Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reads & Eats


When life feels too big for its britches, when I'm lost inside my head or adrift in questions that can't be answered yet, I come back to two things: Books and food.

Yes, my family. And always, Jesus.

But as for tangible things that can be held in my hands, these are what center me.

I've been doing a lot of reading in recent weeks, and a whole lot of food-dreaming. (If that tells you anything about the condition of my heart.)

Life is not especially hard right now. It's actually wonderful. Exciting. Relatively peaceful and ripe with good thing. But it's moving quickly and the days are somehow both too short and too long.

I'm trying to listen to my body when it barks that 6 hours of sleep isn't enough. I'm working on it. I have to think it's helping.

But I might yank this rope around from both ends forever. Sleep-Read-Sleep-Read.
One means rest and the other means a different kind of rest.

I have to believe there's room enough for both.




 And in between it all, I dog-ear recipes and pin All of the Pumpkin Foods. My Wal Mart "Le Crueset" is getting the work-out of its life, bubbling soup, boiling pasta, browning chicken, simmering stock.

 
We're eating out less than ever, and it's working well for us. These days, dinners are simple. We're into one-pot options that keep us lingering around our beat-up table. We shove the remnants of the day to the far end, and huddle up with mis-matched napkins and tap water.

Dinner doesn't have to be perfect to be meaningful and important.

All of this - the books and the food and the faces gathered 'round - all of it amounts to food for my soul.

Here's what I've been chewing on lately.


This was my first attempt at this recipe and it'll stay in the rotation. It was quick and so delicious. We topped ours with thinly sliced cabbage and my home-canned pickles. For our sides, we had roasted cauliflower and sweet-&-sour sauteed cabbage, because I like all of my side dishes to be colorless, apparently.


I've talked about this soup a hundred times, but it is our hands-down favorite. And this time, it looked a little different because I didn't start it as early. The veggies weren't all cooked down, so there was more texture, which I happened to like. Either way, it is phenom. My people lap it down hard.

“New Testament faith cannot be practiced in private. Either the faith will destroy the isolation, or the isolation will destroy the faith.” - Dirty Faith by David Z. Nowell

"If you are a woman in crisis, there is no better place to seek advice than women. Women are like full, ripe orchards of apple and peach trees. Women are museum guides telling you the hidden meanings. Women are ponds. They look placid and simple, but my gosh*, they teem with life and information an inch below the surface. There are incredible microcosms of information in those waters; there are hundreds of species of information. Women are encyclopedias, they are oracles, they are entire self-help sections of Barnes & Noble. Women! If you have a question or need advice, gather some women together. They will help you." - A Year and Six Seconds by Isabel Gillies (*my edit :) )

"While the parents of black and white boys have many experiences in common - protecting their emotional well-being, channeling their rambunctiousness, dealing with schools that have been structured for the learning styles of girls, protecting them from bullying, and so on - white parents don't have to prepare their boys to deal with a society that stereotypes and views them as dangerous, as black parents do. They don't have to safeguard their sons from media outlets that broadcast violent and self-destructive images of them. They don't have to protect them from others' harmful projections. They don't have to shield them from teachers whose low expectations can undermine their ability to learn. 'Boys will be boys' behavior doesn't get white boys kicked out of the classroom or expelled from school (or even locked up) at the same rate that it does black boys. And white parents don't have to fear for their sons' physical safety in the same way that black parents do. Will he get jumped? Will the police stop and frisk him? Will he get shot? They typically don't lie awake worrying about these issues. Black parents do." - Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life by Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michele Stephenson with Hilary Beard

Your turn. 
What are you reading? What are you eating?

I'm all ears. Literally.




*Amazon affiliate links

35 comments:

  1. You NEED to read Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan--its technically a YA book. But it is SO good. I found myself copying her quotes like crazy. I pictured Ruby as the narrator:).

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  2. Please read The Passion of Mary Margaret and then discuss it with me.

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    1. This title worries me, I won't lie. It does not sound like a Shannan genre...

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  3. Carnitas...can't get enough! I make these cuban street tacos (http://www.melskitchencafe.com/cuban-street-tacos/) and then broil the meat after I shred it to get it nice and crispy. I put them on nachos with smoked gouda cheese (to die for) and I'm going to try some leftover meat in a soup I found on pinterest! Served with lots o' guac, of course!

    I read a lot more this summer than usual, probably because my youngest is more independent now, and I could read when we were all outside together. I mostly read fluff and it was heavenly. I'm currently re-reading The Church Planting Wife by Christine Hoover, even though I am not a church planter's wife. I think the book is a must read for any woman involved in any sort of ministry. It was SO good for my heart. My husband (he's a minister) read it, too, and thought it was amazing!

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  4. When more is not enough by Amy L. Sullivan. I will be giving a copy away later this week. Great book!

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  5. I made a dish I found on your food pinterest board- cheater korean beef bowls, found on the blog called Damn Delicious.

    it was quick and easy and oh so good. I have been geeting a lot of good recipes from the blog Budget Bytes. Beth makes inexpensive meals that are healthy and delicious. Making the soy dijon chicken with sweet potatoes now. Super simple prep.

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  6. LOVE THIS! I'm reading "The Best Yes" and it's touching my soul I tell ya! And we're doing lots of one-dish meals as well...LOTS of soups as Fall is kicking into high gear...white chili, corn chowder, potato soup...with a big ole salad & fresh bread and apple cider of course :) With a big family you have to keep it simple or else it's hard to enjoy! (For me anyway)...I don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen and not with my kids.

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  7. I am doing peas and corn bread and ham for our first Fall dinner. I just pinned your soup recipe too. :)

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  8. I'm in a reading binge at the moment (along with having just binge-watched The Mindy Project in less than 2 weeks, which I love!). Plus I am renoing and working ft with travel... I'm not quite sure how that's all happening at the same time, but meh. So I just read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin (on a plane, maybe that's how I'm reading so much). I thought it was great. It's new and cute and a good story with some interesting twists. I am now reading Red Letter Revolution, which I think I first heard about from you. Have to read and then put it down, think, and then read some more. Big challenges within...

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  9. I love your table of mismatchedness of your table! I have been deep in natural health textbooks for months now. I am learning and soaking up this knowledge and am blessed to be able to help others a bit now. Before that I trained in applied kinesiology. Now I am putting it all together.

    Since we are talking soup I will swap you our favorite which you will want to have around when the turkey leftovers hit. I add a bit of hot sauce just to wake up the flavor but not add heat. The recipe is so good that I will actually do a turkey and simmer the bones for broth just to stock my freezer with containers of this. I did so last weekend and now we have 7 meals tucked away. http://www.ourfamilyeats.com/2011/11/turkey-chili-with-white-beans/

    The thing about being a good cook is that it takes a really great restaurant to satisfy the foodie. No chain restaurant will do it. But hubby and I sure have had fun seeking out those great little hole in the wall places. Lately we have been eating Saturday breakfast at a place owned by a family who was Amish way back. Mom and daughters are in the kitchen and wow can they make some delicious food. It is on Main St. in a tiny town 20 minutes away and cars are parked way up and down the street. For good cooking like those ladies do, I will go out.

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    1. See, MY problem is that I'm a foodie who also loves Taco Bell.
      :/

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    2. No, no, no! Fast food does not count! I mean IHOP, Outback, Olive Garden---all places we will not go again! We love fast food :(

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  10. Currently three chapters into Clay Clarkson's Heartfelt Discipline. A few weeks ago read "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd - loved the characters. Eating - crack broccoli, which I think I first learned about from you. And apple crisp - trying to perfect the brown sugar crumbly topping. Anything I can make in a crockpot or in just a few simple steps for dinner is a necessity right now.

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  11. I love the series of Calvin and Cory. So simple and classic and beautiful!

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  12. Just finished The Orphan Train at 3:00 am. Loved it! It's a tear jerker for sure. I read tons, but few really grab me. Trying to quit books when they are meaningless, but it's been ingrained in me somewhere to finish a book once you start it. I like The Invention of Wings and The Signature of All Things very much. The Aviators Wife is fabulous. Of course if you have not read Kisses From Katie immediately put it on you Kindle and There Is No Me Without You. Jen Hatmaker's 7 is very intriguing. All of John Grisham's I love. If you haven't read Francine River's Redeeming Love, you must.

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    1. OMJ I love sad books. Loved Kisses from Katie. Loved There is No Me. Loved 7. Read Redeeming Love eons ago and I think I liked it, but maybe not as much as most people??

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  13. So, just finished Love Does. (Loved it!) Currently reading Barefoot Church, and of course - Cooking Light magazine (can't help myself!). We're eating peanut noodles modified to feed a family of 6:http://www.dinneralovestory.com/peanut-butter-logic/, and our fave burritos too:
    http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2014/06/24/homemade-beef-bean-burritos-taco-sauce-from-scratch/
    Sorry for the plug. I can't even call it shameless, because I'm sort of embarrased to put it, but you are a tex-mex lover and thus should know about these burritos and the homemade-ness of them, because you are also a real-food lover. Maybe they could even help convert Robert to loving real food . . . :)
    Also? Went thrifting last week for the first time since high school. Found a designer silk tank top (awesome!), and my fave brand of jeans, AND a purple outfit for my purple loving girl - all for $13. My husband thanks you. ;)

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    1. I keep meaning to subscribe to Cooking Light.
      Borrowing from the library just doesn't do it.
      Have fun with Barefoot Church! I should re-read that one...
      And thanks for the plug, I'm all over it!

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  14. I'm reading trashy romance novels- nothing of worth or consequence- so I won't leave any titles.

    I'm eating anything and everything that is acid orange- Cheetos, Doritos, Cheddar Popcorn- you know, carb-loading.

    What I'm listening to is healthier than the other two categories- Sara Groves- All Right Here (particularly loving Less Like Scars)

    Thanks for sharing one-pot recipes! I love simple and tasty.

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    1. This cracked me up so bad.
      I'm on my second Taco Bell lunch binge for the week.
      NO SHAME IN THIS GAME>

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  15. I'm loving anything by Donald Miller, "Traveling Mercies" by Anne Lamott, "Neighbors and Wise Men" by Tony Kriz, or "Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me" by Ian Morgan Cron.

    Enjoy!

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  16. "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore (must read!), Nourishing Wisdom by Marc David (a food one!), Orphan Train

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  17. Oh, and eating. :) I started making your soup last winter and my family loves it- thank you. I've been using the crock pot lately as we're running in later from the oldest kids' cross country meets and need something to warm us up. This one was a hit here last night - and it's healthy, which is not always the case with crock pot meals. :) http://basilmomma.com/2014/02/slow-cooker-lemon-basil-chicken.html

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  18. You'll love my friend Rachel from The Stay At Home Chef's new cookbook. It's gourmet foodie food in the crockpot! Yum!

    Working on finishing my manuscript. But always taking time to read you! Thanks for that.

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  19. honestly, i've not been eating a ton of amazing homemade food lately, except bone broth. it's super easy to make and i believe the natural probiotics in it have helped ease a cold that came on strong just a week ago and is all but history. i don't eat grains or beans or dairy, so my meals consist of a lot of meat and veggies. and chocolate (even though it has sugar and dairy.)

    what am i reading? the glass castle by jeannette walls; the storied life of aj fikry by gabrielle zavin; the glass kitchen by linda lee davis; and between the lines with jodi picoult and her daughter samantha van leer.

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  20. Just finished Interrupted, Bittersweet, and Bread and Wine last week. This week I started Barefoot Church and it's keeping me up at night. Kicking myself for getting it from the library because I'm going through serious highlighter withdrawals. Hoping to start The Art Spirit next, and I've got Dirty Faith and Sacrilege in my Amazon cart as we speak.

    Wish I could say I was passionate about supper, but it was a box of pasta and jar of sauce kind of night.

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    1. Spaghetti with jar sauce is my ultimate comfort food. We eat it all the time. And I almost never serve it with a "sensible salad."

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  21. I'm eating a lot of Shopska (Bulgarian salad comprised of mostly tomato and cucumber) because its ingredients are what's fresh right now in my dwindling garden.

    I haven't time to read, so I'm listening to murder mysteries (who knew quiet English villages are so deadly?!) while I preserve the remains of our summer in glass quart jars.

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  22. Have you read Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture, by Adam S. McHugh? I think anyone who knows or is an introvert or a Christian should read it. <3 Too many Christians/people come from an approach that doesn't value different personalities.

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