Monday, August 31, 2009

Spurgeon again

"Under the most happy circumstances
thou canst not give light for another hour
unless fresh oil of grace be given to thee."

" Pretended grace from natural goodness,
fancied grace from priestly hands,or
imaginary grace form outward ceremonies
will never serve the true saint of God;
he knows that the Lord would not be pleased
with rivers of such oil.
He goes to the olive-press of Gethsemane,
and draw his supplies from Him who was
crushed therein. The oil of grace is pure and
free from lees and dregs ,and hence the light
is fed thereon clear and bright. "

I am full of GRATITUDE for these words
this morning.

(Gratitude Community of Holy Experience)
Painting :Van Gogh: Olive Trees with the Alpilles

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My sister put a whole chicken on the
grill for almost 3 hours for dinner.
So I'm doing that this afternoon.
I had read from Julia and Jacques:
Cooking at Home , this funny line:

from Julia Child:
"Not everything that I do with my roasted
chicken is necessarily scientific. Many
aspects of my method are based on feeling
and experience. For instance, I ALWAYS
give my bird a generous butter massage
before I put it in the oven.
Because I think the chicken likes it~~~
and more important, I LIKE to give it.
I learned butter massage when I started
cooking for the first time in France and
would never give it up."

SO yes, I did massage with some butter
and chuckled at Julia!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our first soup

After watching a Julia Child video on
making soups and salads, we got hungry.
We got hungry for soup. So we remembered
a beef vegetable stew in the freezer. Got out
a loaf of bread and voila. Dinner.

I learned a few tips :
~~cooked rice in a blender
with chicken stock blended to add to make
a chicken soup creamed
~~ when making potato salad , let the hot
potatoes rest in a covered pot for 15 mins.
This helps this stay firm.
~~ making beef stock: you put your bones
and onion and carrots in a pan in the oven
to brown them for 20 mins. or so. Then
put the juice in the stock water with seasoning.
~~ she measured in the palm of her hands at times.
I like that!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why's bacon got to be delicious?

I hope my meals are getting more
delicious because I'm reading through
cookbooks: Sara Foster, Tyler Florence,
and Julia Child.Sara has Foster's
in Chapel Hill and Durham. She worked
for Martha Stewart before flying south
to live out in the country and cook!
Her restaurants are like a deli , coffee
shop ~~ the one in Chapel Hill is a
gutted out A&P. It still has that grocery
store floor and has all different tables and
chairs. I think you would pick your
seating by your mood! Food is like that too.
Don't you feel like eating something on
particular days?

I made several small jars
of fresh salad dressings or marinades on
Saturday. Those were from Sara's The
Foster Market Cookbook.
One is made with cranberries.
The other is with fresh oregano. Of course,
he has a blog. It's quite good.Might give
you some ideas for new tastes and uses
of the veggies and herbs in your garden.

Smiling words in measurements of Tyler's:

~~ a healthy drink of olive oil ( not you , the recipe)
~~ 1/2 bottle of red wine you wouldn't mind drinking
~~ ....and you've got dinner

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the gift of getting away

I'm thankful tonight for an
overnight at my sister's house.
It was not planned. Just happened.
(all because the blueberries in her
"pick your own" were "not many"
and I saw why ~~~ it's the end of the
season. 3 weeks earlier and maybe that
means a cold winter?) It was good for
my soul. I haven't gone alone in years.
It was probably when my mom was
not well and then near Christmas the
Lord gathered her up in His arms to
be with Him forever. We talked about
missing her this past weekend. We just
want to talk to her and imagine her listening.
She was good at that. Very good. She loved
talking to each of her 8 children. And there
she was in a photo album we looked at
yesterday: picking blueberries in a lawn

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And speaking of blueberries

It's odd how the seasons vary with
a blueberry crop. My sister runs a
pick your own and last year we picked
a bumper crop in September. One year
the frost got the crop in late Spring so
there were no blueberries. This year
may be coming to a close so we hope
to do some tomorrow. Great way to
start back to school so to speak!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tyler's Berry Trifle

I've made this recipe twice in the past weeks from
Tyler Florence's cookbook : Tyler's Ultimate.
I put in whatever berries I have fresh
or in the summer. Now I'm starting to look
for pound cake marked down and put in the
freezer to bring summer back in the winter
with this dessert. EASY!

Berry Trifle

1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries, cut into slices
1 pint raspberries ( I used peaches)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
juice of 1 lemon

1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup store bought lemon curd

1 store bought pound cake , sliced 1/2 inch thick

Combine berries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice
in a saucepan over med. heat. Bring to a simmer and
cook until berries begin to break down and give their
juices, about 3 mins. Takje off heat and cool, Sauce
will thicken.

In a bowl, whip cream ( I used the whole pint) with
sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Put lemon curd in
another bown and stir a little whipped cream to
loosen it. Then fold in 1 cup.
Save the rest for the top of the trifle.

ASSEMBLE: Spoon a bit of lemon cream in bottom.
Add a layer of cake. Break it to fit. Then soak the cake
with a layer of berries , then a layer of cream. Make
3 or 4 more layers. Top with whipped cream .
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Letter writing of Julia Child

I was thinking today (amongst
many thoughts !) how Julia Child
wrote a penpal for 8 years.I met my
neighbor at our mailboxes today as I
missed the mailman for a postcard I
was sending. Her son just went off at
16 to a prestigious math and science
school near Duke Univ. I reminded her
of the preciousness of mail in a mailbox.
They do skype and email and cell phone
so why a letter. I told her an empty mailbox
is why! To be reread is why.Handwriting is
human and good for the soul! Thinking is
different and more purposed, maybe not so
fast in a letter.
I loved that Julia Child thought this penpal
was her best friend. Some of mine are in
my mailbox too!

Maybe those letters had the secrets Julia
was discovering and certainly her humor.
I marveled at her orientation to time. Her
meals took time to cook, therefore you had
to start earlier. I just throw things together.
Today we were blessed by Emma making
real mash potatoes. We even put some red
skinned ones in. She said that's how The
Cheesecake Factories mashed potatoes are.
They were yummy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


178 holds at our public
library on Julie and Julia.

33 on Julia Child's cookbook:
Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Boo Hoo says Julia Child

I'm still chuckling at Julia
Child or Meryl Streep saying
Boo hoo. I laughed and laughed
in this new movie and hope to see
it again. You want to cook and eat.
Funny line when her husband asks
her what is her passion: Eating!
I don't think I spoiled that for anyone
because it is just so funny!
Enjoy if you do see it. Do laugh and
bring gladness to your soul!

Monday, August 17, 2009

great words: It is holy

The Sabbath.
It is time sanctified.
It is a divine rhythm of work and rest.
It is a pattern to help us with soul
fatigue, bodily stress, and social
breakdown. Our soul needs to
detox. We are not to DO
but to BE. In other words,
do nothing. It is a day to enter
into heaven to renew our souls.
(yesterday's sermon by Dr. Mike

Why is that hard for us?
It is a gift and it was made for us.
I love thinking that it is sanctified.
Something holy right in my life as I
am being sanctified, being transformed
into His image.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We talked and wept and laughed

Hannah Coulter seemed to bring our
Book Club to a rawness of familiarity and
longings. We understood her and learned
from her. We knew her well . Wendell Berry
tells her story as narrator with such depth that
you feel like you are sitting across from her as she talks.
She sees deeply, refects and that reaches your
soul to think upon your own life. Gratitude.
That is one of the themes as it is a story of her
thankfulness. Even when times were tough and
rough, love permeated her life. I long to be like
that. Read more here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hannah Coulter ----like!

We're having our Book Club
tomorrow night on Hannah
Coulter by Wendell Berry.
I have read it 3 times and could
reread it. There are major themes
and major sentence structures of
exquisite beauty that
goes deep . ....
deep into the heart
and soul.

Ann Voscamp of Holy
wrote a
Wendell Berry type blog
on What a Man Can Do to a Women.
It's her life not Hannah's but
they seem to collide today.

He, a farmer, knew how to nurture the tender ones.

When she wavered, he held her, girded her with prayer, and she cleared out a bedroom closet to fill it with books, held down her side of the room with words, and on his side he read the farm paper and the book of Proverbs and in the middle, they met, and he drew her close, and he smiled when she created and nodded when she went and said no to her performing and yes to her just being and, crazy man, whispered too often that she was beautiful and asked her, please, to believe him and he always, always, always said that everything, always was good. Everything, always…

Also a similar theme of stitching
and embroidery of love in Hannah

Here from Ann:

He watered her softly and she canned stories instead of pears and when she doubted what it was to be a woman, he said she was good. And she calmed when she rocked babies and stitched lines instead of threads and he said everything was good and so was she, and she clicked shutters and keys and opened her life up to glory.

WB Poem

“Harvest will fill the barn; for that

The hand must ache, the face must sweat.

And yet no leaf or grain is filled

By work of ours; the field is tilled

And left to grace. That we may reap,

Great work is done while we’re asleep.

When we work well, a Sabbath mood

Rests on our day, and finds it good. Wendell Berry

I'm thankful for rest in the summer!

( Gratitude Community post)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Concert Fun

Would love to be here in
this blog walking on the beach,
again. Wouldn't you!?

was in town last night
and one of my sons went. They
canceled their last stop in the US'
and flew out to Europe last night.
They gave out a free CD of a live
concert during this tour.
We were all excited even with only
one of us going! Sometimes it's just
fun to be alongside and see your child
have a great time! He did ~~~ and
was blessed with moving from lawn
seats to near the front! I just can
get in a better mode listening to some
of their music.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


"the way we have potatoes is
the way most everything has
come about, as we've transformed
this abandoned Tuscan house and
land over the past four years."
Under the Tuscan Sun
by Frances Moyes.

Transforming my house right
now with major cleaning.
Computer still having problems!
Battle mode with it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh to not have a virus

It infected our computer
the past two days , stopping
all processes! My husband who
works for the Big Blue but in
software, did fix it. He almost
couldn't as it froze everything
from the beginning of loggin on.
I'm thankful
he persisted and with that patience,
fixed it. NOW to restore the corn
beavers from the creek at the back
of our yard ATE!! Know how to
stop that?

Cleaning out my kitchen and pantry
which also is a habitat for many
books and school related things besides
Things...... now to find some a different
home for those things within our home!
All sorts of things. I found two copies of several
books too! That was fun! I didn't know
I did that. Makes reading out loud
easier to have two copies.

Hope summer gives
light to much more restoration.

Very edifying on LIGHT from
Spurgeon's Morning , Aug. 3

“The Lamb is the light thereof.”

Revelation 21:23

Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven.
.....Light is also the cause of beauty. Nought of beauty is left when light is gone.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

a log cabin .....

Right in the middle of a bustling
part of our city where growth has
transformed it ( oh Wendell
Berry would shiver at the
farmland that was there) ,
is a community house: a log cabin.
That is where a former student
had her graduation luncheon today!
I was quite impressed: an old cabin
big enough for perhaps 40
to 50 people to gather and eat.
They knew in the 40's that is was
important to have it.
I was also impressed with her
homey touch on the mantle
( real fireplace): photos and books.
I saw Paul Johnson's Art book first,
then others:
Jane Austen , What's Mine is Mine
( George MacDonald : I teach this in
the Spring) ,A Year in Provence.....I'm
sure a Bible was there too. No
other words for her education
except a pool. She'll be swimming
for Grove City College in the fall.