Soup’s On

09/09/2010 § 2 Comments

NOT Campbell’s, this is my first ever Beef Stew from last year.

Growing up we ate soup. Chicken noodle (w/saltines), tomato (w/grilled cheese), vegetable beef (w/club or saltine crackers)…but they all came in a can, that bore a distinct red and white label with a gold seal and the words ‘Campbell’s condensed soup’ elegantly displayed. We would even go around the house singing the jingle, “Mmmmm, mmmmmm, good!”. Just add a can of water and there’s your meal. With 6 hungry, growing kids, one small can wasn’t enough, but it was still cheaper to get a few cans of soup and less time consuming than making homemade. No one had time for that in the 70’s/80’s, not with all the Miami Vice watching, shoulder pad adjusting, double-income-so-we-can-have-toys working, Atari-thumb acquiring, mix tape making, fast food eating, hair teasing and crimping, MTV video lip-syncing, Star Wars light-saber dueling we needed to accomplish. Grab a prepackaged box, stick it in the microwave and you were good to go.

So, that’s what I grew up with, in a nutshell of sorts. If you can’t nuke it, excuse me, microwave it, or make it in less that 10 minutes, you’re wasting time. Label reading? What’s that? Serving size? Isn’t it one package per person per meal? Preservatives? Micro waves are safe otherwise ‘they’ wouldn’t have let them be sold…right? Stop confusing me with the facts! Ahhhhhhhhh!

Simmering my first batch of Tomato Soup.

Now, lest you think I’m a food nazi, I want to clarify. If you have or use a microwave, I’ll still love you. If you buy prepackaged food and the fast food drive-thru clerks know you by name, I’ll still love you. Even if you frequently consume mass quantities of preservatives and like it, I’ll still love you. There’s always room for grace. This is my personal perspective and the road I am traveling, feel free to join in any capacity, you are more than welcome!

The beginnings of my Potato Soup. Shhhh…it has a secret ingredient.

Now where were we? Ah yes, soup. These past few years of having a house and a husband have really changed me. For the better (right honey? Honey?). I have learned so much and have grown so much I barely recognize myself. It’s as though I have been slowly emerging out of a cocoon in order to become the child of God I was always meant to be. It’s been hard. It’s been tiring. It’s been bittersweet. It’s been real. It’s been good.

I consider part of that role to be feeding my family and actually, truth be told, this is one of my most favorite parts! I feel like I am loving my family when I take the time to prepare hearty, healthy meals for them. It’s my gift of love to them. It’s the least I can do for them living with me year-round. Besides, it’s in my genetic make-up to help, provide and take care of those I love. They are my gifts. My blessings. Anything less than my all and my best isn’t good enough for them.

When I first started making soup I was completely clueless and actually put it off for a very long time. I was afraid to mess it up. I was afraid it would be more than I could handle and if it wasn’t going to turn out like the best soup that was ever created since the dawn of time and beginning of making soup, well, why bother? (Did mention I’m a recovering perfectionist?)

Then, one day, with my nose shoved in a cookbook (a rather frequent occurrence) and all the self-talk and courage I could possibly find to muster, I tried. And you know what? IT WORKED. Yep, totally. It seriously worked. I made chicken noodle soup from my own homemade stock, oh and by ‘worked’ I mean, it was delicious, edible even. Here’s the proof:

Meet my first ever from scratch Chicken Noodle Soup!

Here it is in my pretty pink bowl.

And here it is with some yummy organic ginger peach tea and a sleeve of saltines, naturally.

That was a great day for me. A momentous, milestone of an occasion. Nervously standing over the hot stove, chopping all of the celery, carrots and onions into uniform, bite-size chunks, measuring just the right amount of sage rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, clinging to my cookbook and reading it over and over again to make sure each step was painstakingly taken in precisely the exact manner the author intended…(recovery takes awhile) all for the love of my family. *happy sigh*

So do you make your own soup? Thinking about trying it out? Happy sticking with the canned variety? What are your favorites? Any fun memories you’d like to share that come to mind?

xoxo

i knit things

08/09/2010 § 2 Comments

Pattern: Soap ’em Up

(Leisure Arts booklet “Color-Splash Dishcloths”)

Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream Cotton Ombres in Rosewood

Needles: sz8 Clover Velvet circulars

Got Dill?

01/09/2010 § 7 Comments

“Darling, can you please pick me up some fresh dill from the store?”

(my darling husband is about 6′ tall…)

One Thousand Gifts

31/08/2010 § 1 Comment

61~

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holy experience

For The Beloved

06/08/2010 § Leave a comment

Beloved,
Today you will find me in the kitchen, bedecked with my red and white gingham apron, ruffle trimmed. The harvest is coming in and we are buzzing around making sure nothing goes to waste. If you listen carefully you will most likely hear the unmistakable sound of my camera’s shutter, snapping photos to preserve moments in time, memories that will be reminisced about for years to come.

Beside me is my shadow, I’m beaming as I call her daughter. The fine art of passing on life skills to my precious inheritance is a never ending joy. We bump into each other, a “Whoa!” is exclaimed, nearly spilling, catching it all and giggling at the ‘close call’. These are the moments that make my mother’s heart swell. A small quiver of lip and a deep held breath holds back the wanting to blubber bittersweet tears. I audibly thank the Lord for His merciful hand and abundant blessings, she hears and I hope the example penetrates deep.

Corn, blueberries, apricots thus far.
Peaches, tomatoes and more on par.
 
Is this really my life? Could this really be true?
Will someone please pinch me, I’m sure once will do.
 
The life of my dreams is now to be had,
I’m really alive, which leaves no room for sad.
 
The Lord has seen fit to bless me with gifts.
May I always be grateful and never throw fits.
 
His hand upon me, I humbly confess,
Is more than I’ve ever dreamt I’d be blessed.

My Savior, my Jesus, my Lord and my King,
Help me to cherish and not squander these things.

PSALM 146 (NKJV)


“Praise the LORD!
         Praise the LORD, O my soul!
 While I live I will praise the LORD;
         I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
         
 Do not put your trust in princes,
         Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
         In that very day his plans perish.
         
 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
         Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
 Who made heaven and earth,
         The sea, and all that is in them;
         Who keeps truth forever,
 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
         Who gives food to the hungry.
         The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
         
 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
         The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
         The LORD loves the righteous.
 The LORD watches over the strangers;
         He relieves the fatherless and widow;
         But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
         
 The LORD shall reign forever-
         Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
         Praise the LORD!”


Preserving the Blessings of the Lord,

Traci

For The Beloved

21/05/2010 § 2 Comments

There are so many voices that try to woo us. So many philosophies that try to sway us. So many lifestyles that call to us, beckon us to come to them.

They always seem to have an answer. They always seem to know just how to reason. They always seem to know just what we want to get our way with, at just the right time.

Yet, there is only One voice, one philosophy and one lifestyle we must always be able to hear, understand and  live by. The voice of the Father, whispering to us. The gentle nudging of His Spirit, guiding us. The still small voice, calling us to the higher way.

The ONLY way we can have discernment, the only way we can know what to believe, the only way we can know that we know that we know how to rightly live, is by plunging, headlong, into the Word of God.

Taste of it. Eat of it. Feast upon it. Drink of it. Wash in it. Meditate upon it. Sustain yourself with it. Nourish yourself with it. Renew your mind in it. Guide your way with it. Light your path with it. Learn from it. Teach from it. Admonish from it. Exhort from it. Emulate it. Seek it. Run after it. Lay hold of it. Embrace it. Fight for it. Die for it.

“…in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so…” ~Acts 17

Trying to Listen, Understand and Live by the Word,
Traci

For The Beloved

14/05/2010 § 1 Comment

   “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 
   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
 

   So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full—then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you (for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.
 

   You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him in Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the LORD swore to your fathers, to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken.
 

   

   When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.’”  ~Deuteronomy 6

Learning, Teaching and Remembering,
Traci

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