We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Saturday, June 30, 2007

cheating summer

I think I'm cheating summer.

Today, my middle son (7) enjoyed anther afternoon of digging in the sandbox with his bestfriends next door. I stepped outside just to have a listen (they are so close that sometimes they all bicker like siblings, so we keep close tabs on the temperature of the interraction) and was delicately distracted by the buzzing and whirring and screeching of a hot, humid summer afternoon here in the south. The June bugs, in their shiny, metallic green shells, were buzzing around my herbs. There were various species of "bee" also making the rounds. And high above me came a distinct, rising screech. It was definitely the screech of a bug - almost a crackling screech - rather than a bird or animal. I've no idea what it was, but it was quite loud!

I stood there thinking how lovely this hot and stifling afternoon really was to my senses, if not to the comfort of my inner thermostat. My husband would cringe if he knew what I did next, but he'll read my blog and know...I'll come clean anyway... I went inside and opened a window. And, no, I didn't turn off the A/C .

But somehow, by sitting inside my home so nice and refrigerated - and perfectly still , I feel like I'm cheating summer and also cheating myself out of the same. I've missed the soft clamour of nature!

I think I'll be keeping my window open...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who ate the Baby?...I ate the (Dutch) Baby

While visiting Meredith over at Like Merchant Ships, I came across a wonderful recipe for a cobbler that reminded me of a Dutch Baby...only in reverse, and on a stove top.

I'd never heard of these until I visited a bed and breakfast in near Harrisburg, PA. It was so delicious that I had to find a recipe. I make it every now and then for family or guests - it makes a wonderful addition to the breakfast or brunch table. It is puffy and light (not light as in calories), with a slight crunch. The batter is only slightly sweet - so you can add macerated fruit without making the dish overly sweet. Let me know if you try this! Or if you have a different recipe.

Here is the recipe:

Dutch Baby

Ingredients: 1/2 c milk, 1/2 c flour, 1/4 c sugar, 2 large eggs, and 1/2 stick butter. You'll need an oven-proof/stovetop-proof dish to cook this in. I recommend a good cast iron skillet.

Preheat oven to 425. Mix the milk, flour, sugar and eggs. Set aside. Melt butter in a 10-inch iron skillet. Tilt the pan so that the butter coats the sides. Pour batter into the skilet and cook, without stirring, for 1 minute. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until puffed and golden (12-15 min.s). Top with fresh berries and a bit of cinnamon.

I've also tried dropping berries or fruit into the batter and it is delicious that way, too! Thanks for the reminder, Meredith, I think I'll make this for breakfast tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Containing your laundry mountain



This is an idea that struck me a couple of weeks ago, and it is working beautifully! This is a standard canvas "sweater sorter" that I picked up at Target. Each child has their own "shelf" for clean clothes. As I fold and stack their clothes, I place them on their shelf. Part of their chores is to clear off their laundry shelf each day.

I've been trying to do laundry daily, but have gotten tired of having laundry piled up on my dining room table each day. I love this because it keeps my dining room table clear!

Let me know if you try out this idea and how it works for your family.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Self-examination

Recently, some online friends and I were discussing how we, as Christians, honestly examine our lives in order to discern our spiritual health. There are the obvious "slips" where we make big mistakes from which we can either choose to repent or we can choose to continue in sin. But, how about the times that we, neglectfully, allow ourselves to become "backsliders"? How does this happen? Are their signposts or redflags which might indicate a digression?

Today, the HeadMistress at The Common Room published
Pilgrim's Digress in which she offers some insight to this question from A Pilgrim's Progress.