Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December memories...

a little decorating...
burlap swag with wreath of silver and pearl
snowy tea set made by mother and daughter years ago
stockings hung on an old window with care
glowing tree
stars hung on a mirror
our canning jar Advent wreath
treasures on a kitchen shelf
a little bronchitis...

a little healing...

a lot of tears and prayers for Sandy Hook...

a little shopping...

a little touring...

a little baking...
spritz delights
chai-spiced pear bread
rosemary-scented cookies
Santa hat brownie bites
a Christmas Eve filled with wonder and worship...

beloved husband plays the bass bells
faithful shepherd of our flock
 a little gift giving...

and a little Christmas for you all from the gospel of Luke...
Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy 
that will be for all the people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David 
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 
And this will be a sign for you: 
you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 
And suddenly there was with the angel 
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby lying in a manger.
And when they saw it, they made known
the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Fear not.
Born this day... a Savior.
Let us... see... which the Lord has made known to us.
Hear with wonder.
With haste... make known.
Treasure and ponder.
Praise God.

Merry Christmas to all from Flannel Jammies Farm

Friday, November 23, 2012

a simple Thanksgiving...

A day of family and feasting.  
A day of home and love.  
A day to be thankful for all the rich blessings 
given from the generous and grace-filled hand of God.

A day to say, "Thank you."

Shouldn't it be every day?
Wouldn't that be the key to real and lasting joy?

Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:2-3

Relish tray
Sardines and crackers
Raw veg with pumpkin hummus
Baked lemon cod
Whole pie pumpkin baked with stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Mushroom gravy
Collard greens
Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Saturday, October 6, 2012

eggplant everywhere...

Our eggplant is rejuvenated by the cooler temperatures this month.  Both varieties in our garden are producing beautiful fruit, er, veg, in abundance.  We like to roast eggplant or grill it, with a marinade of orange juice and balsamic vinegar.  And we prepared a beautiful supper of eggplant parmesan with spinach fettuccine just a few nights ago.  YUM!

On Thursday, I picked up the first of my Fall/Winter CSA baskets.  It was filled with gorgeous, local, organic items such as arugula, basil, red radishes, green beans, green peppers, spaghetti squash... and one huge eggplant!  Now what?

I had a ton of black cherry and red cherry tomatoes on my counter, along with a couple of Lemon Boys.  There were Cubanelle and Jalapeno peppers in the garden as well.  And some onion, too.  Salsa it is!  But how do salsa and eggplant go together?

Eggplant tacos were born in our home today.  I know, other people have done eggplant tacos.  But these are a new favorite in our house.  Crunchy, oven-fried slices in taco shells with veg.  Oh my.

To prepare the eggplant for cooking, I sliced it into large rounds and then half moons.  I then placed the slices on a rack in the sink, sprinkled both sides generously with kosher salt, and left them to weep for 20 minutes.  This process allows the excess liquid from the eggplant to escape, and reduces the bitter flavor sometimes associated with eggplant.

When the weeping process was complete, I rinsed each slice well under cool running water, then pat it dry with paper towels.  Now my breading station...  The first bowl had unbleached all-purpose flour, the second contained beaten local eggs, the third was filled with the secret ingredient: crispy Panko breadcrumbs spiked with cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and a dash each of salt and cayenne pepper.

Each slice of eggplant was dredged in the flour and the excess was tapped off.  Into the egg on both sides, then into the Panko mixture.  The breaded eggplant slices were placed on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil, which is my favorite kitchen invention ever.

Then into a 435-degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes.  The pan was pulled out, the eggplant slices flipped over, and put back in the oven for another 10 - 12 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.

So, we warmed up some white corn taco shells, placed a perfectly-sized, oven-fried, half-moon eggplant slice in each shell, added Vermont white cheddar, shredded lettuce, and salsa fresca.

I wanted more.  I really did.  But I'd already eaten too many tacos and my tummy hurt.  Maybe I'll find more ripe eggplant globes tucked under the leaves of the plants tomorrow morning...

Monday, October 1, 2012

When it's hard to give thanks...

Sometimes the world with its woes crowds in.  Sometimes the news seems all bad and the clouds loom dark.  Sometimes the body is too frail and too exhausted.  Sometimes we lose the ones we love so dearly.

It's these times that thanksgiving gets stuck in our throats, not quite uttered.  Almost too afraid, not wanting to to utter thanks for fear of inviting more trouble.  Wondering, wondering... why can't God be seen?

I have been there.  Too many times.  

My friend, He is there.  He is faithful.  He is Creator AND Sustainer. He is always and knows all ways.  He is beside and behind and far ahead.  God is there, working in every detail, caring so tenderly for each of us.

Give thanks.  He is good.  He is worthy.  Write just one thing.  Offer gratitude for this one gift.  Soon another gift will come to mind.  And then another.  Before long, the list will grow, overflowing with gifts.  Right there in the middle of the world and its woes... finding Crazy Joy...

- slow healing, giving me time to rest

- prayers of friends and family

- smiling Sunday faces

- trading wares

- a brother and a sister

- computers allowing me to work and create

- women gathering to study the Word

- warm socks

- Autumn, sweet Autumn

- Jesus' love and example, preserved in Scripture, available to even me

Friday, September 28, 2012

Larder Swap

food swap:
an event where members of a community 
share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods 
with each other. 
Swaps allow direct trades 
to take place between attendees, 
e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles 
or a half-dozen backyard eggs. 
Swap events also include a potluck as an immediate 
 food-sharing (and sometimes item-sampling) component. 
These events are a delicious way 
to diversify the homemade foods in your own pantry 
while getting to know members of your local food community.
(Click HERE for more info about food swaps
from the Food Swap Network.)

I'll be joining
the Virginia Urban Homesteaders League 
in celebrating Mother Earth News' 
"International Homesteading Education Month" 
with a Larder Swap on September 30. 
I'll be bringing hand-made/home grown/home-processed items 
to trade with other like-minded people. 
I've used my own home grown 
or locally grown organic produce 
in the items I'm bringing to the swap. 

about our swap?
So great!

These photos are some of my items
in the process of getting gussied up
for the Larder Swap.
More photos after the event...


Sunday, September 23, 2012

giving thanks for the firsts of Autumn

After the long hot of summer, the Autumn wind whispers renewal and artistry...

Thanking my God today for the firsts of Autumn...

the first pumpkin sightings

the first day back at Sunday School

the first day of a new Bible study with new friends

the first harvest festival

the first backyard campfire