Friday, September 07, 2012

Tuna Spinach Patties

I absolutely love this recipe from Hy-Vee.  I, of course, don't use instant potatoes, but rather mash my own...and as a result, use less egg because I already have moisture.  I also didn't add bread crumbs... didn't seem to need them.  I think these are just so satisfying.  Try them.  That's all I have to say. 

No pictures yet...but definitely coming down the road.

Friday, April 06, 2012

My grandma used to crochet or finger weave wired hangers. I loved it. Crocheted hangers help to keep wire hangers from leaving creases in your, they are pretty. I know that the alternative would be to buy plastic hangers rather than wire hangers. But, in my case, I married into them. For some reason, my husband had mostly wire hangers when we got married, I couldn't stand the thought of chucking them...but didn't want to use them either. So, I reclaimed them with some crocheting.

Conveniently, I also had some double strand yarn at that time that I was having a hard time working with. The crocheted hanger turned out to be the perfect solution.

To start the hanger, I tied the end of the yarn on the opposite side of the hanger from where I was going to be starting. I then used a single crochet around the hanger using an over-under with the loop and yarn so that the hanger would be encased.

I originally crocheted the entire hanger, including the hook. I used hot glue to anchor the end of the yarn at tip of the hook when I was done. I'd leave about a half inch of bare hanger at the end of the hook, ran a line of hot glue down that portion, and wrapped the loose yarn around the hook to finish it off.

Towards the end of my project, I started trying to conserve yarn. So, instead of crocheting the entire hanger, I covered only the body of the hanger and left the hook bare.

I've also experimented with spacing. The convenient thing about that is now I have some close-up photos of the single chain wrapped around the hanger.

With the hook left bare, the hot glue needs to be used at the joint of the hanger to finish of the hanger. I still used the hot works so well at securing the yarn and finishing the it makes me feel crafty!

I'm out of wire hangers, now...I feel torn about it. I'm glad to be rid of the wire hangers forever...but now I don't have a fall-back project. I'll have to move on to a new expression of my craftiness! :)

So, I realized that to validate my post on pintrest, I needed a blog post about it.

I fancy myself improvisational in the kitchen, and these venison and butternut squash meatballs are evidence of that.

We are in the process of preparing to move. So, a few weeks ago, I was trying to use up some of my frozen vegetable purees by doing some "Deceptively Delicious" baking. However, supper time came around, and I had promised my husband spaghetti and meatballs. I had used up all the eggs.

Vegetable purees are perfect for providing moisture and cohesion and butternut squash turned out to be the perfect compliment to the venison. I used about 1 and a half cups of butternut squash puree with 1 pound of venison. I added my usual dry oats, crackers, crushed red pepper, garlic salt, minced onion, and worcestershire sauce. Then, since I was going out on a limb anyway, I went big and added some rosemary.

It was awesome. These meatballs tasted moist and earthy...the red pepper gave it just a little zing and the rosemary made them a delicious complement in a variety of pasta dishes.

I loved them with the spaghetti and marinara, but with penne noodles and olive oil and herbs, delicious! Anyway, I'm afraid I don't have more specifics on the recipe...but I think the more important thing is have fun in the kitchen and don't be afraid to try something new. Yum!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Anorexic Spirit of the Church

Women's Experience in the Church on the Emerging Women blog...

It broke my heart because I know some of the truth behind it...and I can feel the hurt that it causes...Let me explain myself.

This article started with a survey that states the majority of women believe they are living to their fullest potential within the church. To which I say, "Really?!?" If that's the case, then why have I not visited that church. What church are they a part of where they are encouraged to take leadership roles and are strongly supported by the leadership within the church. I mean, time and time again, my husband and I visit churches where the "women's ministry" consists of providing childcare, stitch and bitch, and making food for large church gatherings...maybe if we're lucky a few of them visit sick people or shut ins...but by and large, that's it. It's hard because it's not that any of those activities is bad or lesser or unimportant. I actually love children, sewing, cooking, and visiting. It's just that...I think to myself, is that it? Is that all that I'm allowed to do here? Is that the box in which I am to fit my passion? So, we don't have a church home, yet. I blamed myself for a time. I blamed my judgement of others. I accused myself of hating God and hating worship. It makes sense to me because I have always found it hard to find a church community that I can call in which I feel a part of a community. I have always blamed myself for this. I have always thought about how my troubles with anorexia still linger in my soul. How I refuse to connect or cut myself off from God and His help, believing I don't need it.

So, of course, when I read "Then this report made me sad. The kind of sad that aches in my bones. Because when I look at it I see poverty. The church in North America (like the US) may have a lot of money. It may have a lot of stuff. We may also have a lot of people for all I know. But we are starving to death. Emaciated and dying for lack of food, water and oxygen. Worse, we are doing it to ourselves. With a huge smile on our faces. We are a people with anorexia or bulimia. When we look in the mirror we see fat and happy, but the reality is we are starving. Dying."

I think there's a lot of truth in that. I've been thinking about poverty a lot. I am sometimes torn between wanting to serve those who experience financial poverty and don't even know how to dream about living out their passions...and those experiencing spiritual poverty who think they are living a full life but don't even know how to dream about living a connected life. I can relate my experiences during church visits to my experience with anorexia. I remember trying to cover up my anorexia. I would eat ice cream for lunch...happily. Because happy healthy people eat ice cream. No one knew that that would be all I would eat that day. Heck, it even helped me to convince myself that I was fine...super...doing just what I needed to do, unlike those showy cows around me...I ate ice ice cream cone, which told me that I wasn't sick like some girl that only ate carrot sticks and water...I just wasn't gorging myself like the people I was around everyday, which isn't a bad thing...I was living in I told myself.

And that's what I see in the church. It's like an attempt to distract and fool self and others, just as I did with the ice cream. Look at what we have -- book discussions, Bible study, Sunday school, confirmation. We go to church Sunday morning and Wednesday night. That is what I do. That is a reasonable, balanced spiritual life...not like those crazy people worshiping at home, talking about God with random people, giving up what they have to live with next to nothing. We're living with spiritual moderation here, people. It's not like we're sick like those who only show up on Christmas if that.


How sad is that?

My husband and I were discussing this regarding our search for a church... Perhaps that's why we've had such a hard time finding a church home... because we feel a calling for more than a pew to sit in on Sunday morning. We want a community, a family... so we can learn and grow together, discuss what God is doing and how we might be a part of it...encourage and support each other in our callings...on Sundays or whatever days work for worship and discussion. Oh man, just typing that made me yearn for that kind of life-giving and sustaining connection. Gee! We want a church home, somewhere to return recharge and prepare for what's next... A full, fulfilling, live-giving, sustaining, connected relationship with our Lord and others who are similarly passionately involved. That's the we can have the support and encouragement we need to continue to follow God's call and adventure with Him. And so our search will continue...for community and connection...we will not be discouraged by closed doors and seeming lack of life in the churches we visit...we will not let that deaden us or hold us back...we will adventure on. I thank God that He gave me that we have each other through all of that we can connect and grow that we can discuss and grow and encourage and a a family...

God will continue to grow and sustain us. I know He will fulfill His promises as we adventure together. What a blessing! And I know God will use us to show His people how valuable they are and the life He has for them! So, God, call us! Send us! Take us to the next step, the next place... take our life and use it! I think I'm starving for that!