November 10, 2017

Celebrate well.

I'm learning more and more about the joys of just celebrating someone the way they like being celebrated. Mom turned 90 yesterday. She looks 70. Loves to have fun. Sometimes she feels the slowing of her age, but age hasn't shifted the truth of what she loves or enjoys -- roses, dogs, her family, her friends, a good conversations and being the center of attention.
So, roses and cheesecake and a series of her favorite books. Friends, family and voila. Celebrated.

November 09, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom!

One of these two is having her 90th birthday today.
(It would be the one on the left.)
The one on the right is her bestie.
Mom is celebrating circling the sun again and planning on a fun night with the family. Minus the bestie. We'll be celebrating all she is. Mom, Grama, best friend, leader, follower, friend.
There is no one more willing to support, to love, to chime in, to join in, to be a part of whatever is happening than Mom.
She's always been like this. Always ready for fun and collaboration. Always ready to be in cahoots for fun. So today it's all about her. And her loyalty, love and faithfulness.
Happy Birthday Mom!

November 08, 2017

Apples and Carrots and Squash, oh my!

On Sunday I was wending my way up to LAX on the beloved 405 to collect my husband from a Springsteen adventure in NYC (you can read about that adventure here) when the Splendid Table podcast (642: The Sioux Chef) arrested my senses.

On the podcast, Francis Lam was talking with a woman who'd found herself with 350 pounds of apples. By the time she called in, she'd made applesauce, pie filling, jelly, cider, apple butter, etc. and was looking for help with what might be next. She and Francis landed on the idea of butternut squash, carrot and apple soup. Francis suggesting paying good attention to aromatics to balance the sweet flavors of the combination. That sounded so interesting, I let the idea play in my head until last night. My version ended up in a mildly complex soup with full flavor served next to a lemony avocado toast as a light supper. Here's my take:

Butternut Squash, Carrot and Apple Soup
1 Butternut Squash
3 carrots
1 Granny Smith apple
1 leek - white cut in rounds
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 black pepper

Cut the butternut squash in half and place it inside down on a baking sheet. Wash and place carrots on the sheet. Roast the squash and carrot in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.

Place olive oil, leek, onion and garlic over low-medium heat in a large saucepan. Sweat the onion, etc. until translucent. Add chicken stock, black pepper and thyme. Turn fire to medium and add the squash first removing seeds, then flesh from the skin to the pot. Cut carrots in three and add to pot. Dice the apple and add to the pot. (Not roasting the apple adds a mildly sweet tangy flavor.)  Cook a while then use your burr mixer or pour the contents into your blender and meld the flavors and textures. Return to the saucepan on medium high heat. Salt for flavor. Don't be afraid of salt here, it will help to balance the variety of sweetish flavors.

I served the soup over a disk of goat cheese.
On the second day, I added a hint of smoked paprika for a different depth.

January 07, 2017

Brother give us a word::Revelation

We’re no longer talking only about a God of the Law, whose ways were unknowable, whose face was unseeable, whose name was unpronounceable, whose heart and hands were untouchable, but about Jesus who entered the conditions of this world as an innocent and needy child, just as we have, to reveal the real presence of God’s love.
-Br. Curtis Almquist

It's interesting, I notice lots of people making "knowing Jesus" the priority for this year. The focus. The word. He's the One who makes the universe knowable. Through Him, all was made. 

It think it's good work. Love the Father by knowing the Son.

January 06, 2017

Give us a word::Mission

For those of us who might have room for one more New Year’s resolution, it might be this: to be open to new epiphanies, to be open to seeing others in new ways, to seeing Jesus in new ways, to seeing ourselves in fresh and perhaps even surprising new ways.
-Br. Mark Brown

Oh the fun of connecting to these Anglican Brothers and their view of Christ. For me it augments the beauty of the heart shaped, bug eaten rose petal, lying on the sandy grout between the bricks in winter. Grace. Joy. Gifts. This mission correlates to My One Word for the year: Freedom. More on that later. But how about that freedom to find new epiphanies? We get to choose the freedom to see friends with fresh eyes and an open heart. 

I'm all for the Mission.

January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

May this be, for you, for all of us, a year of joy and progress, of consideration and choice, of love and freedom.

The Advent Word process brought the brothers of SSJE into my awareness. This morning, Brother Almquist shared this:

Some days I think our best prayer, our best plea, our best praise is simply to use the name that God has finally shared with us: Jesus, which literally means, “Yahweh saves.” You have Jesus’ name, Jesus who is intent on saving you from whatever it is that just kills you.
-Br. Curtis Almquist

I'll ponder this a while. It's certainly a good way to start a new year, in Jesus name.


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