Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kale Chips!

I don't have a picture of these delicious snack bites, BUT I can say that my polka Dot ate them as well as potato chips (and life is rarely quiet for her on the green veggie front).

Kale is quickly becoming one of my favorite plants in the garden. It starts producing early in the spring and doesn't quit until nearly Christmas in this neck of the woods. It also doesn't take more than a handful of kale plants before you feel like you are suffocating in dark leafy-green goodness. When the plants get a little out of hand, or you just need a crunchy, healthy snack option, these kale chips are just the thing.

I'm not going to give any measurements because everyone will like them a little different, but here is the gist of how you make them:

Cut, wash, and dry a whole heaping pile of kale from the garden. Tear the kale leaves from the thick stems in large pieces. Put all your pieces in a bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (I'd say hmm about 2 Tablespoons--maybe more. You don't want to find a puddle in the bottom of the bowl, but you want each leaf to get a little). Then sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese and toss to coat evenly. Bake at 200 degrees on an aluminum covered sheet for about an hour, or until chips are nice and crispy all the way through. Put them in a bowl, watch them disappear, and feel good about how much leafy green power is now making its way through the bodies of those near and dear to you.

Seriously, I think you'll like these. Eating your greens isn't so bad after all:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

"What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?"

Every April and October, members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and anyone who wants to listen, for that matter) have the incredible opportunity to listen to the words of our living Prophet and other church leaders. For two days we are filled with the messages of these inspired men and women, each of whom has sought out what to speak on through much prayer and fasting. I ALWAYS come away from these sessions with specific questions answered, my eyes a little wet from tears, and a set of new goals.

I have been trying to be better at reviewing these messages between conference sessions, and I especially seem to turn to this guidance on difficult days. Last week, when trying to be a good mommy was feeling especially difficult, I happened to listen again to the talk "What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?" from Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy. Choosing that talk on that day was what Heavenly Father knew I needed; I know he guided me down the list of talks to this title. These were the lines that moved me the most on that day:

A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?

I certainly need my girls to help me become a better person. In no other way could I learn such patience, humility, charity, and all other Christ-like attributes.

The rest of the talk can be found here. And all of conference can be found here. No matter what faith you are of, these talks are uplifting, inspiring, and will certainly bring you closer to Heavenly Father as you heed their counsel.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Goats are Back!!

After a long winter of being non-milkers (our lady dried up around the end of November last year), our brother and sister-in-law very generously offered to send a few more goats our way. On Memorial Day we welcomed back Hermione and met Oma for the first time. Hermione is no longer a milk-giving gal; she's getting a little too old for that. However, she came along to keep Oma company and to give her joints a break from all the long walks at the farm when they move out to pasture.

I have to admit, I breathed a little sigh of relief when milking every day was no longer part of the equation. But now that my little Lucy is going through a half gallon or more of goat milk per week on her own, we didn't feel right refusing a free goat. I'm also pretty sure that I have the best husband in the world, because he has offered to do ALL the milking! All I have to do is strain it and get it in the fridge when he comes in. Deal.

Memorial Day was also a major planting day for us. On days like that when you feel dizzy from so much sun and sweat, you have to stop and remind yourself how much you love eating fresh food. Or you go crazy. And start cursing your beautiful vegetables. Who wants that? We have been blessed to already eat asparagus, rhubarb, radishes, lettuce of various kinds, broccoli, and onions from the garden. We now also have eggplant, multiple peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, dry beans, green beans, peas, corn, butternuts, delicatas, two types of pumpkin, basil, parsley, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, beets, turnips, carrots, and maybe some other things that I am not remembering all at various stages of growth. Whew! I feel better just typing that. It really is worth it!

As tired as we were at the end of Monday, I loved looking around the dinner table at a family with dirt smudges on their cheeks and brown earth under their nails. I love knowing that every time we go out to weed we are getting fresh air, working together, and living more providently. I love my Heavenly Father who has seen fit to bless us with this little piece of land, and we will keep doing all that we can with it. Because that is the best way I know to say "thank you."