Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Words

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:14-16

Christ is our high priest - He connects us with the Father.  He knows our struggles and weaknesses and can sympathize because He is fully man as well as fully God.  Therefore we can confidently bring our problems and thoughts and fears to Him, and He will give us mercy and grace.  Prayer isn't something we have to do - it is a gift.


Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Bushel and a Peck

OK, really, just a peck.  But a peck of apples goes a long way.  Here is what I have made:

Apple Tart:
This is made with phyllo sheets and is yummy, a very crisp flaky bottom with sugar and cinnamon and walnuts.  This actually didn't use that many apples, but was still very good, especially with vanilla ice cream.  Gone in just a couple of hours.  The recipe came from the October issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Apple Chips:
I have bought appple chips from the store, but they are really expensive.  There weren't too hard to make, but there I didn't really end up with very many chips.  Basically, you slice the apples as thinly as possible, simmer them for a couple of minutes in sugar water, and then spread them out on a parchment-lined pan to dry in the oven at 250 degrees for a couple of hours.  I sprinkled them with cinnamon as well.  They were good, but too sweet, like candy.  They stuck to my teeth.  Next time, I think I will skip the sugar water simmer.

Apple Butter:
This was shockingly easy to make and tured out wonderful so I will share the recipe in full.

1.  Core and chop 10 to 12 apples.  Some recipes say to peel the apples, but I left the skin on since that is the most nutritious part.  Put chopped apples in crock-pot.  Add 1/2 cup water.
2.  Add one cup honey (I used sour wood, which is very sweet) and 3/4 cup white sugar.
3.  Add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice to taste (I added lots of cinnamon and smaller amounts of the others)
4.  Cook on high approximately 4 hours.  Remove cover and cook on high another 4 hours (removing the cover allows the liquid to escape as steam and the apples cook down).  Stir occaisonally.
5.  Puree in blender and pour into canning jars.  I made 3 pints.

Apple butter is delicious on toast or biscuits.  And your whole house will smell wonderful while it is cooking.  I've still got a few apples left.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Living Deliberately

Here is what I have been doing:

Hanging out in Tennessee:

My dad's annual company picnic is in Pigeon Forge every year, and so my family rents a cabin and heads up there for the weekend.  This was our first year with three generations since my nephew came as well.  The picnic (at Dollywood, yee-haw!) was rained out (we have rain checks to go back later this year) but we still had a good time.  Actually my favorite part was sitting on the porch at night watching the lightning that came with the rain.  Jordan and I drove separately because we had an adventure to attend to on the way back and didn't want to force everyone else along.  We went to Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, TN.  They were amazing.  Caverns are fascinating - the formations, the way your eyes play tricks on you, the way perspective gets skewed.  This one had a river flowing through and a double waterfall.  The "Big Room" has proportions bigger than any room in Mammoth Cave, KY.  We drove back through the Smokey Mountain National Park (stopping to hike to a waterfall, we couldn't help it, we are waterfall addicts), and drove through Cherokee, which never fails to both enrage me and give me hope (yay, they have the Cherokee language on all their street signs, boo, they have tipis and "real live Indians" that you can have your picture made with - oh, the exploitation). 


This is the vest I am making.  It has been put on hold for a while, since the other project needs to be done by December, but I am enthusiastic about it.  I am calling it the Villette Vest, since it has kind of a Victorian corset vibe, and also because the color reminds me of Lucy's gown of "purple-gray - the color...of dun mist, lying on a moor in bloom."

I am making a shawl/scarf/wrap at the request of my choir director, who wants to give it to her friend as a Christmas present.  The pattern is ridiculously easy - it's just a huge rectangle of garter stitch, but I am painfully slow at knitting, so it is taking much longer than I would like.  I like the color and material.  It is cotton but has a nice shiney glow to it.

Apple Picking: Jordan and I were back in the mountains for his grandmother's wedding (which deserves as whole post (if not an entire book) all to itself), and we went apple picking on the Blue Ridge Parkway as well.  There is an old apple orchard at Altapass where you can pick the apples off the trees yourself.  They were also having a special blue-grass concert and people were there clogging and two-stepping.  So much fun.  And I didn't have my camera.  Aggh.

We picked a whole peck of apples.  Mostly Jonagold and Winesap-Staymans, but also Golden Delicious and Virginia Beauties and Sweet Saylors and King Lucious.  I will be eating and cooking apples for weeks to deal with all these, but that's OK.  Apple pies, apple dumplings, apple crisp...

Picnicing on the Parkway: 
Every September my extended family goes to Linville to picnic and celebrate the September and October birthdays.  We arrive early in the morning when it is still chilly and make breakfast with eggs and bacon and coffee, muffins and turnovers.  We hang out all day, some of us hiking, some sitting around talking, reading, etc.  Then we have lunch.  This time we had burgers, hotdogs, barbeque, pimento cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, mmmm.  A few of us hiked to Linville falls, including the nephew - his first ever hiking trip.  He's three months now.  I can't believe my parents took me hiking for the first time when I was six days old.  I don't think I had any choice about whether I would like the outdoors or not!

If you have never been to Linville Falls, definitely make the trip.  I've been approximately a hundred times in my life, but they never get old.

I love fall.