1–10 of 23 entries from the month of: July 2012

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

July 28th

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

A friend visiting my home this week mentioned the crab apple tree on the side of the house had bent limbs from all the fruit.
“What apple tree?”

“That one by the mailbox. You know. There are little apples all over the ground?”

“Those are apples? Are you sure?”

“Yes.

“Edible?”

“I’m not trying to poison you, dummy.”

We walked outside and he ate a handful of the tiny golden red orbs to prove his point.

Huh. Buckets of fruit at my fingertips, growing in my own yard and I had no idea.

Free fruit.

FREE FRUIT!

Of course I quickly played around in the kitchen to see what I could make, landing on spiced crab apple jelly for the first run.

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

Spiced Crab Apple Jelly

IMG_42Spiced Crab Apple Jelly66

Next up: apple chutney.

~K

 

Posted in
Colorado, Flora and Fauna, Handmade goods, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
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Tomato! Tomahto!

July 27th

Raise your hand if you have a bookshelf full of creative tomes you’ve never read. You saw them at the bookstore and just had to have them. This pattern! That recipe! This idea!

I believe the creative publishing industry is successful because of an average consumer thought process that goes a bit like this: “Oooh. Pretty photographs! This pillow case/tote bag/lemon cake is so different from the other 12 sets of directions I already own…”

Canning

And then it ends up in the pile with the others to gather dust. You try not to look at that shelf when you walk by, because nothing makes you feel like more of a failure than all the money spent on more books for ideas you’ll likely never even start, much less finish.

Thanks Finny!

But wait! There is the ocassional ray of creative hope! Finny sent this canning book for my birthday. I’m not much of a canner, but I’ve always wanted to be — in part because Fin sends the most delicious Christmas packages with pickles and jams and other goodies she’s made from her garden. I have a serious case of, “Why can’t I do that?! Gah. I wanna!” every time I get such a thoughtful gift. I also grew up with pantry shelves full of delicious jellies, pickles, beets and asparagus — much of which came from family friends in Minnesota.

Canning

Canning

Canning

The other day I saw that canning book on the dreaded shelf where ideas go to die, and dusted it off. I put it on the kitchen counter and have been browsing here and there, thinking of what I can do with this or that out of the garden. Well! When my friend Rae recently went out of town leaving me with a CSA basket full of tomatoes, and my Jess said she’d be interested in coming over to help — I knew canning day had arrived.

Canning

{Side note: Jess is La Domestique. If you’ve never visited her food blog, it is what I aspire to be. Her photography, recipes and dedication to the craft are A+.}

Canning

Three hot and sweaty hours later, tomatoes with basil from the garden — canned!

Sweet tomato action

(Really, only six jars of tomatoes? I KNOW. I so value homemade canned goods now. I didn’t appreciate how much work went into saving food this way.)

Next up: transforming tiny crab apples on my tree into chutney and jam. And perhaps dusting off that shelf and making a donation to the local library. Life is to short to be burdened with literary guilt.*

~K

*Speaking of, did I mention I’m in a summer book club trying to tackle Infinite Jest? The chances of me finishing this thing before I burn it are slim to none.  As one book club member recently mentioned, “Uh, I totally get why DFW killed himself. Dude had demons.” And, if that doesn’t make you want to curl up and read, I’m not sure what will.

Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
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Farm to Table

July 26th

This week my friend Rachele surprised me with a few gems from her garden:

Carrots!

Greek basil!

Which I later transformed into:

Roasted Parisian carrots

Greek basil pesto

Not the most flattering shots, but it was an elegant meal — grilled salmon topped with homemade pesto and roasted Parisian carrots.

I have a feeling with my garden coming into full bloom it is going to be all vegetables all the time around here for a bit. I even canned today! Canned vegetables from my garden  the farmer’s market. My little dream of having a pantry full of canned organic veggies is coming true…

A few other gems to report:

1. I get to go to Alaska for work in August. Alaska in August. People, this is like Maui in December. Wahoo!

2. Novel #2? Well. I’ve dug myself out of a self-induced pathetic rut and am writing. Daily. I sat down to create an ideal schedule the other day — one where I make time to get enough sleep to not be a miserable caffeine ridden grouch, exercise, water the garden and do my daily devotional on the porch, write, and oh — the day job. And it’s working.

3. Chicken application approved by the city. Now I’ve got to figure out how to get a coop constructed and predator-proofed, and oh — find time to take care of chickens. Which may need to come after Alaska.

Life is clucktacular at the moment. Eggstatic. Featherific.

~K

 

Posted in
Flora and Fauna
Comments (5)

Sisters in Spirit — Guest Author Rebekah

July 25th

Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives.  They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation.  The topic this month is: what does it mean to be a Christian today?
This post is written by Rebekah — who prefers to post here, although you can also find her online at www.honeysucklelife.com. Rebekah is a blogger, amateur photographer, and missions volunteer with Adventures in Missions. A lifetime of being a pastor’s kid, attending church regularly, and a private Christian school education gave her a lot of knowledge about the nuances of theology without a lot of faith. Now she’s trying to figure out how faith and theology applies to her relationships and daily life.
~
This week is our annual beach vacation. Everywhere I look I see siblings and cousins, aunts and nieces, nephews and uncles. This week us unusually stormy, and so this afternoon I came inside to catch up on the news and give my introverted brain a rest.
I come from a family that is passionate about two things: God and country. And we often disagree, vehemently and loudly, about many issues. This week, two topics are claiming most of our attention. The first is the Aurora theater shootings, and the resulting discussion of the second amendment. Where positions are touted before compassion for the loss of life and the victim’s families. The second is the interview with the CEO of Chick-fil-a where he took a “pro-family” position.
I’d love to scream and stomp as I argue my positions with family members, throwing insults and claims of insanity, and sometimes I do cross that line. I forget that I’m arguing with people, and what good is the validity of my position on a certain issue if the person in front of me thinks I’m a jerk?
We’re moving to Ireland in a few weeks, and I recently packed up a canvas painted by my husband and I. Across the three foot frame is painted “Love God. Love People.” It’s a simple manifesto of what I believe it means to be a Christian today.
What good are my positions on politics and theology if the people around me don’t feel loved? What good is an interview about homosexuality and the family if homosexuals feel rejected and despised by the church? What good is endorsing gun control if I don’t understand the fear that causes us to purchase a gun?
What good are positions? How much more important are people?
“To become neighbours is to bridge the gap between people. As long as there is distance between us and we cannot look in each other’s eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise. We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our prejudices, and avoid direct contact. We think of them as enemies. We forget that they love as we love, care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do. We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will.

Only when we have the courage to cross the street and look in one another’s eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family.” – Henri Nouwen
~

I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting other perspectives on Christianity with my other Sisters in Spirit. Become part of the conversation:

Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to a toddler boy, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife.  (She does not play the organ.)  She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice.  Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler.  Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net  

Bianca is a newlywed Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband are expecting their first child in late summer. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com.  

 

Posted in
Faith
Comments (1)

Sisters in Spirit: Christians Today

July 25th

Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives.  They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation.  The topic this month is: what does it mean to be a Christian today?

crosses on the border, cu
 I grew up in church. I enjoyed Sunday School, looked forward to youth group in junior high and was overjoyed when the opportunity came around to head off on a mission trip, or to Mingus Mountain in northern Arizona for camp. It was never a chore for my parents to get me to confirmation class, or to services.

And yet, I knew very little of Christ. I was the average, awkward American teen starving for social acceptance. Youth group was fun. There was pizza and volleyball and cute boys. It gave me a chance to meet others my age who didn’t go to my school, and to create long-lasting friendships.

It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I became truly curious about Christ and the United Methodist Church. Why did I so fervently believe what I’d been spoon fed by my parents, who’d eaten up whatever was served on the religious platter served by their parents? Part of my belief was certainly tradition. Our home celebrated Christ in the typical WASP-y ways – Easter baskets, Christmas trees and prayers before a meal when the grandparents showed up at Thanksgiving. We were not a religious family by a long shot. In truth, I attended church by myself for many years.

When I hit some turbulence later in life, I sought out my childhood minister, now working at an inner city church in Phoenix. I asked him for guidance over a very teary plate of tacos. He was blunt:

“When was the last time you attended church?”

“Well, um. Well, it’s just that Sundays are hard. I travel and it is just tough.”

“Our service is at 9:30. I’ll see you Sunday. Get your butt to church.”

sun filled cross

I went the first Sunday and sat in the back. The next week, I sat a bit closer. I kept coming, one Sunday after the next. The next three years were delightful spiritually. I read the Bible for the first time – really reading it. I took classes to better understand what I was reading and to listen to different interpretations and applications of the lessons. I led the children’s ministry. A community garden was planted. Casseroles were baked. True friendships were formed.

And somewhere, during this time, I found Christ. Not a booming voice, burning bush or any other sure sign, but a feeling of peace and complete love. It’s the knowing that no matter how badly I’ve erred, it’s all going to be okay. I’m forgiven. My choice to be a Christian and a United Methodist became clearly my own.

Yet – that forgiveness comes with a task. As a Christian, I’m expected to love others. And by “others,” that means everyone. All people. Not just the ones that get their butts to church or the ones that believe Jesus was the son of Christ. (He who we emulate. He who spent his time with prostitutes and lepers. Ahem.)

That’s what it means to me to be a Christian today. In our ever violent, cruel world – I am called to love and to be an example of Christ. To love those who seem un-lovable. To give my heart and energy to make the world a bit kinder.

It’s a task I attempt daily, sometimes failing rather publicly. I am blessed with both a quick fuse and a generous heart. A gossip, who swears and waives my fist in traffic, drinks a bit too much and dances wildly at weddings, and often goes broke buying gifts for others. It’s a fun, hilariously imperfect combination that I can only imagine makes God laugh.

To another day of trying!

Love for all,

Kelli

I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting other perspectives on Christianity with my other Sisters in Spirit. Become part of the conversation:

 

Rebekah is a blogger, amateur photographer, and missions volunteer with Adventures in Missions. A lifetime of being a pastor’s kid, attending church regularly, and a private Christian school education gave her a lot of knowledge about the nuances of theology without a lot of faith. Now she’s trying to figure out how faith and theology applies to her relationships and daily life. You can find her online at www.honeysucklelife.com. 

 

Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to a toddler boy, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife.  (She does not play the organ.)  She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice.  Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler.  Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net 

 

Bianca is a newlywed Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband are expecting their first child in late summer. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com.  

 

Posted in
Faith
Comments (3)

How Does Your Garden Grow?

July 23rd

Future squash

Mine grows tomatoes, squash and tiny, 1/2 inch baby cucumbers. I should have planted less/thinned more. Next year, I’ll put in more raised beds and a few fruit trees. The fruit trees in the neighborhood are full of apples, peaches and apricots. The sidewalks are sticky with warm, summer jam.

Future squash

'maters

Future squash

Future squash

These won’t be ready until late September; I’ve never had any luck with squash before. Watching the giant orange flowers slowly transform into oddly shaped gourds seems magical.

Future squash

Future squash

There is alchemy happening in this garden.

~K

Posted in
Colorado, Flora and Fauna
Comments (3)

Ceramic Chicken

July 20th

Adam bought a ceramic chicken cooking dish last summer, putting me into a furious state of cooking gadget envy. For those who have ever had “beer butt chicken,” this dish does the same thing — but cleaner. You fill the small container with the desired liquid and spices, place a whole chicken over it and roast for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees. The result is crispy, perfectly roasted chicken, with the fat drained off into the dish vs. the bottom of your oven or grill.

Comme ça:

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

 

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

Fajitas

A bit of chopping and grilling of vegetables and voila: fajitas for a family dinner. Yes, oh yes, I will be making this often.

~K

 

Posted in
June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
Comments (7)

Sacred Rim

July 19th

We did this hike in the Wind River Mountains three years ago. This time, with Nelson and a few more family members:

Sacred Rim

Yeah. The view was so vast, I’ll never be able to capture it. I recently got to see a collection of Edward Weston’s photography at a local museum and if you think you’re a good photographer, his work humbles. Unbelievable.

Sacred Rim

Seriously — could this family be cuter? No. They could not.

Sacred Rim

Nelson pretended like he was a 100 pound-plus dog too. He failed.

Sacred Rim

Heat coming off the wet forest floor.

Sacred Rim

 

Sacred Rim

Sacred Rim

This photo makes me giggle. It reminds me of the this song. And maybe this one too. 

Oh, Wyoming. I miss you.

~K

Posted in
Journal, Travel
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Not just a street in Beverly Hills

July 17th

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Pinedale Rodeo

Let’s not discuss why that horse is in such a bucky mood.

~K

Posted in
Journal, Travel
Comments (1)

Life on the Ranch

July 17th

I’m lucky to have family friends in Wyoming who welcome me whenever I need a get-away. This is the third summer I’ve been able visit. They generously open their home, fridge and — wait for it — hearts. One campfire after another, we sat around singing songs, comparing favorite summer memories and making each other laugh so hard our sides hurt.

Life on the Ranch

When they introduce me in town, I’m their other daughter — the one from Colorado.

Life on the Ranch

Fly fishing, horseback riding, s’mores around the campfire, board games, reading on the porch, hikes with the dogs, roaming town, shopping and a lounging in stretchy pants. This is the way to have a western vacation at its very best.

IMG_309Life on the Ranch3

Life on the Ranch

Life on the Ranch

Life on the Ranch

Life on the Ranch

I am a lucky woman, and apparently a cowgirl at heart. An all loving, feminist hypocritical cowgirl who wouldn’t hurt animals. Even though they are tasty.

~K

*This will come into play in a future post titled: How I embarrassed myself at a rodeo by bringing up feminism and animal rights.

 

Posted in
Journal, Travel
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