Author's details

Name: Emily
Date registered: March 3, 2012
URL: http://umonfire.blogspot.com/

Latest posts

  1. nashvillian pastoral: macaroons two ways — September 12, 2014
  2. nashvillian pastoral: cheezin’ — August 22, 2014
  3. nashvillian pastoral: today — December 20, 2013
  4. nashvillian pastoral: the sickness unto death — December 17, 2013
  5. nashvillian pastoral: raising arizona — December 13, 2013

Author's posts listings

Sep 12 2014

nashvillian pastoral: macaroons two ways

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/2AmSdPO8yG4/macaroons-two-ways.html

So, eggs.  We have eggs every morning, scrambled in butter that I've been making from our raw cream.  I buy a couple dozen from our Old Order Mennonite farmer in Kentucky every week.  Eggs are sort of amazing because they're the only protein source that costs 20 cents apiece (in my case, each dozen costs $2.50).  I used to scramble two every morning and that was enough for us, since Vicki eats like a tiny little bird, and Todd was still sort of aiming things at his mouth.

But now we are entering the dreaded phase I knew would come . . . the one where my kids eat a bunch of food all the time.  I heard it gets worse.

So now I scramble three every morning.  Do the math . . . 3 x 7.  I use 21 eggs per week on breakfast.  That leaves three or so eggs a week for whatever else:  baking, meatloaf, ice cream, or (kids' favorite) - chocolate pudding.  Nevermind that it ends up smeared around the kitchen like finger paint.  Pudding is great for using egg yolks, but then you're left with those pesky whites.  Not much to do with them except meringue.

Or macaroons!

These are so simple.  Four ingredients.  It's really kind of a formula that I use, based on how many egg whites I need to use up.  For each egg white, use 2 T sugar (feel free to use an unrefined version like sucanat), 1/4 t vanilla, and 3/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut.

Now, you can go one of two directions here.

1)  You can whip the egg whites with the whisk attachment in your stand mixer, adding vanilla and slowly adding sugar, beating until glossy with stiff white peaks.  Gently fold in the coconut.  Drop onto a parchment-lined sheet and bake at 325 until the little meringue-y puffs are set and golden brown (about 20 minutes).  Remove to a cooling rack.  This method will make about 7-10 macaroons per egg white.

Or, 2)  You can mix the egg whites with the sugar and vanilla using a spoon.  Stir in the coconut and mix well.  Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes, until they are lightly browned.  This is the more traditional coconut macaroon texture - dense and rich.  You will get fewer macaroons per egg white doing this method - probably about 5 each.

Either way, these will be gobbled up by your children before you know what's happened.  And I guess that's a good thing, seeing as how these little ones need to eat!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/macaroons-two-ways/

Aug 22 2014

nashvillian pastoral: cheezin’

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/G5xwjeuzkXc/cheezin.html

I'm back!  I'm alive!  I'm here!  I haven't written anything since last December.


Well, I'm back.  And I'm gonna take it slow.

One place I have decidedly NOT been absent is Facebook.  Oh, how I love to hate Facebook.  And yet, in this season of early bedtimes and limited adult contact, it's my lifeline.  Checking up on people, following conversations, trying to offer encouragement.  And the groups!  I love all the little niche interest groups I'm part of.  In fact, that's really probably the most useful thing that Facebook offers me.  Nashville Natural Parents, The Young Clergy Women Project, East Nashville, and more.  But my favorite is Real Food Nashville.  It's a community of people who are dedicated to sharing resources and information in helping more people find more real food.

One thing that folks do frequently on Real Food Nashville is organize group buys.  These are like little ad hoc co-ops that spring up around one product.  So I've been in a group buy for grass-fed gelatin.  Or one for coconut oil.  That kind of stuff.  It's where I found my half of a grass-fed steer last winter (so much more to tell you about that!  Best purchase EVER).  I bought some superior satsumas and Meyer lemons last winter from a farm in Chickamauga through RFN.  And now, a couple of times, I've bought the most amazing raw grass-fed cheese I've ever encountered in my life.

So what makes this cheese so fabulous?

It's raw.  The milk that goes into this cheese is never heated past about 100 degrees F.  If you go beyond that point, you begin to denature the milk and break down the naturally occurring enzymes that help make it easier to digest and better for your body.

It's grassfed.  Cows that feed on grass make milk that is superior.  Grassfed dairy is higher in a host of vital nutrients than grainfed dairy.  This article is a great starting point for why grassfed dairy is the way to go!

It's not that expensive.  Now, don't me wrong.  This is more costly than the Kroger brand sharp cheddar I sometimes pick up.  But consider this:  "raw" cheese (which is usually heated past the point that allows enzymatic activity) at Whole Foods is typically like $20/lb.  These big beauties were $7/lb.

It's ordered farm-direct.  No middle man.  Minimal shipping cost.  More money straight to the farmer.

It's delicious.  When we did our first order back in April, I was a little wary about ordering five pounds of cheese at a time, knowing that cheese doesn't freeze well.  Our family is not huge and it seemed like an awfully large amount of cheese.  Well, I can confidently say that we breezed through that block of cheese in weeks.  My kids begged for it.

So - if this sounds appealing to you, think about starting this kind of group buy in your area!  Get to know the farmers that are near you.  Find good prices.  Talk to them about their practices.  And then support them.  This has a been a huge part of my philosophy of getting out of the grocery store.  As much as I can, I buy what I need from farmers or in bulk, and then make the rest.

One of the reasons I stayed away from the blog for so long is that I began to feel that I was way out of the mainstream.  Like I'm describing a lifestyle or diet that sounds not only unattainable for some people, but frankly unattractive or just too much work.  I hope that's not the way this comes off.  Hell, I ate a Taco Bell burrito for dinner on Wednesday.

80/20, baby.  80/20.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/cheezin/

Dec 20 2013

nashvillian pastoral: today

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/QWzNoWLjUJg/today.html

Christmas Eve preparations, working hard, and beautiful satsumas.  That is all.  Recipe to come Monday.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/12/today-4/

Dec 17 2013

nashvillian pastoral: the sickness unto death

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/8X3vboJYcu0/the-sickness-unto-death.html

One of my all-time favorite philosophers and theologians is Soren Kierkegaard.  Not only does he have a super-cool name that can give you bonus erudition points if you pronounce it correctly, but he really gave me the keys to understanding modern (and thus, post-modern) theology.  Our hyper-individualistic religious bent really began to develop during his time, and his exploration of the existential crisis still rings true.

He described the "sickness unto death" (a reference to Jesus' raising of Lazarus, in which Jesus remarks that Lazarus' sickness is not unto death), which is, in a word, despair.  The sickness unto death isn't cancer, it isn't AIDS, it isn't dementia, it isn't even doubt.  It is despair.  When we despair, we lose the self, and when we lose the self, we lose our ability to relate.  And without relationship, it's all over.

I've been reading through some bedside services of healing, hoping to find some resources to take on pastoral visits to the home and hospital.  Even after several years of doing this, it's sometimes hard to know what to say, as you sit with someone taking slow, rattling breaths, counting the seconds until they die.  You know they probably can't hear you.  But you still feel like you need to say something.

"Often those who are closest to the patient will not discuss the illness for fear of upsetting the person.  More often than not it is a fear of one's own feelings that does not allow the topic.  There are times when wholeness is accomplished not by physical healing, but by dying.  This may not be the way in which we would wish it to be done, yet sometimes it is God's way.  Accepting this kind of healing is the province of the person who suffers and each person does it in their own way - if at all"  (The Book of Offices and Services of the Order of St. Luke, p. 63).

If only we could see that the illness that we fear isn't the illness that will kill the person.  The illness that will kill us is a loss of relationship with one another and with God through Christ.  Death is separation, which is painful, but it is not the end.  The end comes when we refuse to acknowledge what we were created for, which is to experience life and death together with each other and with God.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/12/the-sickness-unto-death/

Dec 13 2013

nashvillian pastoral: raising arizona

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/r6ixsaHcx-k/raising-arizona.html

My family loved the cult classic Raising Arizona.  There was a line where one of the characters tells Nicholas Cage, after he robs a convenience store with pantyhose on his head, "Son, you got a panty on your head."  Vicki Jo has been cracking me up lately with her panty antics:

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/12/raising-arizona/

Dec 12 2013

nashvillian pastoral: temperament and development

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/1Q1HsQZSbXw/temperament-and-development.html

Having two kids is naturally a breeding ground for comparison.  I can only imagine what it must be like to have twins or to be a twin, where the comparison is even more intense.  But I think that it's a natural human thing to use past experience to find your way through the present, so I've found myself comparing a lot of what Todd and Vicki do, and thinking about what circumstances may have brought about the divergences between them.

The conclusion I've pretty much come to?  Parenting doesn't make all that much difference!

Vicki Jo came into the world in a surprising, sudden way, and everything about her has been intense and sensitive ever since.  She is a natural actress and can turn on the tear faucet as fast as anyone I've ever seen (and turn it off just as quickly).  I like to joke that she still cries more than Todd, at 2 1/2 years old (it's not really a joke, because it's true).  Before she became so verbal, there were many times as her parent that I simply could not figure out what to do to make her happy.  We spent many evenings crying together.  And yes, that is as depressing as it sounds.

She was slow to develop in every way except one:  talking.  She is remarkably verbal, has a huge vocabulary, and is on a fast track to reading early.  I know, this kind of parental bragging is nauseating.  But let me counterbalance that by saying that she was painfully slow to roll, sit up, crawl, pull up, and walk.  I often wondered whether she might need some therapy.  She didn't get her first tooth until she was nearly 12 months old.

Looking back, the single biggest hurdle to her development in all of this had to have been her temperament.  She would not be put down.  If you did put her down, and ignored her screaming, she refused to do any kind of active work to further her physical development.  She wanted to be held and talked to.  Even still, she does not like working or playing by herself.  She does not "entertain herself."  She needs interpersonal stimulation.

Todd, on the other hand, took his very sweet time in being born, and I had to semi-evict him even when it was past time.  He was born much larger (8 lb 12 oz to Vicki's 7 lb 1 oz), and 16 days later than she was, in terms of the length of the pregnancy.  He has been content to wait and observe ever since.  Other than necessarily having to leave him on the floor more often, just because I have another child to tend to, I do very little differently than I did with Vicki.  And yet, he has wanted to be on his own.  He has wanted for me to stop interacting with him sometimes.

This has led to a stark difference in his development.  He began inching around in his fourth month, was easily crawling by six, and now, at seven months on Monday, has begun to pull up to a stand on my legs and the walls.  He cut his first tooth last week, with very little fanfare.  He loves nothing more than to be set free to crawl around the house and explore it by himself.

Like I said, I followed no kind of program to get Todd to meet milestones so much earlier than Vicki did.  The only difference in me is that I have had an infant before.  Perhaps my lack of anxiety about his development contributed to his easy personality.  But I think he may have just been this way, regardless.

So the moral of the story?  Don't give yourself so much credit as a parent.  These kids pretty much figure things out themselves!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/12/temperament-and-development/

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