Friday, May 28, 2010

Fritters, Flowers, and Fiction

So this will be my spring update post since I've decided that, even though spring doesn't officially end until June 21, summer is definitely here! This has been a most beautiful spring and I have enjoyed many new things that I have not done before. For starters, I had never encountered real live chickens before this spring let alone raise them! Some other firsts for me this spring include reading the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke, helping to put together a craft show for the youth group, spending so much time in my gardens and my backyard and enjoying every minute of watching my plants grow, and most recently today I made apple fritters for the first time! This was a very exciting experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Of course, because I had never done this before I was fully expecting to fail at it but to my surprise and my tastebuds' delight they were delicious! I have never made any kind of doughnut before but I've always wanted to try and today was my day... I had a whole bunch of left over apples from the craft show because I was planning on making some apple pies but I ran out of time so today I looked up the recipe for apple fritters since they are my favorite kind of doughnut! I already had everything I needed to make them so this was a no-brainer that I should try it! I hope that you will try them out too. I think you will be pleased.
On another note, hasn't it been delightful outside this week? Sure, it's been HOT and even a little uncomfortable at times, but this has been a wonderful week for getting outside and enjoying the world around us! I have been so pleased with how my flowers are doing in the heat and they have been blooming for a week now and I'm loving it! I wish they could stay in bloom forever but I know that they need their "resting" time in the winter too.... ugh.

What I've been reading in May is the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. This is a series about the Davis family's journey through life in the Midwest and Western territories of the United States in the late 1800's. This is a series that will pull at your heart strings, challenge your faith to grow, keep you reading every day, and keep you wondering "how did they ever live like that?". It's a beautiful series of books that include love stories, family stories, stories of courage and death, mourning and rejoicing, challenges and victories and the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow who holds this family together through it all. If you've seen the movies and you enjoyed them, you HAVE TO read the books! They are so different from the movies and so much better!
Sleep well, God Bless,
Apple Fritters:
1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs-beaten
2 tablespoons apple sauce
3-5 cups apples-peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup cinnamon and sugar mixture
1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or electric skillet to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In a separate bowl wisk together milk, eggs, and apple sauce.
4. Slowly add milk mixture to the flour mixture until well blended. Add apples until they are well coated and evenly distributed.
5. Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot oil and fry, turning once, until brown on both sides (about 5 min. depending on how large your spoonfuls are. I used a serving spoon.) Fry in small batches so they are not crowded. Using a slotted spoon, remove and let cool on paper towel briefly. Toss with cinnamon and sugar while they are still warm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweet Joys

Today I was struck with the realization that life is not always what you are given but it's mostly how you respond.
I have known this and I have even talked about it with others before. But today it became clearer. I have been struggling big time with allergies this spring...making my spring not so springy... So today was a relatively normal day. I went to work, came home and baked all night. Sounds normal right? Well, the entire time I've had a massive sinus headache that won't go away no matter how much medicine I take or how much Vicks I put on. (Yes Jared you can remind me later that I said that.) But through it all I have had a great day.
God has been walking me through this day one step at a time, one loaf of bread at a time, one customer at a time... He's been there through it all.
Every time I felt like giving up He was right there to pick up my head and say "it's OK, keep going, keep your eyes on me and I'll help you." He was right. As I look back, I can see clearly that the times that I "looked away" from Him I fell on my face with discouragement, pain, and feeling sorry for myself; but when I was looking at Him I almost forgot about the pain and I could focus on what needed to be done and what I could do to make this day better. Yes, I got through work and I got through my baking (for now...15 mini loafs of pistachio down, 5 more to go.)After my last batch of bread came out of the oven I read through my friend Chaille's blog She is currently in Romania doing her fieldwork at an organization called "Veritas." Chaille spoke tonight about the greatness of God's plan and how every little detail was put in place before he could bring her to Romania so that once she got there the "soil" would be ready to plow and plant. In a way, that's how I feel about my day today. I feel like God is still preparing the "soil" in my heart for other things....tasks, time, talents, treasures, etc. and who am I to stand in the way of the Almighty's plan to not only better my life, but to use my life to better others' lives as well. By using my time today to complain and groan and wine about my headache or all of the "things" I had to do today I was only pushing God away and saying... "your plan isn't good enough." Many times we want the big exciting things to happen every minute of every day; but you know, those things that are big and exciting wouldn't be big and exciting if they happened all the time. So I'm learning, along with you, to take life one step at a time and rejoice in my sufferings as well as in my blessings so that God can use them both for His glory.
God bless, Sleep well,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flour Power

Today is a day full of baking... On the list is Pistachio Bread, Apple Pies, Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies and regular Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies! :D I don't usually bake this much but today is an exception. We have the Kent City Baptist Church Vendor and Craft Sale this Saturday (May 22) from 10am-4pm at our south campus (400 West Muskegon St. [17 mile rd.] Kent City MI 49330). All of the proceeds of our bake sale are going to benefit the Rhiza Student Ministries youth missions trips this summer. This is a great way to get involved if you are not already involved! We need people who are willing to donate baked goods for individual sale so if you are making cookies maybe bunch 2-4 together and wrap them in clear plastic wrap so they can be sold to our shoppers. Everything will be sold individually so try to make something that can be easily separated and sold. If you are willing to bake something we would appreciate it if you would wrap your goods individually and label them for us. We will put prices on everything. You can drop your donation off at the south campus either Friday night between 5:30 and 8:00pm or Saturday morning between 8:00am and 10am. Thanks for being willing to help us out with this huge task every little bit helps so even if you can only make 1 doz. cookies that will be helpful too!

Come out for the sale too! We have about 35 vendors of all different crafts, home show products, and abilities! :D

Sleep Well, God Bless,