Praying For...Cole, our half-grown man-child...that he will stand aloof from examples of contention and rebellion that get as thick as flies between 12 and 18ish...that he will hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of his family...that he will be safe from ravening wolves and designing men...that he will continue to love personal daily devotionals and grow in his dependence upon the Spirit...that other youngsters around the world will know the peace and joy he knows from a testimony of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bibliophilia...sending Cole Scripture Power! Book of Mormon Journal for Children by Elizabeth Dorathy and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson both of which I found worth the time and effort.
Talk of the Week...Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God by Von G. Keech...“'Don’t be too critical of the barrier,” he said. “It’s the only thing that’s keeping you from being devoured.'...With our new understanding of the danger that lurked just below the surface, the barrier now offered protection, safety, and peace...God’s commands and standards—like the barrier—can sometimes be difficult to understand. They may appear rigid and unyielding, blocking a path that looks fun and exciting and that is being followed by so many others." I've learned that commandments are not for the benefit of God; he gave them to us to protect us from physical and spiritual death. Though the sins of immorality, drunkenness and other chemical addictions, gluttony which the world now calls obesity, theft, idol/idleness, ect. seem so much easier or more fun than the straight/strait and narrow way, God commands us to follow the course He charted. Why? To save us from misery during life and damnation afterward. It shows us how to be happy.
Ponderizations..."For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known," 1 Corinthians 13:12. Following the commandments of God sometimes doesn't make sense, because we don't know and see all the God sees and knows. I'll trust Him. After over 5 decades of life on this earth, some of the sins that used to look fun to me are now repugnant. I've seen loved ones ruin their lives and die from sins of excess. I can have just as much fun as the drunk or druggie without ruining my body or chaining my spirit to the devil. I can enjoy health giving foods in moderation without giving in to gluttony and the diseases that follow it. I don't need as much stuff to be happy as I once thought; envy and greed only make one discontent. Going to church and helping others is ever so much more gratifying than modern idolatry aka known as the entertainment and shopping industries. The next pasture is not greener; no sir.
Thimble News...Nine-Year-Old Sammy loved our sewing activities last summer, when we made lavender strawberries. For Christmas she got a sewing kit, lesson book, several craft project kits, and a fabric stash. She loves it so much, she's been at it constantly only stopping to sleep last night and attend church this morning. She falls right in with her maternal line of at least six generations of fiber artists. If she keeps going, I'll send Sew What! Skirts, a book that teaches the rudiments of design. All the excitement reminds me of a skirt I've been designing in my mind. Maybe I'll work on it for next spring.
Movement...my frozen shoulder seems to be helped some with the hole digging. Digging is pretty slow going for me, but I enjoy it very much. Love essntrics, too.
Doctor Ginger, Medicine Woman..I'm not a medical professional of any type but a novice student of natural healing and nutrition. Every time it works; I'm amazed. Elderberry syrup stopped my recent stuffy, congested, froggy, raw throat before it even got started. I ran out of elderberry juice and forgot all about taking it until the other day. I got that tingly, clear-your-throat constantly feeling something was coming on, so I bought a new bottle. Dosing myself every two hours, I felt fine by the end of the day. J didn't tell me soon enough but his cruddy ick is pretty mild compared to how hard it hit. I don't know how it works, but I'll take it.
Cucina Fresca...After looking at red lentil marinara sauces with carrots and sweeteners and mushroom ragus that were too, too strong, I knew I had to develop my own stick to your ribs sauce. Although I'm not Italian, my best friend in second grade was. Whenever I was around during mealtime, I was invited (aka ordered) to stay and partake. Every meal there was savory, spicy, and delicious without a hint of sweetness---but not overpoweringly strong either. That's how I expect Italian food to taste, so here's my attempt to vegefy, legumify, and shroomify red sauce into nutrient dense, flavor heaven.
Best Ever Plant Ragu (vegan, no-oil, high nutrient/calorie ratio)
Serves 4-8 depending on appetite and sides
3 medium white or brown mushrooms
2-3 cauliflower florets
1/2 small yellow onion, pureed
1 garlic clove
1 t tamari (South River is soy and wheat free)
1 T tomato paste
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 medium red bell pepper
1 celery top, the leafy part
small pinch red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 t Italian herb blend
salt and black pepper to taste
1 package Pomi strained tomatoes or 28 oz canned (fire-roasted) tomatoes, pureed
can minus 1 T tomato paste
1-2 c water
2 c store-bought mushroom or homemade veg broth (onion, leek, celery, mushrooms, spinach, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme (sing as you add these), peppercorns, and green beans--store bought is too sweet)
1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/2 c fresh moringa leaves or minced spinach
1-2 T fresh basil (in season)
2-4 T fresh parsley (in season)
1 T white miso (South River is soy and wheat free)
1 T nutritional yeast (miso and nutritional yeast combo add a parmesan/romano type flavor without all the detriments of dairy products-cancer, digestive issues, diabetes, acne, and heart disease aren't worth a little flavor punch)
Puree onions and garlic; set aside. Pulse mushrooms and cauliflower in the food processor or blender until you get small mince /ground meat sized bits. Put mushroom and onion mixtures in a pan. Turn heat to high. When it begins to sizzle, turn down to medium. Stir constantly until all moisture is reduced and mixture is crispy and browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, put a pot of water on to boil; then puree onion, garlic, celery, red bell pepper, and a sprinkle of salt in a bit of water. Cook over high until it begins to bubble hard, then turn it down and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Add pomi, water, paprika, broth, paste, dried herbs, and lentils. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until lentils are tender. Boil pasta to desired tenderness. When lentils are tender, stir in meatless bits, moringa, fresh herbs, yeast, and miso. Adjust salt and pepper. Ladle some on top of your favorite pasta or spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini. This meal is especially company worth when started with a green salad, paired with green beans or asparagus, and ended with cherry pineapple yonana sorbet (or even a simple fruit platter).