayed more of a hobby that made a few bucks to pay for supplies. But I was still schooling my kids, so I didn't have the time to pour into this business. Now that they are graduated and moving along with life, this past year has afford me the time to knuckle down and start to make things happen for this business. Now was the time for that, not when I didn't have the time and tried to squish too much into my life. I've been there, done that.
There is a season in life for the things we want to do. We must learn to be patient in those things. We are better off learning this lesson.
It seems our homestead is overrun with girls. Girls of all sorts, coming in all forms. I never purposely intended for that to happen, but if you are raising your own food and animals, you need the girls.
First up is my favorite girl, Cassidy. She's our Great Pyrenees and keeps our farm safe from all critters that don't belong here all the way down to not approving of worm farts. She lets us know about all of it.
We are full of hens, but there is one rooster. These girls and guy, do a great job cleaning up insects and grubs. I really think we have a lower insect population because of their foraging in our yard. They also are terrific and tearing up, er, turning over our flower gardens. They also provide us with the yummies deep orange eggs. Mmmmmm
Then of course, we have our does. I have two right now in milk production. That milk is what you will find in our soaps. Goats are fun and fairly easy to maintain. Plus they don't eat too much and require little land, although brushy land is preferred.
Then there are these girls. They out number us, but I love them. For the most part, they are gentle and pay you no mind. They are too busy to bother with you. Hoping for a honey harvest this year!
And finally, there is Misty. She is a high needs cat. Every day she waits for her special food that the other cats don't get. Why? Because she's Misty and demands special attention. She has her own special cushion and food dishes. Yep. Spoiled. But she is so precious!
We use to also have brood cows, a dairy cow, last year we had three female hogs. But not at the moment. So yes, we tend to be overrun with girls and I'm okay with that. But let me introduce you to one special, smelly guy.
Right now, this dude is running with the cattle and he's okay with that. But in another month, you'll know by the twitching of your nose, that he's anxious to get with his girls. Starting about September, rutting season begins. He becomes cranky, smelly and well not very pleasant to be around. You definitely don't want to be out in the pasture when he's like this. He sees you as a target of some sorts and you don't want to be there. But come late November, he is allowed to be put with his girls and he becomes his old happy self again. Maybe another reason why we have girls, boys are grumpy and not safe to be around all the time.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed meeting most of our critters.
I got stung today. That hurts.
For years I had wanted a few bee hives. My hubby, even though he has a fear of bees (actually wasps, but that's another story), surprised me one Valentine's Day about six years ago with a double date to a bee keeping class and my first hive. It was probably one of the best things he has ever given me. A hive against his own fears. It is probably my favorite thing that I work with on our homestead. Yes, I love my goats, garden and all that, but there is something special about honey bees.
Cracking into a hive and looking into their world, because that is exactly what it is, is amazing. They all have a job and do it dutifully or there are consequences. The inter-workings of a hive can leave you with no doubt there is a Creator for there is no way evolution in all its millions of years, could pull this off. Anyway, talking about my hives is not what I'm writing about today.
People seek out the honey bee for various reasons. The obvious is their honey, which if sourced very local to you and is raw (not pasteurized) is known to help with certain allergies. It's better than an allergy shot since it contains all the local pollen that one my be allergic to. Plus it tastes amazing.
But there is one practice I will never understand. Well, I understand it, but I sure can't seem to wrap my head around it and that is bee venom therapy.
Bee venom therapy uses live local bees to inject the beneficial compounds directly into the skin. The stinger is just the right length to penetrate many layers of skin without going too deeply. The bees stings are applied to acupuncture points and areas of chronic pain. It is not known exactly why this therapy has success for many people, but the venom seems to reduce inflammation. Patients with auto immune issues such as gout, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis have experience relief from their symptoms that prescription medicine has not been able to achieve. Keep in mind, bee venom therapy is not a cure. It only may help with chronic pain symptoms.
So when I got stung today, I thought about the people that intentionally have this done to them. It makes me wonder the level of pain they must be in to subject themselves to such a treatment. Bee stings hurt. They hurt for a time and may leave a large swollen, painful area. The person's pain is so great, that the pain of a bee sting is a good alternative to their current condition.
I do hope it provides real relief because every time a bee stings, it dies. It has a tiny barb on the end of its stinger that will attach itself to the stingee and it will literally rip out of the bee and kill it. I'm very sensitive to the health of bees and try to do my part to raise healthy hives. But, if someone needs bees for relief from a debilitating disease, then so be it.
Of course, if you are allergic to bee stings, then bee venom therapy is not for you. More info on apitherapy can be found at www.apitherapy.org
When we bought this place eight years ago, we (or really me) had high hopes to not only produce our own organic food in a humane way, but to also make it available to our local neighbors. So we set off by getting our first goats, chickens, cattle and even a dairy calf. Along the way, we occasionally raised turkeys and each year, we do raise our own meat chickens. Our main goal was and still is, to grow and raise our own food as healthy as possible.
Our cattle and dairy cow are raised on grass only. Chickens run around the homestead and are also fed organic grains. Goats get a mix of both. The meat chickens and turkeys, were also raised on grass. An enormous garden was planted as well as an orchard. I started to set up a little farm store with hopes that I could have a couple of days a week to offer fresh produce, have an honor system for milk and eggs. And always, sanitation and just doing things the right way, were always on my mind.
Like any business, even though I didn't really think of our homestead as a legit business, I wanted it to earn enough money to have us break even on the cost of hay and feed and if there was extra, then that was a bonus. Unfortunately, being so small and doing things in a small way, is just like any other business when it comes to the cost of doing that business and the amount of work on a small scale. Let me see if I can explain.
The more you can buy in bulk for supplies and feed, the cheaper the price. Since we are small, buying in huge bulk is a gamble. Will it rot, or will something happen to all that feed. We only have so much space with which to store extra feed. We don't have the machinery to move all of these supplies. We do most things by hand and most of the time, it's me doing it. Most people don't realize the amount of work that goes in to raising animals and vegetables. So due to our smallness, we can't buy in huge bulk and it takes just as much time to take care of a few animals vs. many. My time is worth money, too. When it's all said and done, it's difficult to offer really great food at a reasonable cost. Since we don't have the middle man, we can offer it direct and that saves the customer money.
The biggest problem though, is getting the right amount of customers and to have them come regularly. Too few customers, means a ton of work for little to almost no pay and high waste. Too many customers and we can't serve them all. So what to do? Well the State of Illinois solved one of our problems. As of July 1, raw milk sales must be done under a permit from the farm only. No biggie, right? Just go out and get a permit. Not so fast. Here are the latest regulations: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/077/077007750000550R.html Just a little bit of light reading. What it boils down to is a permit is needed. The place needs to basically be set up like a Grade A dairy operation and inspected regularly. So long, small time dairy farmer. Since it's important for me to follow the rules, we no longer offer raw milk for sale. Just as well. We lost our dairy cow last year. The eggs? I've been known to throw away 5 gallon buckets of eggs. So I decreased our flock to just serve us. My vegetable garden is a 1/3 of what it was. Our beef is decreased again, to serve our needs. I still may have fruit available here and there and hopefully honey, when the bees cooperate.
We are still very much raising our own food, it's just not for sale any longer. I can only do so much and with Blossom's Barn growing, it's all I can do to keep up, if you want to call it that. It's a lot of work, work that I love, but I only have so much time to give. Choices need to be made and that's what it has come to. Over these eight years, we have gone through many changes. From learning how to do all of this, to doing all of this, to now down-sizing into something more manageable for our needs. It's good. Real good.
Last year I planted some elderberry bushes (Sambucus nigra). I only planted two, which I felt was probably going to be more than enough for our purpose and for them to be able to pollinate each other. It's a very strange shrub, partially woody, partially soft. It's fragile in storms and tends to break off easily. It does grow fast and fairly tall and this year it bloomed and now has berries on both bushes. I won't say it's a bumper crop. I guess I won't know that until I harvest them.
Harvesting could be interesting. Supposedly, the umbels will just break off and then a fork is used to get them off of the stems. Only the deep purple fruits are picked, not the green or unripened fruits. Elderberry has poisonous parts. The stems and leaves contain cyanide, and the unripened fruit may cause stomach distress. So only the beautiful deep purple fruits are desired.
Why, you might ask, am I bothering to grow a fragile, poisonous plant? Elderberries are known to boost the immune system, provide a burst of vitamins, is higher in vitamin C than oranges, help with colds and flu, are antioxidants, anti-carcinogenic and an all around good thing to help with your health.
Now is the time to start working on your immune system. By being outside and gaining the vitamin D from the sun, something many of us lack, especially if you live in the north or places where the sun hides a good portion of the year or you are stuck inside. Get outside and get some sun. Another thing to do is to eat or drink elderberries. I craft an elderberry syrup for my family to take. I'm also going to try some other recipes, like jam, mead, infused honey, and maybe just keep some frozen. There is also elderberry ice cream. So many uses.
Immune Boost Syrup
1/2 c. dried elderberries
3 c. water
1 c. raw honey
2/3 c. raw apple cider
Fill a pot with the water and elderberries. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and mush the fruit well. Strain liquid into a separate bowl using a cheese cloth, coffee filter or something similar. Add honey to the liquid and stir well, then add the ACV. Pour into a jar and store in fridge for up to six months.
As a tonic: Adults 1 Tbl per day Children 1 tsp a day
Take every hour for a cold/flu
Peach season is upon us, here at our homestead. Sounds like we have tons of peaches and maybe we do, but really, we only have two producing trees. Little did I know when I planted them 7 years ago, that they would grow quickly and produce within three years. We don't spray or do any manipulations to cause them to grow well or be insect free. As you can see in the photo, they are not perfect, but they are still delicious and I know they are safe. Nothing like being able to pick right from the tree and eat, which I do every day while I'm out doing chores in the morning.
Last year, I planted two more trees, because when trees grow quickly and begin to produce at a young age, they usually don't live very long. I'm learning that if I don't prune out branches and thin out peaches from branches, they will easily break and snap. As a matter of fact, I have some broken branches right now. The trees I planted last year, which were twigs, were full of blooms this spring, which I enjoyed, but dutifully plucked any peaches forming off of those trees. They are too young and even though they were only about four feet tall when I planted them, both are taller than me this year. Way too young to be producing. I did miss one peach and decided to leave it.
So now I must get busy putting those delicious peaches away by turning them into yummy treats for us. Tomorrow I will be canning peach salsa. I made some fresh today for dinner and I thought it was a winner. So in my classic Ann-style recipe, I shall post it below.
First bring a pot of water to a boil, place peaches in the hot water and blanch for about 30-60 seconds in order to be able to slip off the skins of the peaches. Plunge into ice cold water. Remove skins. Slice in half and twist to remove the pit.
I used about 8 cups chopped peaches
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 red onion chopped
4 seeded jalapeno peppers chopped
about 1/2 c chopped cilantro
about 1/2 c. vinegar
2 tbl honey (I will use a bit more)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy! This was delicious on the tacos I made and it will be grand with corn chips. I also think it would be the bomb with fish tacos.
I will also working with many apples this year and pears. My poor pear tree is having a tough time of it and it also bending under the severe weight. Problem is, the pears aren't ready. I will have to get crafty and try to help it out.
Having an orchard is so rewarding, but there is work. Work were you actually see results. Grandpa would be proud.
This political season is wearing me out. I'm finding myself avoiding social media, Facebook in particular, because people who once were capable of have civil debates, are now slinging just as much mud as the candidates themselves. To be honest, I don't know what to believe anymore with what is going on with the candidates because of social media.
I'm not writing today to begin a political rant. I have my own ideas on the matter and sharing them with you will not change the world, nor anyone's views, probably. What I would love to throw down here is my observations of how we are treating our fellow human neighbors. What is a neighbor? Anyone who is not you. As time progresses, social bullying is becoming rampant and severe. We are brave when armed with a keyboard. Hey, we can say what we want, when we want to, and what is anyone going to do about it? Unplug my computer? Shut off my wi-fi?
I'm all about free speech. But when we are speaking to blatantly hurt someone, vicious name calling, and labeling people that you don't even know anything about, all for the sake of defending your opinion, is wrong. With each thread I read, without a moment's adieu, it usually degrades into a drunken bar room brawl online. Emojis of people eating popcorn. It becomes the new Jerry Springer form of entertainment. I almost wonder if there are people that just jump from thread to thread, just to incite people to flare up.
I think we all need to put on our big person underwear and learn to walk away from a fight. We don't have to engage every person we disagree with. Most of the time, it's not worth it. Are we seething with so much hate and anger that we have nothing nice to say anymore? Are we so self centered that we have to speak the loudest or most vile in order to get people to notice us?
So here's the deal with me.
I am a Christian. I try to live my life to please God only. If you do not find me pleasing, feel free to move on. I will not bow down to the trends of the culture. I will not flock to the popular vote, because that is what everyone else is doing. If you find me weird, conservative in my thinking and actions, and not going with the cultural flow, then I'm doing my job. I will still love you anyway. I will still treat you with respect. And most of all, I will be praying for you. You can count on that.
So let's be kind to one another. Life is short. We do not know how many days we will have. Let's use them to lift one another up.
Today was a pretty exciting day for Blossom's Barn. I spent a good chunk of it in the front part of the store known as West Elm. This is a nationwide chain of 70+ stores, three of which are located in the Chicago area. today I was in the Skokie store.
The reason I was there today, is because West Elm loves to support local makers to their stores. I did have to apply and I dutifully filled out four applications. Two asked me in for an interview. Both of them loved my products and have recommended me to corporate.
When it goes to corporate, they will be contacting me to hammer out all the details that goes into working out the future collaboration of wholesaler/buyer. When all is said and done, all three stores in this area will be able to buy from me! This is a big deal to our little company.
Now I must wait. My inderstanding is that this could take awhile to finalize. That's ok, I have plenty of work to keep me busy in the meantime.
This is one big store-fish in a very large ocean of stores. The possibilities are endless! Keeping the nose to the grind stone and keeping everything cloaked in prayer is a good start, I'd say. I think of every accomplishment no matter what size it is, is a blessing.
If you know of any nice boutiques or stores that our products are a good fit for, send your ideas along to me and I'll check into it.
In the meantime, well just keep plugging along and wiser where this path takes us. It's pretty exciting and I'm thankful for the opportunities we are given.
Well look at me! I'm all of 29 and weighing 129 lbs soaking wet! Ha! My, how things change. My hair was dark as night, skin light and fair and I had a nice long neck. Now-a-days, my hair is all gray, verging on going into white. It's pretty streaky. Let's say I could never squeeze into that dress ever again. Ever. The place where we got married, The Mill Race Inn in Geneva, Illinois, is no longer. Gone are the gorgeous gardens. I don't know what's there now, since it's been a few years since I've been back to check it out.
Fast forward 22 years
I'm a 51 year old woman who thinks she's still 29. I love to have fun. I don't take myself too seriously and I will be the first to laugh at my mistakes and goofs. Over the years, life has taught me much. I think I've reach the elderly wise woman stage in life. I'm okay with that. I have lots to offer younger women. I tend to catch people off guard with things I say and do, thinking I'm this serious person (I am when I need to be) strict (oh yes, that too) but once in a while they get to see this
Wisdom comes with age, at least we like to think so. Young people should seek out an older person as a mentor to be a guide, someone to talk to about what's going on in their lives, because lemme tell ya, nothing surprises me. I remember as a youth in my teens and 20s thinking old people were so naive. Boy was I ever wrong. Now that I'm on the older side of the spectrum (hey, let's go easy on the old person thing) I realize now, that there is nothing new under the sun. Bad attitudes, pride, addictions of all varieties, dating, divorce, kids, etc. has been around forever. It may change a bit, but it's still the same.
We need each other. Young people need the guidance of those who have gone before. Older people like to feel needed and want to share our experiences. If there is someone you think you would click with, approach them and have a chat about getting together on a regular basis. You will be amazed at the richness of that friendship. Hanging with those of the same age, for the most part, doesn't necessarily force you to grow. The challenge comes when different generations comes together in love and friendship. The younger will challenge the older with what is in their lives. What i mean by challenge is that we will want to fix everything for you. But we won't. It's only good for you to go through what you are going through. That's how you grow. But it will frustrate us and probably break our hearts, but it's a good thing. Trust me. The older will challenge the younger in this very thing. We will push you to grow up and take responsibility for your actions and feelings. Or we may remain silent and just listen.
Where ever you are in life, find someone of a different age to spend time with and mine the riches that are there for the taking.
Living on the flatlands has advantages. My favorite is to watch storms and sunrises. These first several pictures are of an oncoming storm on July 17, as we were heading out for our trip to Arkansas. I will apologize right now about my lack of photography skills, so these will have to do. They may show us riding down the road, or it's night time, therefore the photos are grainy. Whatever the case, I use what I have and I hate missing out on come really cool sky shows only God can create.
Depending on the storm, it can exhilarate you or scare the snot out of you. Being in the flatlands brings on wind I've never experienced before in my life. You can see all the lightning strikes hitting the ground. Rain barreling down in the distance tells you exactly where it's at.
Unlike the storms of life, we can see the storms coming at us. Life storms, not so much. They can broad side you when you aren't looking and knock you down for a time, only to have it start raining. Sometimes life feels like a losing battle, when all you seem to do is fight with it.
The other night, another storm rolled in, similar to the one above, only it was evening
Some storms in our life can seem so dark, we wonder if we'll ever see the light of day ever again. We get buried in debt, our heart gets broken, we lose someone close to us, whatever the situation, sometimes it feels like we can never get out of our situations.
Even in our darkest hour, there is One who knows what you are going through. There is One who is in control of these storms. He has a plan for your life. Look up and see the wonder!
There is only one thing that can help you to see the light, because He is the Light! Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father in Heaven except through the Son, Jesus Christ.
Each day is a new day. We all have 24 hours to use wisely. Make good choices. Love each other. Help one another. Love God first.
Each day is a gift. How will you use it?
I would have never thought the day would come when I would cook with a bit of this and a spoonful of that. I watched in amazement as my grandmothers would put together meal after meal this way. I thought it would be hopeless for me to ever get that good. But I'm learning.
About a decade ago, I delved into wholefood cooking. This means that your ingredients are fresh and in their true state. It's up to you to make the wonderful dish from those ingredients. Since we grow/raise most of our own food right here, I've become way more creative in recipe formulation. Certain things, like baking, need to be more exact. But making delicious meals doesn't need to be exact at all.
Case in point: I had a bowl of macaroni left over from last night's dinner. (I don't make pasta very often, since it's not a whole food) What to do with a bowl of pasta. Well I thought I would make macaroni salad, but I wanted something more filling and can be eaten as dinner. So here's how it goes. I end up on Pinterest, search my main ingredient for recipes, and go from there.
So here's the original recipe as written by The Country Cook
Tuna Macaroni Salad
1lb elbow macaroni
3 (5oz) cans of tuna, drained well
3 hard boiled eggs
1 c. mayo
1/2 c. sweet pickle relish
1 tbl celery seed
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 c. frozen peas
Directions: Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain water from tuna cans. Chop hard boiled eggs and shallot.
In a separate bowl, combing mayo, relish, celery seed, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Stir in tuna.
Once macaroni is cooked, drain well. Put into a large bowl. Pour mayo mixture over macaroni. Add eggs and shallot, followed by thawed peas. Stir well. Put in fridge to keep cold.
So here's how it really went down in the Stoll house and this is typical. I'm one of those that does not make meal plans and then goes shopping. I create meals from what I have in my freezers, pantry and refrigerator.
My take on Tuna Macaroni Salad
Bowl of cooked macaroni
2 cans of tuna
5 hard boiled eggs because they didn't shell nicely for deviled eggs
4 green onions
1 c. mayo
about a 1/2 c. homemade green tomato relish
about 1 tbl celery seed
squeeze 1/2 a lemon
about a cup of sliced carrots
about a cup of chopped cauliflower
Put all into one big bowl and mix. Serve. And it was yummy!