Saturday, August 10, 2013

Buechner gets me every time

THE OLD TESTAMENT begins with darkness, and the last of the Gospels ends with it. 
"Darkness was upon the face of the deep," Genesis says. Darkness was where it all started. Before darkness, there had never been anything other than darkness, void and without form.
At the end of John, the disciples go out fishing on the Sea of Tiberias. It is night. They have no luck. Their nets are empty. Then they spot somebody standing on the beach. At first they don't see who it is in the darkness. It is Jesus. 
The darkness of Genesis is broken by God in great majesty speaking the word of creation. "Let there be light!" That's all it took.
The darkness of John is broken by the flicker of a charcoal fire on the sand. Jesus has made it. He cooks some fish on it for his old friends' breakfast. On the horizon there are the first pale traces of the sun getting ready to rise.
All the genius and glory of God are somehow represented by these two scenes, not to mention what Saint Paul calls God's foolishness.
The original creation of light itself is almost too extraordinary to take in. The little cook-out on the beach is almost too ordinary to take seriously. Yet if Scripture is to be believed, enormous stakes were involved in them both and still are. Only a saint or a visionary can begin to understand God setting the very sun on fire in the heavens, and therefore God takes another tack. By sheltering a spark with a pair of cupped hands and blowing on it, the Light of the World gets enough of a fire going to make breakfast. It's not apt to be your interest in cosmology or even in theology that draws you to it so much as it's the empty feeling in your stomach. You don't have to understand anything very complicated. All you're asked is to take a step or two forward through the darkness and start digging in.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Counting :: sabbath ::

A celebration of life.  A celebration of with.  A celebration of thanks.

We aren't usually apart quite so often.  He turned 46 five days ago - 11 hour work days don't afford pause for festivities.  This day gave us interlude.  This day we communed.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Counting :: Intervals ::

10 AM - Tasting the past.  Heirloom tomato smorgasbord @ farmer's market.

2 PM - Clean, for the moment.  You would think after 13 years of weekly baths she might enjoy it.

4:3PM-  not the proper time.  It just could not wait (or, rather, I could not wait).  Dreaming about this all day!
Spinach GF DF pasta, filled with artichoke hearts, garlic, & white mushroom (I put manchego in J's portion), topped with basil pesto (cheese free), portobellos, and Kumatos.
Pasta receipt:
1 tablespoon of hemp oil
1 cup of room temperature water
1/2 c fresh spinach, pureed
2 cups of Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour
A pinch of sea salt

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the olive oil and water.  If the dough is sticky after thoroughly kneading it, then add in a little bit of flour and continue to knead it.  Repeat this process until the dough is no longer sticky. Let dough sit in a tightly wrapped container for 30 minutes.  Divide into 2 halves.
Remember to keep the surface well floured so that the dough does not stick.   Roll out dough to between 1/4 & 1/8 inch thick.
Scoop your filling (I used this) onto one sheet of dough in even spacings... I did 2".  Using a damp pastry brush, brush between filling.  Lay on top sheet of dough.  Use pastry wheel or pizza cutter or knife to cut between and create your raviolis.  
They only need to gently boil 3-4 minutes!

What were you counting today?

― Ann Voskamp

Friday, August 02, 2013

Counting :: vittles & tuck :: {with reicpes!}

 #1 ~ Breakfast - Summer's synonym is berry, I think.  Strawberries & Blackberries here.

#2 ~
Simple fare:  pico de gallo, korean rice "crackers", babaganoush
I'm not an eggplant fan.  I find the skin tough and often the seeds are left in and it's unpleasant.  How about you?  You either, eh?  I have one word for you - Babaganoush!  It transforms this little beauty into a righteous dude!  Here's the (so easy!) recipe:

I like my Babaganoush super-smoky, and leave the eggplants on the stovetop for a good ten minutes, but for most people, that’s probably too much. Five or so minutes, until the skin gets a bit charred, is probably right for most “normal” folks.
Sometimes I add a pinch of ground cumin. If you do, please just add just a bit. Babaganoush shouldn’t taste like cumin. It adds just a bit more smokiness.  :)
  • 3 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, lightly dry-toasted
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice + the zest of one lemon.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (more if it isn't "smoothing")
  • a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. 
3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.
4. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
6. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. 
Storage: refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.
Serve drizzle with olive oil, perhaps some herbs and with crackers for dipping.  My favorite way to eat it is with slices of cucumber and dolloped inside of mushroom caps!  It also makes a great 'sauce' for pizza.  I cook the pizza crust first, let in cool and then top it with Baba, spinach, mushrooms, Almond cheese, seeded tomatoes, and green onion.  Pop it back into the oven (400F) for moments (just to warm a bit), and then eat the entire thing!  It's so delish!
AND  #3 ~
Tofu (marinated in ginger, sesame and chilies) then baked crispy,  marinated mushrooms (rice vinegar, red pepper, garlic, lemon, & thyme),  & Seaweed Salad!  
You KNOW y'all are just dying to come eat at my house!
Ahhh - the solitude of being vegan, GF, SF, YF.  
Well, I thought it was delectable!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Counting :: in White ::

Sheets, windblown and sun dried on the line
                  Escaped downiness from freshly mended pillows
             Eyelet dresses the instantly make you feel feminine 

"I want to sense long whatever time holds." ~A.Voskamp

Monday, July 29, 2013

Counting fish...

There is a story in the Bible of a long night spent fishing and bone weary fishermen who hear from a man on shore that they should cast one more time... they do and can barely pull in the net. It doesn't tear, even though it should.  I was reminded this morning by Ann that that wasn't the whole story.  The part of the story that most skip right over is that there were 153 fish.  Someone counted them.  Then the man on shore called for them to come and eat. And because they had counted the fish, and because the net hadn't torn, and because it all came about after a long night of casting and hauling in nothing, they didn't even question who the man at the edge of the water with breakfast on the fire was.  They. Just. Knew.   Only one gives grace like that.  

Yesterday J & I had errands to run.  He prodded me to count the fish.  To look for and tally the graces.  

Here are a few that we have snagged after what has felt like a very long night of casting:

friendship.  long. enduring. deep. easy.

familiar.  knowing. rooted. peace. understanding.

 family.  belonging. security. cherish. solace.

feats.  neo-Hobbits. feather-ruffling. provision. fulfilling.

findings.  question. enchantments. encounter. thrive.

fella.  weather. strength. flame. smooth.  :D

Six, & counting... grace upon grace. Net growing heavy, yet it will not tear.
Count with me.  What graces are your nets so full of that you can barely haul them aboard?

Thursday, June 13, 2013


It's been awhile since I was (publicly) in this space.  It may be awhile again.  There is so much going on in our lives that I just can't put into words for all to read yet.  I'll be back.  Guns blazing!  Promise.  But not yet.  For now I'll just keep this as my journal of all that's changing and morphing and surprising.  Once in awhile, until I can be back in full swing, I'll share some excerpts from my journal.  There won't be many photos.  But, you could follow me on instagram if you'd like to see glimpses of life in pictures.
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

 Yesterday I was reading a blog I frequent.  It was late, for me, to even be awake but my eyes just wouldn't stay shut so I finally gave up and perused the web.  Amanda couldn't sleep either (which is  a bigger deal for her because she still has kids at home) so she posted a list of what she would like in a local friend.
It's funny how we are often drawn to the blogs of people who are like minded/hearted with us.  They remind us of ourselves, or who we want to be.  They make sense of things we haven't been able to put into words just yet.  They challenge our abilities or encourage us to try.  We dream together; often without the other even knowing what they have done in the few short sentences they published.
I found myself nodding as I read her friendship canon. I think just about everyone who was commenting on Amanda's post said they met her criteria.  All, that is, except the very first point - local.  What is it about being in the same social spaces as someone and never taking the time or expending the energy to actually get to know them?  I'm guilty.   But I don't want to be.  I want relationship - for giving & for receiving.

my own list of what I wish I had locally in a girlfriend:


*a talker - Not a dominatrix, but a storyteller, a relator, an anecdotist.  I'm a listener, and I need someone full of stories and questions!  Not that I don't talk, I just need someone to keep the conversation going or be completely okay with silence!
*a friend - 2 way. Give & Take. Pursue & Pursued. 
*a collaboratrise - Plot, scheme, plan, execute!
*must have a wicked sense of humor, wry is also good - make me laugh and I am 
able to discuss anything from urtexts to the best way to prepare eggplant.
*must have a deep appreciation for random pop culture references & carry on a conversation in movie quotes
* must be creative
* wildly confident
* full of her own dreams and ideas to pursue and want to share them &/or let me share in them
* laughs loudly - to the point of snorting could be bonus points here!
* must have great taste in books and music (absolutely no country allowed)
* loyal & kind
* interested in health, & being healthy
* preferably with a cool husband (because really, it is so dang hard to find friends where you like both of them)
* doesn’t ask to borrow my makeup - ew!  
* is comfortable showing up at my house for coffee in pjs, getting dog hair on her socks,  & making herself at home in my kitchen. 
* fan of friday afternoon margarita happy hour, or just happy hour over a glass(es) of wine at home - with me.

Life is meant to be shared, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

a Visit (& if you think I photo bombed the last post...)

J's little sister's family came for a long, cozy visit.  We love our family so much, but our lives just don't intersect often.  It's sad, but it makes it so very sweet when they finally do have the chance to come together.  Here's a peek at our time amidst the chilly April days.

 Off to the library for some reading materials!

 And then to the dino park to get some energy out!


 MSU duckies

 backyard with Nuncle




some Fam shots

 Yellowstone (all Cassia's pics here!)

 and then it was time to go home... :(  but there was time for one last story before hitting the road.
 We'll see them again in June!  Pretty exciting to get to see them 2 times in less than a year!

Love these people!  LOVE them!