Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We live, in fact, in a world starved for
solitude, silence, and privacy;
and therefore starved for meditiation
and true friendship.
-C.S. Lewis

Solitude, silence and privacy - today those words sink into my depths like sparkling rain drops into a puddle. How refreshing that would be today- solitude, silence and privacy. I must be burned out.

God, in this dry and weary land, my heart seeks after You. On days I feel numb... on days I'm listless and I'm tired... remind me You're here. Tell me again You never leave. Give me moments, God, to be in that still, simple, quiet place with You. Touch all of these longings that crave meditation... that yearn for true friendship. Reach for us, God, and meet us where we are today. ...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Leah's Out!

Check on her here.

Another No (Way I'll) Bake Dessert

Stop what you're doing and make this. If you have to leave work, all the better. The sooner you get this in the fridge, the better your day will be. This is that good.

The recipe, tagged "Family Favorite" in August's Martha Stewart Living, is one I can see myself making when I'm 70. It's a keeper. Heat cream, melt chocolate, layer it all in plastic wrap, and forget it in the fridge. When three o'clock hits... when the doorbell rings... when supper plates are cleared, pull it out. Then prepare to cry. This is that good.

I changed up the recipe a little. Instead of using all milk chocolate, I used 11 ounces of milk chocolate chips and 3 ounces of semi-sweet. Not being big on banana, I thinly sliced a small one lengthwise and was skimpy with layering it in. Substituting cinnamon graham crackers for plain seemed a no-brainer. And Cool Whip and chocolate shavings had to top it off. The result? Tears. This is that good.

Yup. No way I'll bake anytime soon...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

No (Way I'll) Bake Desserts

I don't do much baking in July. I mean, have you ever been to Texas in high summer? It's a huge oven. With grass.

No bake desserts are the only way to go. The colder the better. The jucier the better. The lighter the better. The less time you have to spend away from the air-conditioning vent, the better.

Hello, Watermelon Cake! Have you picked up the August Martha Stewart Living? Buy or borrow it. I'm keeping my copy forever, it's that good. For this "cake", all you need is a seedless watermelon. And a knife. And a spoon (or a melon baller). Hack out a slab of watermelon, cut it into slices like cake, and top with scooped out balls of more watermelon. Refrigerate until ice cold.

I'm taking this to everything that requires food for the rest of the summer.

I also made the no-bake chocolate pudding/banana/graham cracker thingy. Only I slathered peanut butter between the layers, too. (I'm incorrigible.) It hits the table today. Will definitely report back on that.

Ah, summer. We'll conquer you yet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Leah Goes to Surgery

Remember this sweetie? She's in Istanbul now, gearing up for heart surgery. Together, we at this humble little blog scraped up $1,200 towards making sure Leah got her potentially life-saving surgery. That's amazing when you think of it. You are amazing when I think of it.

(I say "potentially" because not all the children Preemptive Love Coalition has seen into surgery have made it out. Just saying that makes me gulp and take a deep breath.)

God, we pull on the strings of Your heart. We know You. You're full of compassion, justice, and love. Be with Leah and her family now...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The apples are nearly ready. Coincidentally, I'm hungry for cold, cold cinnamon applesauce this afternoon.

If I could be anywhere right now, I'd be in an apple orchard with my head down, working on this beautiful blanket. I definitely would not be stuck at this tediously boring job with no applesauce or yarn.

Here's to us working girls today. May there be many apple orchards and handmade blankets in our happy futures. -Brin

Friday, July 9, 2010

Naughty Jelly

I made pepper jelly. I made pepper jelly because I love pepper jelly. There's something funny to me about the whole concept of making jelly out of peppers: it comes out acting like green jell-o gone naughty.

One of my favorite meals is this: red potatoes, cornbread and peas. Zipper Cream Peas. I top my peas with a dollop of pepper jelly and am in heaven.

I realize friends to the north feed these peas to their cattle. Cowpeas, they call them. Please don't remind me of this. Down here, these peas sell for $28 a bushel. I would know. I just gave someone $28 for a bushel of them.

For the pea haters among us, pepper jelly also goes great with cream cheese and crackers. But it's very Texas. It should be eaten on a porch while wearing scuffed leather boots.  Just sayin'.

Recipe forthcoming. I still have some naughty jelly tweaking to do, I'm afraid....

Monday, July 5, 2010

I love that verse in Genesis where Jacob is listing off precious things for his sons to take to Joseph in Egypt:

Put some of the best products of the land in your bags, he says, and take them down to the man as a gift —a little balm and a little honey...

A little balm and a little honey. That phrase has always sung to me. Balm and honey... something soothing and something sweet.

This is just a little annoucement that I'll be opening a brand new shop on August first filled with things soothing and sweet. My own website, my own shop. Look for an array of things to add solace to your world, including: organic herb blends. Spiced honeys and jams. Recipes and mixes. Bird seed. Handmade aprons of vintage trim and lace. Handknit cloths. Pretties to catch your eye and strike your fancy. I'm so, so excited about this little corner of my world.

I can't wait to invite you on over.