and spirit...encouragement for your soul.

Hopefully this will be a place of resources and information for living a healthy lifestyle while feeding your soul. Recipes, links to helpful sites, words of encouragement and scripture....all to help you and your family make wise decisions for your life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Can't wait to consume everything I cooked today!'s the run down of what's been cooking: Corn pudding (the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg KY recipe), roasted root vegetables, turnip and mustard greens, cornbread stuffing, pistachio dessert, giblet gravy. Brittany is making squash casserole and broccoli souffle'. Britt is making pumpkin pie. Wayne is doing one turkey on the spit and I'm doing another in the oven.

I know it's over kill. We can't possibly eat all that food. I still love Thanksgiving for the food and family. I don't care if we have to give away half the food, it was fun cooking and I always enjoy the feast AND the leftovers. There will be plenty for everyone to take home.

My friend Millie made and delivered a ricotta pie and pizzianas tonight. (Not sure of the spelling but they're wonderful!) Wow! The cookies are fabulous and I can't wait to dig into the ricotta pie. I'm not sure I'm going to share it. I have been looking forward to this rare treat for a long time.

Tomorrow my son and grand kids will be here along with my friend Dee. Others will stop by later in the day and we'll spend some time on the phone with friends and family in other states. I can hardly wait for the day to begin. Right now I'm pooped and need to rest before tackling the birds.

Thank you God for this wonderful holiday! Thank you for our abundance and bless those who are serving our country away from their families. Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One day down and nothing accomplished toward Thanksgiving dinner!

My last post I mentioned I would start prepping today and guess what? Nothing has been done except the several appointments I had scheduled and now I'm headed to a meeting. That puts me one day behind! I was actually looking forward to my time in the kitchen today. Does anyone else look forward to a day alone (or with someone you love) in the kitchen, lovingly preparing special dishes? I find cooking a time of reflection and meditation...IF...I have the time, the ingredients, the utensils and a good glass of wine!

I am singing in the Christmas cantatta this year with our church choir so I'll be practicing my bass part to the music while I'm in the kitchen. "Singing" is a little's more like making a "joyful noise!" Anyway, I'll be singing His praises while I cook. And yes, I said bass. Amazingly, I can't reach the alto notes but I fit right in with the bass section.

Soooooo....tomorrow is cornbread and chopped vegetables day. I'll knock that out right after the 6:00 AM prayer breakfast and the 8:00 AM communications committee meeting and the noon girls lunch. Oh well, I did have good intentions!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Looking forward to Thanksgiving!

This is my favorite time of year. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to cook and I love to eat! I am not a good gift buyer so Christmas can create a bit of pressure. Thanksgiving has all the elements I love, including food, family and friends but without the expense and pressure of gifts!

Since learning how to coupon I have even been able to cut down on the expense of the food for Thanksgiving AND I'm growing some of my vegetables. (See post from November 17th.) I can hardly wait to harvest my first squash! I have already begun to cut herbs and lettuce.

Every year I plan to do something different for the menu and, after many complaints, I always revert back to all the family favorites. My family loves: Tootsie's squash casserole, broccoli souffle' and Zellwood creamed corn. (All the recipes are on my recipe blog: Of course, there will be the usual turkey and dressing (mine is cornbread) and pumpkin pie along with pecan pie. I am planning to attempt making "Granny's yeast rolls" from my brother Joe's recipe. I'm not really sure about it as I don't normally bake, it takes a long time and there is a pretty good chance the rolls won't "turn out." I am resolved to try though.

I'll start the prepping Monday by chopping and cooking some of the vegetables that go into making the dressing, gravy and other dishes. The trinity (onions, peppers and celery) and mirepoix (celery, onion and carrots) will be on the chopping block. I may not be stocked well enough on butter and chicken stock. Another trip to the store with coupons in hand may be required. Trips to the store seem to be an ongoing process when I begin cooking. I am always grateful Wayne is willing to help. He even cleans the pots and pans and little messes I leave while I'm cooking. I am blessed!

It would be very, very nice if we could all just place life on hold while we prepare for the holiday. Unfortunately, we shall all squeeze in the added duties of Thanksgiving with the appointments, meetings and events we always manage. It's okay...I still love it!

I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving as much as I do. If not, come on over to my house. There will be plenty!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God Bless My Living Tower Garden!

I can't believe it has been so long since I have written and published a page on this blog! Just another example of life getting in the way of my very good intentions.

My latest project is one that is NOT taking much time but is most enjoyable! Have you seen my tower garden? I'm posting pictures so you can see the difference in just one week of growing! Anyone who knows me knows how I love gardening. I can't claim much success with growing vegetables in Florida however. I have tried and failed many times. Flowers and shrubs are no problem. Vegetables have become a huge frustration!

God has chosen to bless me with this new way to grow my vegetables!! It's a hydroponic system grown in vertical towers. The technology isn't new. My brother, Joe, had a hydroponic tomato garden in 1962 as an FFA project. Those tomatoes were wonderful and he made a great deal of money over the summer of his sophomore year selling them. I'm not sure what chemicals and minerals were used back then but I do remember the tomatoes were grown in gravel troughs that were "flushed" several times per day with the liquid solution. (Burleigh Boulevard is now over those troughs.)

The big difference with the living towers is the minerals used in the water are all organic and the materials used in the towers are FDA approved food grade. I love the organic aspect and can't wait to harvest my first squash. I should have some ready next week, just in time for Thanksgiving. I have already been cutting and enjoying the larger leaves of the lettuce.

I added two more units so that I could add eight more plants. I now have 28 plants: yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, peppers, bibb lettuce, red romaine, green romaine, green leaf lettuce, dill, basil, purple basil, Thai basil, thyme, chives.

I shall add green beans once some of the lettuce is finished producing. I am going to start seedlings this week and can't wait to harvest them in a several weeks.

I pray over my seedlings as they come forth into the world. I pray over my maturing vegetables and herbs. I thank God for this wonderful gift of technology. Think about weeding, no stooping, no hoeing, no digging! Wow! Gardening surely has changed for the better! Gardening for dummies?

God bless my living tower garden!