Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hands Full

"You sure have your hands full! I would ask how you're doing but I already know!" says the cashier in reference to my three young children under four years of age. 

Do you know?

When your hands are filled with sand at the beach and the grains chase each other out of your hand, do you feel that peace? These children have taught me a deep satisfying peace. 

When your hands are filled with warm shiny blackberries, each pregnant with delicious flavor, do you feel that eagerness to experience? These children have taught me a pure and holy eagerness to experience God's wonders. 

When your hands are filled with delicate, thorny rose blossoms, precariously heaped in your hands as they journey into your home to bring beauty and true mystique, do you feel that gentleness of your hands as the thorns scrape and bump you? These children have taught me the painful but amazing work of learning to be kind and gentle. 

When your gardening hands are filled with cool crumbly earth and your mind is clear of any thought, do you feel that freedom? These children have taught my marriage the beautiful freedom that life brings. True freedom, not the "freedom" of selfishness. 

When your net is heavy in your wet hands and your feet are muddy and browning in the sun, and your gaze spans the majesty of God across the marsh and open skies, do you feel that breath-taking awe? These children have showered awe into the most mundane tasks in my daily routine. 

When your hands are full of warm yeasty dough and you mindlessly knead and think of nothing and everything, do you feel the nostalgia? These children have brought nostalgia and warmth into an otherwise meaningless building. 

When your hands are full of Jesus, as the priest lays the Eucharist into your being, do you feel that joy? These children have taught me the true, true joy of serving Jesus Christ. 

Yes my hands are full. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sweet Potato and Parsley Salad

This is the perfect recipe for someone who doesn't like sweet sweet potato dishes and for someone who loves sweet potatoes.  How does that make any sense?  I imagine it's because this isn't a sort of candied dish, rather the sweetness of the sweet potatoes are balanced, swirled and mingled with flavors that are otherwise sour and pungent on their own.

Cooking with Herbs

The recipe comes from an old cookbook from Granny (my mom's mom) and if you can find a copy (for cheap) I highly recommend this book.  Once I started an herb garden I found this book to be extremely useful because the book chapters are by herb, making it so simple to find a recipe according to which herb/herbs you are have in abundance or are in the mood to taste!

This recipe isn't mine at all!  I'm just sharing it from the text, especially since this book doesn't seem to be real popular.  It looks like it sells for pretty cheap!

Hoping you and yours enjoy this tasty dish as much as we do!

Note: For all you foodies, Carolyn Dille worked at The Cafe Chez Panisse. The recipes are as good as Alice Waters'. In addition, I'm reading An Everlasting Meal. And oh me oh my. Please read it. Such a fantastic cook book.


6 cooked sweet potatoes
1 small onion 
1 medium celery rib (or omit if  you rather/don't have)
1/3 cup olive oil
lemon juice to taste
soy sauce (always omit this)
1/2 cup coursely chopped parsley*
4-5 sprigs marjoram or 1 tsp dried (may substitute with oregano - I have a bush of it, please take as much as you'd like!)
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
garnish with roasted nuts (I usually omit out of lack of availability but I imagine it would be tasty)

*parsley note: Alice Waters (and Whole 30) taught me the huge difference of fresh herbs in cooking. I used to not buy parsley because I thought I could do better by buying more food, but herbs do so much and are so cleansing to the body. Buy it and see how many meals that .99 cents plays into. I hope you are pleased with your creativity!

Peel (or don't, I never peel them) and dice cooked sweet potatoes
Dice onion and celery, set aside
Mix olive oil and lemon juice, add onion and celery and let it mingle
Chop parsley, add to mix
Stem marjoram (or oregano), add to mix
Season diced potatoes with salt and pepper
Toss seasoned potatoes with mingling dressing mixture
Serve warm, at room temperature or cold out of the fridge

Filling, flavorful, frugal and perfect for summer nights :)