Dec 2, 2019

Cream of Turkey Soup with Brown Rice

Leftovers are awesome! Who doesn't like Thanksgiving dinner transformed into sandwiches, curry, salad, and yup, soup. Here soup is hands down the favorite especially when it's homemade. (My mother's soups have spoiled us horribly..............hell her cooking, in general, has spoiled us.) Now that the ham is pretty much gone we have pulled out the turkey leftovers. Of course, the pie was gone the next day. Today though there were absolutely no leftover leftovers. (Ha! I made a funny!) This is NOT a low-fat soup by any stretch of the imagination. I needed to use up the leftover heavy cream and we still had a decent amount of butter. It made for a hearty thick and comforting bowl of yummy goodness that made us forget that today was almost cold........................I miss snow, but that's another post. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did.

Cream of Turkey Soup with Brown Rice
Serves 6-8 (depending on how many teenagers you have)

1-2 tbsp. cooking oil
3 medium carrots, medium diced
3 stalks celery, medium diced
1 medium onion, medium diced
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 heaping tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 qt. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pt. heavy cream
2 - 3 c. chopped turkey (we had smoked turkey)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dill
1/2 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 tsp. sage
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. cooked brown rice

In the bottom of a large dutch oven or a stockpot heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil spits a little when a sprinkle of water hits it dump in the chopped veggies. Cook the vegetables until soft. Add the butter and melt it. Next, add the flour and cook it for a few minutes. Mix it well with the butter giving enough time to make sure the raw flour taste is cooked out. When that is done add the stock/broth, heavy cream, turkey and all the spices. Make sure to stir routinely as it will thicken and potentially burn on the bottom if you don't. Add the brown rice when it's nice and thick. Serve immediately.

Jul 27, 2019

Ruth - New Testament Women

image from Little Birdie Blessings

Most of us know about Ruth. She is after all one of the few women in the Bible to have a whole book named after her. She was a Moabite woman who married an Israelite, and not only had her husband died, but his brother and father did too. She was left in a household of women, and their support was gone. Not an easy situation in any time period, much less in a time when women had few rights. She moved to a completely different country with a woman who had lost everything, a woman who had encouraged her and her sister in law to return to their fathers' houses. It wasn't like her mother in law was hiding how she felt about it all either, I mean come on, she changed her name from sweet (Naomi) to bitter (Mara). That doesn't bode well. It actually kinda hints that this might actually suck. (To be fair we aren't told how Naomi acted, outside of telling the girls to leave.) Ruth stayed. The unknown didn't deter her. It's also the only time recorded that she didn't obey Naomi.

We all know the verse 1:16

Wherever you go I will go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge. 
Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.

It's verse 17 that got me this time.

Where you die I will die and there be buried.
May the Lord do thus to me, and more if even death separates me from you.

Who does that? In today's world people would be screaming codependency at worst, low self-esteem at best, or possibly wondering what angle she was working. I mean the whole "your God will be my God" is strong as is, to convert is no small thing. (I've done it.) Then to go and say if I don't die and am not buried where you are let his wrath fall on me.............WHAT!?? If someone said this to me I'd probably roll my eyes and say whatever. Possibly Naomi did, probably was more polite about though. She could have just as easily been touched and appreciated it before the fruit of it manifested. We aren't told, but bitter people aren't always the most trusting. Either way, Ruth kept her promise. Her obedience and devotion to Naomi ultimately was obedience and devotion to God.

When Naomi saw the fruit of Ruth's promise she got it in her head that the best way to provide security for Ruth was to get her married off to her kinsman, Boaz. (Cue Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof) Naomi tells her how to ask for his hand in marriage. She did all that she was told and asked him to spread his covering over her. I have no way of knowing how she felt that night. I imagine she was scared and nervous, but she could have easily felt the inner peace that absolute trust in God brings. What I do know is that people talk and Boaz did too. He told his workers to not mention that she was there. She was brave, very brave, and more importantly, she was obedient. Her obedience paid off in ways she could have never dreamed of.

I don't know how Ruth felt during her life with Naomi. The bible doesn't tell us her mental or emotional state much at all. It does tell us what her actions were, repeatedly. Her only act of disobedience was to stay when she was told to go. She worked hard, kept her word, and did what her mother in law told her. According to the book of Matthew, she was the great grandmother of King David and a direct descendant of Jesus. All because she was obedient to a woman who had at one time tried to convince her to leave. What blessings obedience can bring!

Jun 21, 2019

Summer Time

1. Water, get it, get into it, drink it, accept that you will breathe it. because humidity is a thing. Swimming and splashing helps you feel human. Use a hose if you have to.

2. Flip flops are life. It is too hot for shoes. Just slide them on and go. They even make fancy ones now.

3. Long hair is the devil. It will stick to you like perfectly done pasta on a clean wall. No, it won't stay where you put it unless you use a can of Aquanet and we aaaaaaallllllllll seen enough bullet proof hair down here.

4. If it's after noon just don't. It's too hot to breathe let alone move. If it's an outdoor event make sure it starts AFTER sundown and take an arsenal of bug spray.

5, Speaking of bugs, we have lots. Get Avon Skin So Soft from your Granma or Memaw and Off and then give up anyway because you won't win. (June bugs are cool though. They hit a ceiling fan blade and go zoomin across the room. It's pretty funny hearing the thud when it hits and the stupid things always do it again. Now if it lands in a prissy girls hair, that's the icin on the cake, then you get a show too!)

6. You won't die, but you are dying, slowly, every day and then just as you start to make peace with Jesus, you know everything is pumpkins and football. Breathing actual air can happen again.

7. If you want everyone to love you, get the good ice. That would be Sonic's. (Get LOTS of it. We eat that stuff like candy.) You can be forgiven for not having sweet tea (possibly) if you brought the good ice. (Just to be safe though, don't forget the sweet tea. I mean why risk it?)

8. You will be yelled at to shut the door. It don't matter if you just walked in or what. Letting any cold out is akin to forgetting the sweet tea AND the good ice.

9. I don't care what anyone says about southern girls not sweating. We sweat like pigs, but if you mention it before we do you are hereby banished from the next cookout, RUDE! 

10. And for heaven's sake DON'T SLAM THE SCREEN DOOR!! I don't know why. I just know everyone's Memaw yells this. (You have any idea how hard it is to KEEP that blessed thing from slammin shut?!)

Now that you know that summer in the south is just hell with pretty girls feel free to come on down and visit. We will talk your ear off and tell you all the best beaches (well most anyway, gotta have some secrets) and places to eat. We will love to visit with you, inside, where there the AC is so cold your lips turn blue. We love it here and we love sharin it. It's beautiful all year round, and summer is when the south is the most beautiful...................lookin'.

Apr 9, 2019

Spring in Alabama - 10 Things Ya Oughta Know

Alabama in the spring, what can I say except that it is amazingly beautiful. There are blooms everywhere and the scent of growing things abound. I love it with all my heart. However, if my lovely Yankee friends ever decide to visit there are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

1. Our flowers get here as early as February, so if you want to see the early flowers, well you have to get here before the first "official" day of spring. You might need shorts, you might need a coat, you will need an umbrella. The weather here is moodier than I was during my second pregnancy.

2. It gets hot, FAST. We will experience 90° heat well before the first official day of summer.

3. Pollen, loooooooots of pollen. It will cover anything and everything you leave outside. Your car will turn a yellow-green. Don't fight it. Accept it. The minute you wash it, it will rain, and then the pollen will laugh at your vain attempts to keep it at bay.

4. People hacking into tissues, with red eyes, sounding like frogs, because..... pollen. The only reason we don't hate those of you that don't have allergies is that we are too miserable to commit to that level of anything except relief.

5. Gardeners, we are friendly in the south and talk to everyone, the only thing gardeners love as much as digging in dirt is talking to anyone who will listen about our plans this year and how well ours are doing. It's a rule, and if we corner you in the gardening section just smile and nod. (I learned a lot that way.)

6. The start of May is when the pools, splash pads, and the like begin opening their doors. Many of us have already looking for relief, as I said before it's HOT! (It's only April 9th here and my kids are already playing in the hose and neighbors have their pools out.)

7. BBQ, you will start to smell the aroma of a carnivore's dream come true. Meat + Fire = Yes!

8. Mother Nature is very much a southern belle. You can't ever truly predict her. She never dresses in less than her best. She will arrive no sooner and no later than she decides. Her hissy fits are dangerous! But when she's sweet, maaaan she can make a ripe Chilton Co. peach look tart!*

9. June bugs! Those little buggers will fly into the house and bug the mess outta you! Their only redeeming value is when they fly straight into the ceiling fan, the thunk, and being flung to their demise all over the place like the tiny buzzing black ping pong balls they are. I just hate hate hate when they land on me! UUuuuuuggghhhh! Oh, it's also fun to watch the dog try to eat them, to her they are just fat juicy sky raisins.

10. Last but not least you start getting the afternoon/evening showers that cool everything down. Perfection is when you can sit on your porch swing listening to it hit an ol' tin roof, sippin' on sweet tea, the smell of the damp earth and honeysuckle with Patsy is playing in the background.

*Chilton Co. AL has the best peaches I've ever had. If you get the chance try some! (Oh, and not a sponsor, just tellin' it like I see it.)

Dec 20, 2018

Ham and Cheese Rolls - A Sister Weaver Collection Recipe

These sandwiches were amazing! When I think of hot ham and cheese I think of the foil-wrapped sandwiches we used to get during school lunches, basically lunch meat style ham, and a cheese slice slapped in a hamburger bun and heated. Not that it was bad per se, just nothing special. These intrigued me because they had the poppy seed mustard butter mixture poured over it before baking and I wanted to know how that would work. We had them for dinner tonight because life happened and I had nothing ready. Everyone loved them. Side eyes may or may not have been given over the melted cheese in the skillet............okay, okay I was given the side eye by David because I was hogging it. (sssssshhhhhhh don't tell anyone) Darian wasn't feeling good so he opted out and stuck to drinking and wanted his saved for later. I did that for him. So out of the three of us that had them, we all loved them. These were a 10 out of 10 in terms of flavor, ease, and at a cost of less than $2 per person (we each got 3) you really can't beat it.

Ham and Cheese Rolls 
Betty Clark

24 pk, small dinner rolls >I used 2 pkg *
slice into
Cover with ham
(I use Deli shaved Ham)*
grate layer moz. cheese
laver ched. cheese
put top back on
melt 1 stick butter
mix in 1 teas. poppy seed
1 teas. whorshire sauce
1 Tab. mustard. spoon
over rolls. Bake 350°
about 20 min.
                                 Betty Clark

I couldn't find any small dinner rolls so I just used a regular bag of 12 dinner rolls from the bakery section of the grocery store. Where she says 'slice into' I took that to mean cut the rolls in half as a whole. I don't have any decent knives so I had to cut each roll individually and I packed them into my skillet as best I could. I did use deli shaved ham. The cheapest one they still had available was Virginia Baked Ham so that is what I got. (I used about half a pound total.) I used half of the big blocks of both mozzarella and mild cheddar. For the mustard, I used regular yellow mustard as I figured if she meant dry mustard she would have stated mustard powder. I baked as directed. Sides that would go with this would be Bob Gip's Coleslaw,  and Peach Salad (two Sister Weaver recipes), chips, a simple side salad or potato salad and to drink sweet tea (of course), lemonade, or flavored water. We had it just by itself with a piece of fruit and water to drink. Simple but good. :)

* side notes Ms. Betty added to her written recipe.

Dec 19, 2018

Rahab - New Testament Women

Rahab the mother of Boaz in the Matthew genealogy of Christ was a prostitute, .... a prostitute! How many of us, even now, when it isn't a death sentence, are willing to put out that there's a hooker in the family? I mean I don't know too many of us willing to socialize with our, let's just say, more colorful family members, let alone announce them to the world. Let's face it, we Christians can hardly be called Christ-like when we judge others for far less. So why? Why would Jesus want that known? What made Rahab so special? What exactly can we learn from a pagan prostitute? Well, according to what I've read, turns out, more than you might think.

Let's look at her story. For starters, Rahab knew her own mind in a time when women often had none. She didn't hum and haw when she was given her king's order to turn in the Israelite spies. She brazenly defied it! She made the decision to lie to the king's men and commit treason. Her words were that she didn't know who they were, that they left at dark and had no clue where they had gone, and that they would have to hurry to catch them. She deliberately sent them on a wild goose chase. This is a woman who according to Mosiac law was worthy of death. The laws of the men she harbored didn't care if she was a prostitute in a temple or a common streetwalker, either way, she was not worthy of life by the very men she was risking her life for! She could have been a temple prostitute of high standing in her own community and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. She had to have some kinda faith in something to do something like that. When the king's men left she took the Israelites to the roof, further hiding them in her flax. She KNEW God had given the land to the Israelites. (Joshua 2:9). She admitted there was a dread over all the land because of what God was doing for them. That word had been told of how their God had dried up the Red Sea, what happened at Sihon and Og, and to the Amorite kings. Her people were in fear and yet she had the resolve and frame of mind to do what she felt she had to in order to save her family. That the God they followed was the God of heaven and of the earth and she, a prostitute, wanted His protection. She was asking the same God, whose laws condemned her to die, to save her, and not only her. She had the guts to ask for her entire family too! She made those men swear by the same God whose laws condemn her that she and her family would be spared. It's worth noting, her family wasn't a husband and her children. Her family was her parents, her siblings, and beyond. She was not married. The Bible states that the house was hers, she was a property owner. SHE was making the decisions. No shrinking violet here waiting for things to come. She was a businesswoman, a woman used to having to make decisions and one that saw the storm ahead and took action. She took risks, life-changing risks in trusting that the God that was handing over lands to His people had the power to save her and the ones she loved. How many of us have the strength to defy a king's order, committing treason, to trust in a God you don't know or have only known through rumor? I don't. She got their oath, and as the story goes, she let them down the wall using a rope from a window. (Her home was part of the wall.) Pay attention to the fact their faith wasn't as strong as hers as it was only AFTER they reached the ground did they give their conditions. The condition, was for her to have the scarlet cord in her window and to have her entire family in her home, to stay within it once they return to take the land and to not betray them. She agreed to this. When the time came Joshua ordered that she and her family be brought to safety while the city burned per their agreement. (Joshua 6:22-25) God honored her faith in Him.

Rahab was one tough cookie! She really didn't care who she had to defy in order to make sure her family would live. She turned her back on her country, her gods, her king, everyone and turned toward God. She knew they were doomed, all of them if something wasn't done. She took a chance. She DID something. She put her faith in God, a god she had heard was wiping out cities like hers and giving them over to His followers. She could easily have been taken captive afterward and/or killed. There was no way to know for sure what would happen. The fact she was a prostitute though, pretty much gave her a one-way ticket to death. She did it anyway! I don't know if she believed in the sense that we think of today with all the lovely sentiments of feeling safe and welcome. I do know she recognized God's power. She knew who He was and she was going to keep her family and herself from dying in whatever way she could. She might have indeed had all the warm fuzzies we think of now when we think of turning toward God, but if she did it isn't mentioned that I know of. What I do know is she saw, clearly saw, their fate if she didn't put this knowledge into action. She put her trust in God and He didn't fail her. How often are we told it only takes the faith the size of a mustard seed? Here He proves it. She stepped out and He caught not only her but her entire family. What an amazing God we serve!

Dec 13, 2018

Candy Alternative Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just around the corner and that means lots of sweets! Santa usually brings one or two nice things for the stockings then fills in all the gaps with cheap candy here at our house. This is a tradition I really don't want to follow anymore. Santa knows that the more I've learned about sugar and processed food the more I'm concerned about what the kids eat too. So to be fair Santa will still bring one favorite candy snack, and maybe a small candy cane, but not really much more. We will have the traditional orange (tangerine) in the toe of the stocking, but the rest will be small dodads they can use like earbuds, decorative pencils, bookmarks, and things like that with one fairly small, nice gift. Below are just a few of the things I've found on the web that I think family members will enjoy. Will I get everyone of them, probably not, at least not this year, budget concerns 'n all, but as I look for ideas I thought I'd share some of the more interesting finds I stumble across. Who knows maybe you'll find something you think would be good for somone in your family too.

Sundial Compass

Dino earrings

Fire Starter Set

penguin mousepad

glass fountain pen and ink well

Gardener's Scrubbing Soap

Hello Kitty Bento Mold Set

poetry word magnets
guinea pig earrings
Historically Inspired Violet Perfume
Fairy Ocarina
Lightsaber chopsticks