Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Already...

I have been working on the blanket again.
yesterday I re-positioned the squares that were not yet
sewn in (more has been sewn in this past week!)
and measured for the most of the final squares that
need to be done.
There was more to be done on it than I realized and now
I am thinking that it may not get done until Christmas
on January 7th...
I have slippers to make, a cowl to finish,
more scarves to make, a hat to finish and a blanket
to embroider a ducky on... 

I woke early and added oil to the lampadas...
I just love it when it is dark and the lampadas are
burning bright... 

I put a new wedding picture
(next to bulletin board of pictures :) )
up where our calendar had been...
I was reading part of a book
this morning by Corrie ten Boom,
a writer I have loved for many years.
One of the themes I noticed was
that no matter how dark one's situation can be,
the end of the story is already known ~
Christ is Risen! Christ has won over the devil and
over all darkness.
The other was that there is no pit
so deep that Christ does not go deeper still.
I've been thinking on and off about that year
not so long ago that was so difficult for me,
that began with a broken foot and ended with
losing a job that had been the most difficult and challenging.
It was that year,
as I wrote earlier,
that I moved and began offering hospitality,
with various dinner parties.
It was that year that I got my lampada and icon of St. George
pictured above.
It was that year that lead to me moving again
to the apartment that the Mother of God gave me,
that one day over two years later or so,
I was in when Mr. Husband asked me to marry him.
The hardest of times I see
can begin some of the deepest blessings.
I know enough to know that
I am likely to go through hard times again;
after all I am not yet 37 and life is full of
bends and turns, dips and deep valleys,
with some hills and mountain tops at times....
And so I seek to remember that in those times
of struggle and darkness,
that beauty and deep blessings can come of it.

Our annotated copy of Orthodoxy arrived today.
I am so glad as I have been wanting
footnotes on the many things that
GK Chesterton so easily refers to
have I have never learned of. 

My cowl has a better beginning thanks to
my knitting teacher.

We also put in a lifeline.
This cowl has been a real challenge to me,
as I am still pretty new at all of this.
So having a lifeline to ensure
that I do not have to frog back good work is a relief!
I started my first slipper today too! 
Now I need to continue cleaning this kitchen,
laundry, knitting and more on my list...
I have some baking ideas and am doing DV
a simple hamburger hash for dinner.
I am slowly thinking of various ways to make
meals in quick ways as the next weeks will be busy...
On a more serious note,
keep Fr. Roman Braga in your continued prayers...
So many to pray for but we should indeed pray for
one that has prayed so much for so many...
God is with us at all times and in all things...


A friend gave
Mr. Husband and I these wonderful
little farmer's stand potatoes. 

Years ago in Ottawa
I got this metal basket for potatoes,
to be sure they have enough air so that they
do not quickly run to rot.

I decided to be simple with them...
Washed them,
poured olive oil and salt over...

Baked for about 15-20 minutes
until the fork could easily pierce them. 

My friend did the baking honours
and brought yummy cheese straws and
apple turn overs!

And so our brunch,
with two pots of tea,
was made!

We warmed the apple turn overs on a cookie sheet
in the oven as the potatoes finished.

It was a lovely meal.
I am so grateful for my life here
with Mr. Husband and the friendships
that are blossoming!
Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

For encouragement and thought.

I loved this post by Fr. Gregory on how we
need to prepare our hearts for Christmas,
even though stores will be switching from
autumn to Christmas over night
(Note: he lives in Canada so their Thanksgiving is already in the past).
It gave me a good reason to pause and think on this.
I need to think more on it....
Two, this on how we are never alone:
HOMILY on how the angels do battle for the righteous

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them
(Psalm 34:7).

The angel of the Lord will do battle for those who fear God.
This has been clearly shown many times, as has been recorded;
and it has occurred numberless times that have not been recorded.
The Archangel Michael took up arms for Joshua, the Son of Nun.
An angel did battle for the righteous King Hezekiah and,
in one night, destroyed the army of the Chaldeans.
How many times have angels visited the Christian apostles and martyrs of in prison, strengthened them, and caused them to rejoice?
The consolation of the righteous one comes from
knowing that God is All-seeing, and sees his misfortune;
that God is Omnipotent, and has power to save him from misfortune;
that God is All-merciful, and will save him from misfortune.
 God will send His radiant angel to the aid of the righteous.
The righteous one will not have to struggle against his tyrant,
for the angel of God will do battle in his place.
When God's angel takes up arms, what army dares confront him?
What empire will wage war against him?
In an earlier Psalm, the Prophet David says: No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for safety (Psalm 33:16-17).
Hence, it does not help at all if the unjust, the worldly, are allies. When God's angel takes up arms-all will burst as a bubble of water.
Even when he was king, David remembered how, as a mere shepherd boy, he killed Goliath, a giant who was armed to the teeth, with a slingshot.
On many occasions, David sensed the assistance of God's angel.
That is why he could with confidence console the oppressed
but righteous ones with these words of comfort and strength:
 the angel of the Lord encamps around all who fear the Lord,
and who serve Him, and an angel of God will deliver them.
O my brethren, let us not doubt these words, but carefully consider,
on a daily basis, how the angel of God leaves us in sorrow when we sin,
and how he hastens to our assistance with joy and unspeakable power
when we repent and implore God's mercy.
O Lord God, our Creator, the King of myriads of angels:
forgive us, and save us, and protect us by Thy holy angels.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

~ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, October 14 from the Prolouge of Ohrid 

Yarn Along: Bag, Cloth, Scarf

My bag is done!

I knit another wash cloth on the way to and back
from church this weekend!

I also knit a very warm heavy scarf for
a long time member of my church in Ottawa.
It is for the coldest of winter days.
I am reading so many books!
Still going on
Standing Facing the Stove
Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton
and have read a bit in
The Northern Thebaid.
What are you reading and creating?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Stew was lovely

The stew I made was warm, filling and
wonderful flavour!
I must admit I love a good beef stew!
I used this recipe
but added more red wine, more beef broth,
simmered it at a higher rate to save time
and was liberal with the dried thyme and basil.
It was lovely
and just in time for cool autumn weather!
I cooked it in Mr. Husband's Dutch oven.
For those worried about the acidity found in tomatoes,
this was a great recipe also!
Of course easy to also make GF by using
GF all purpose flour,
for those who are seeking for GF ideas.

Lemon Chiffon Pie with a wonderful GF pie crust

I finally got my two new
joy of cooking
cookbooks that we got at the rummage sale.
I now have the one from 1953, 1962 (paperback not pictured here),
1964, 1997 and 2006.

I am slowly learning to do things GF*...
Ginny's post from 2010 on her
gluten-free favourites
has helped me immeasurably.

I got from the library
the cookbook she recommended for baking:
Gluten-Free Baking Classics.
I was sure to cut the butter cold,
strait from the fridge.

I made the above GF* Tart Shell Crust
with the brown rice flour mix that is
called for in this cookbook

I used bob red mills' brown rice flour
and it worked wonderfully.

This is the pie after I had prepared and
baked it at 400 degrees,
the crust being prebaked for about 20 minutes. 
I used my 1953 Joy of Cooking
for the pie itself.
For lemon zest and juice, I used what I had
prepared earlier.
It was the first time I used my double boiler
for an egg yoke custard.
I whipped the egg whites in my kitchen aid mixer.
I am wondering if I should of whipped the egg whites
a bit more.
In any case,
the pie was good; the crust was wonderful.
The pie fell a little by the next day
when it was eaten,
but it was still good.
Very similar to lemon bars but as a pie
was the consensus.
I was very pleased by the crust and actually
preferred it to the other pie crusts I have had,
as I tend to like a bit of a lighter crust.
I am dreaming of making a lemon curd cake one of these days!
I have more lemon zest in the freezer and lemon juice in the
What is your favourite thing to make
with lemons?
Have you ever done GF* baking?
If so, any tips, cookbooks or blogs to recommend?

*GF = Gluten Free

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baking Bread ~ Many Different Ways

Early last week
Mat. Anna blogged about making
French onion soup
and she made it in a non-enamel Dutch oven.
I was intrigued;
Mr. Husband has a Dutch oven
(I had long thought of getting an enamel one
as my impression was that it would be
difficult to care for it otherwise)
and so I learned from Mat. Anna that
one can use Dutch ovens for many things
that are just cast-iron.

last Friday made the artisan bread again.
I got the Dutch oven out;
it was dusty and needed a good cleaning.

It has some rust spots that
I have been told can be taken out
and that it will be OK once it is re-seasoned.
Any advice on this, of course,
is welcomed!

I used it as is anyway,
as I really wanted to see how it would be.
The dough did not rise as high...
I left the knife on top as I did not want
to forget to score it again!

But it gave us a really nice warm
bread that reminded me of potato roles.
Soon the little loaf was just one small slice!
I ate mine warm with honey!
It was great and the Dutch oven worked just fine!
Today I am thinking of making a beef stew;
I got some organic beef broth and beef
and found a non-tomato based stew recipe
that I am going to use with it.
It is so nice that the weather has been
a bit cooler...
It was wonderful on Sunday to go to liturgy
and to see church family...
How are things for you?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Noah needs our continued prayers


Every Day is a New Day

Thanks everyone who
provided support yesterday.
Today more sleep was had;
the day is proceeding more normally.
I have my last knitting class last night.
I've realized that nights are not the best time for
me to have knitting classes, esp. when trying to learn
new things that at least at present are more
challenging for me.
So I am changing this up and am going to have
lessons during the day.
I am really hopeful for the change in schedule
helping for further knitting progress.
I still have a hard time staying in routine;
one day good; one day not so good.
We keep on with it.
Today I hope to go to the library to get
a book on canning.
I am not sure if I will get to canning soon
but in this also I am at peace with seeing what happens.
I started reading another knitting novel and
realized within pages that I was reading
instead some sort of broken story of mixed up lives
who apparently do not understand how morality
can uphold one's life and that the opposite
will destroy it.
So sad; that novel is being returned, rest unread;
to guard one's mind also means not reading the rest.
I am, it seems, continually baffled by how the domestic arts
has been matched up with broken lives and
decisions that break people up inside instead of
putting them back together, healed.
It saddens me.
I am continuing to read the book on
joy of cooking;
I read the first two stories in
the Northern Thebaid.
I read more in my continual read of the
book Christ is in our Midst
and find it as always very instructive.
I do not know if I will fully be able to understand
the incident with the homeless man
but I go to confession fairly regularly and it will be good
to bring it up there.
Sometimes I forget how wonderful my life is,
that I have opportunities to start over through the
sacrament of Confession.
I am often confronted with the fact that I am a sinner.
But how wonderful that I am also offered repentance
and sacraments that give hope instead of despair.
I have hopes to bake lemon things either today or tomorrow.
I have a kitchen full of things to be cleaned;
I have a sink with a week long slow leak
(plummer came other day and we think failed to fix it).
I have a bag to finish sewing on the final handle
 and the cowl I had to frog
has been restarted.
I am thinking of working on the
blanket to get that done soon as well.
Every day I once heard Mother Gabriella say in
a CD I was listening to
is a new day,
unlike the one we had yesterday.
God's mercy is new every morning.
May we seek to be with God today and seek His mercy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One of those days...

It's sunny this morning.
For various reasons I am quite tired
and I realized that today I have to rest.
No baking today.

I got my silver candle sticks polished earlier this week;
I had forgotten how they gleamed.

This week has been one that is good but hard;
hard to hear of beloved friend's struggles and suffering.
Hard as I keep tripping up with insomnia
for this reason or that.
I told Mr. Husband I have been running on some sort of
faulty autopilot.
The other day I went to our near by grocery,
talked to the neighbour lady on the way,
got the few things I needed,
one I did not ~ key west lime juice ~
{I hope to make Mr. Husband a nice pie}
got to the till, was chatting a bit with the
mother of a young baby ahead of me,
then got my few things rung in
and then it hit me.
I forgot my purse.
So the checkout person kept my stuff in a bag
at the till, I walked home,
thinking cereal, wallet, I don't want to forget to pick up a
bag of cereal, 
went back, changed into my rain coat and hat,
since rain had started,
grabbed my purse and went back to the store.
Only to find a tall homeless man
smoking a cigarette that was down to the stub
who asked me for $25.00 to buy some new shoes.
Food I had to give, a little money yes, but $25.00 no.
He begged.
I felt horrible.
His name is Don, I asked, saying I would pray for him.
He did not want the prayers but the money.
I felt so rotten/miserable guilty that I
even called Mr. Husband at work about it,
once I left the man who took the cookies and change
but kept asking for more...
My Grandma read this book and assured me that it was
better not to give the money, that much.
I told her that if there had been a shoe store there,
I would of bought him some shoes.
The man named Don was gone when I came
back out with my groceries in tow.
Given that the USA has some of the worst food laws
in Western worlds anyway,
and that milk and butter is suspect,
I buy organic here; but it made me feel like a
downright heel, with my organic food
and not giving the man the money.
Well, I know prayer is a lot better than money.
Poverty is so difficult.
He was a rough looking guy; I knew he was
guilting me up and down for the money he wanted
but somehow it smote me inside.

I've been thinking about that a lot I guess.
And about those who are without.
Poverty, struggle, that so many do not have
proper food.
When I bake bread,
I keep wishing I could give it to those who
really need it.
Yet here I am,
tired today knowing I need to rest up to regain
I guess it is a mystery.
Why some are born poor, some middle class,
some rich.
I listened to a wonderful sermon about
how God gives us what we need in life
for our salvation
and that for everyone it is different.
I've also read that riches is a test from God
to those it is given,
and with my ability to buy organic food,
that counts me in...

Oh that God will have mercy on us!
God who is so deeply merciful!
May Christ reach down and save us,
as He did St. Peter when he was sinking in the
deep waters.
May Christ so come to us.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Second Book Club ~ A lovely meal and a lovely time!

Drunken Chicken in the crock pot.

A fellow book club member brought
wonderful mashed potatoes and
a Chinese broccoli side with peanut sauce.

I made GF flour gravy from the
left over drunken chicken juices.
(Made just like any gravy but with GF all purpose flour).
We also had freshly chopped orange farmers market pepper
and the last of the fresh 2013 tomatoes.

A small bit of yummy cranberry sauce. 
We also had raspberry and pumpkin (hard) cider,
a little for who ever wanted it,
normal apple cider and water...
We had a wonderful discussion afterward of
chapters 3-4 of Orthodoxy
with many wonderful tangents to related topics
weaving into a lot of earnest and thoughtful discussion.
We are going to meet one more time for a meal
before the Nativity Fast
(our fellow members are new calendar so that means mid-November)
that will include meat
(I already have some menu ideas!)
and will do chapter 5!

Drunken Chicken {a slow cooker recipe}

From this cookbook.
Organic chicken, about 4.5 lbs,
placed in slow cooker,
legs down.
Used over half cup of white wine,
half cup of chicken stock,
Two small onions quartered,
1 stock of celery cut into three pieces,
thyme, paprika sprinkled on top before the
liquid was added.
Freshly ground Salt and Pepper on top.
On low for about 10 hours
(cook time is between 8 and 10 hours).
{edited to add: the celery and onion are best
placed inside the bird before you put the
chicken in the crock pot, FYI}
Serve when done!
{We had this for book club yesterday!
I prepared the chicken the day before and
put it in the fridge overnight;
my large crock pot has the removable insert
and it is so handy!}

First GF Apple Crisp (for book club) ~ {plus a lovely knitting pattern}

Mr. Husband kindly printed off
Katherine's recipe for her
Gluten Free Apple Oat Crisp
last week for book club
(great second meeting last night!)
as one of our guests is Gluten Free (GF).
I have a few GF cookbooks,
but only one had an
apple crisp recipe
and it did not have the oats that
I wanted...
So I did it mainly
the way Katherine set out.

I used apples from the farmer's market.

I had Canadian Maple Syrup...
I used more coconut oil and cinnamon than the
recipe called for.
Did about half cup of oats blended in my blender
to make oat flour.

When I mixed the syrup, the cinnamon and nutmeg,
the coconut oil... I snuck a taste of it raw
and it was really good! :)

I used brown sugar for the apples and
sprinkled on cinnamon and nutmeg,
not measuring. 

It was lovely to make.
Just put the topping on top :)

Baked at 350 for 35 minutes.
It had a nice taste.... if sweet things can be savory,
then this one was!
Afterwards I called my Grandma and learned that
she had made a GF apple crisp with just everything
she always used, save the oats as she did not have GF oats
(I have an Aunt who is GF who she was baking for).
None of the recipes called for plain
all purpose GF flour but that is what my
Grandma used and when I try it again,
I am going to try my normal apple crisp recipe
and then see what happens.
This one has a great flavour and I loved that it was GF...
but the oats baked a little too long; the oats were a bit dry and
fell apart instead of sticking together...
I am wondering if I used too many apples;
somehow they did not bake as thoroughly as I would of wanted;
but I see this as my fault entirely,
as I deviated from the recipe :)
I am so remembering the recipe for the flavour ... and for all of the above!
I love experimenting and see what happens...
this is the fun of recipes and baking!
You find a recipe,
even more fun when by a blog friend one knows,
and then experiment with it,
make it one's own while all the while
remember the original recipe that one began with,
with gratefulness.
Actually it's the best, isn't it,
to be able to experiment and take one's recipe
to do new things...
one of my long time blog friends has been
doing that with my Oma's Koek recipe
and it is so fun to hear about!
Using maple syrup with the oats was
genius and I am so grateful for
Katherine's recipe for this!
I must say that our book club people
all enjoyed it,
over 2/3rds of our 9x13 dish was gone in one evening
and it went perfectly with GF vanilla bean ice cream!
And the apple crisp itself is vegan, which means
that Mr. Husband and I are looking forward
to some for dessert today!
So yay for recipes, sharing and blogs to keep sharing them with!
On another note,
Katherine's Martinmas Sweater is up and here for
the offering ~ including her contest to spread the word!
So we have at least two things to thank Katherine for today;
this apple crisp and her sweater pattern!
How wonderful!