The Reason for the Season!

I haven’t written in a while, as Christmas is fast approaching and I find knitting and typing to be mutually exclusive activities. But knitting is on hold for now; I have to take a few minutes to share with you this lovely little Christmas moment…

(Zander 😉

The other day I had a little four-year old boy over for a gingerbread house/ babysitting date. We were reading some Christmas story books, and came upon one about the actual true story of the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem.

(holding ‘Baby Jesus’)

My little friend said he had that very book at his house, so we don’t need to read it here at Leah’s. Ok. He was very carefully holding the Baby Jesus doll we always used for our Nativity plays while I had my dayhome. It was clear to me that he has had some practise with his own baby brother, which is so sweet to see.

(his actual baby brother 😉

He started talking to me about Jesus, asking me the most poignant of questions;

“Does Jesus make you good?”

My heart leapt at the sweetness and honesty of this little child’s words…

Naturally, I answered him. Yes! He sure does. Jesus is why and how I am as good as I can be. He seemed satisfied with my response, as if it was simply a confirmation of what he already believes.

It hasn’t left me; and I hope it never will. I am so grateful for Christmas when we celebrate the coming of our Saviour and Redeemer! By His grace, I am as good as I am today… and I know that by His grace, I can grow a little more like Him every day. I love Him with all my heart, and I’m grateful for the sweet little boy who posed such a soul-searching question to me.

Merry Christmas!

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

First of all, I must give credit to the creator of this great recipe. (see above 😉

And now, let me tell you that these are easily the very best cinnamon rolls we have ever tasted.

When I started to prepare the dough for these yummy treats, I hadn’t really read the recipe through. I assumed it would only call for natural/wild yeast (a.k.a. sourdough starter). Alas, no. It requires a combination.

So I had to tuck the dough away in the fridge overnight until I got to the grocery store to buy some yeast. I used to buy large packages of it at Costco, and always have plenty on hand. But once I started making sourdough bread with my own starter, I got rid of it as I never seemed to use it anymore. Lesson learned! Keep some on hand.

The next day I added the yeast to the dough. It was not an easy process; I definitely recommend following the order of operations as written. However, I got it in there with a bit of water, and left it to rise. After kneading it down and leaving it another night in the fridge, I rolled out the soft and sticky dough, spread it with filling, and sliced it into a couple dozen rolls.

I like the idea of baking them in glass pie dishes; much prettier than an oblong pan. I let them rise again for a while before finally popping them into the oven for a surprisingly quick bake.

Et voila!

In short, we will never use any other recipe for cinnamon rolls. These ones win, hands down.

My husband even suggested using this dough recipe for the orange rolls we always have for Christmas Day breakfast. My mouth waters at the thought…

#cinnamonrolls #sourdough #delicious #keepyeast

Gummies!

Two words; game changer.

I have to be honest; when it comes to working up enthusiasm for making food- for myself- nah. I have become more aware of this flaw and I’ve also been forced to make some inroads here while trying out somewhat extreme measures with healing diets for some gut health issues.

I have always enjoyed making food for other people. That’s easy. But when my own options for what to put in my mouth were severely restricted, I had to drum up some energy to make food especially for me. Bone broth and liver and enormous quantities of nice wholesome veggies are more nutritious than I had previously suspected. I prepared and cooked and ate them. But when I started making little gelatine gummies, I started to feel like I was enjoying treats again!

Here are links to recipes I’ve made:

http://donteatthespatula.blogspot.com/2015/06/blueberry-pomegranate-gummies-aip-paleo.html

https://whatgreatgrandmaate.com/aip-paleo-blueberry-sour-gummies/

(I even added some coconut milk the second time I prepared these ones, and I like how they turned out. 😉

https://autoimmunewellness.com/lemon-raspberry-gelatin-gummies/

https://asquirrelinthekitchen.com/pumpkin-pear-gummies-aip-paleo-gaps/

All I have left to say is that I wish I were having more success with uploading images this evening… Sadly, even if I had photographed mine, they wouldn’t be much to look at; I just poured mine into a small rectangular glass dish (very lightly rubbed with coconut oil) and then cut them into bite-sized squares once they set. Maybe eventually I’ll order some of those pretty molds from Amazon. (In the meantime, they taste just as good 😉

I hope you get to try some delicious, nutritious, and fun gelatine gummies, and enjoy them as much as I have!

#gelatine #guthealing #gummies #treats #recipes #funfood

Destination Unknown.

IMG_3746

Have you ever read a book that should be terrifying, but generally isn’t, because of the author’s treatment of the subject?

This Cold-War mystery novel was published in 1954, and does not feature either Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple, so it’s a little different than most of the Agatha Christie novels I’ve read. Instead, we encounter first a very serious secret service/security agent, Mr. Jessop. Then, in grave distress (which initially belies her resilient spirit), Hilary Craven. Her personality adds some welcome highlights to an otherwise disturbingly plotted narrative.

I really appreciate the funny little twist that happens fairly early on; when Jessop and Hilary first meet in Casablanca. Things are almost never as bad as they seem, and even when they are as bad as they seem, they won’t always be that way. Somehow, sometime; definitely worth holding on.

Reading this story made me want to travel to ancient faraway places, in a touring group, with a safe and professional guide, and in the protective company of my husband.

#yikes #AgathaChristie #books #reading #unexpected

 

The False Prince

My 12-year old niece, Hayley loves to read as much as her Aunty Leah does… This fall, she put her head together with another aunt, and came up with a bright idea; a family book club.

We are a family of bibliophiles, and while we dont live near to each other, we have the lovely convenience of iphones! With the latest update, group FaceTiming became an available option.

The first book chosen was Jennifer A. Nielsen’s The False Prince. It’s considered juvenile fantasy, and the first in the Ascendance Trilogy. It happens in a make-believe kingdom, in a time of horses and wagons and swords and castles, but doesn’t involve any actual magic or invented species, such as elves or fairies.

Kirby and I had started listening to it as an audiobook during a road trip last month. Then, hooked on the story, I requested a copy from the library. There are several in the system, so it didn’t take long for one to arrive here in town for me. And then it didn’t take long to devour it!

One night I took it to bed to ‘read myself to sleep’ (my standard operating procedure). Let me just say that it didn’t have a soporific affect on me. At all. At about 1am I got up and swallowed a lavender capsule, to no avail. At about 3:45 I finished reading the last page. Wide awake.

What I liked most about the story was the unexpected plot twist near the end. It made me think about who we are, who we seem to be, and who we can become. And why we create chaos around those three points in our lives.

#bookworms #bookclub #family #reading

Back to school.

As our house remains on the market, and we find ourselves still here in Pincher Creek, I have the opportunity to do some Educational Assistant work at the elementary school down the hill. I used to work there, filling in for an ill school librarian years ago while my children were still attending school there. My husband used to work there for a few years as well, so it feels pretty comfortable for me, going back into an old familiar place among lots of familiar faces.

The highlight of my first school day (yesterday) was definitely seeing so many of my dear little dayhome children, who are now students there themselves! I was delighted by how sweetly surprised most of them were to see me- at school. It’s funny how odd it can seem to little ones when they meet someone ‘out of context’, and it warms my heart to hear their sweet voices calling my name in surprise. Plus- hugs. xo

#children #friends #dayhome #school #work #opportunity #blessed #education

South Riding.

When I read Vera Brittain’s autobiographical book about the impact of World War One on her generation, I met another literary figure I liked right away… Winifred Holtby. She became Vera’s closest friend and another literary woman of her age. Naturally, I had to read some of her writing.

My friendly local librarians managed to find me a copy through an interlibrary loan. Love librarians. They rock my world.

South Riding was her last and best novel, written before her death due to kidney disease, and published posthumouslay by her great friend, Vera Brittain.

Winifred Holtby’s mother was the first alderwoman on their local county council in Yorkshire, and this seems to have resulted in Winifred’s large awareness of and familiarity with the kinds of concerns addressed by such organizations of local government. Not only was she interested in these public works, she was inspired by them and their impact on ‘human happiness’.

It’s a clever structure for a novel, and one I’ve not encountered before. The author lays out her framework in the table of contents:

I am interested in the story historically, as this was an era of major social changes; between the wars in England. It’s a period that never fails to fascinate me in either books or films. But I’m really enjoying her characters, and I like the style of her writing. She clearly means exactly what she writes, no more and no less. It’s vivid, and a fascinating story so far.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winifred_Holtby

#WinifredHoltby #SouthRiding #history #socialchange #literature #English #writing #books