Archive | November 2015

DREAMS

Protect your dreams;
Let hope be their food.
Keep them from people
Who can’t see their good.

 

Hold your dreams close;
So that they grow strong.
Give them expression,
Until they’re your song.

 

Train up your dreams;
Make them more clear.
Then they’ll become goals;
More easy to hear.

 

Walk out your dreams
By moments and days.
They’re really for now;
For this time and place.

 

Treasure your dreams,
Like rubies and gold.
They’re food for your soul,
With riches untold.

 

When they’re fulfilled
And you can recall
Your labor for them,
You’ll surely stand tall.

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THANKSGIVING TRIBUTE 2015

For those of us who live in the US, Thanksgiving is at hand.  Here is my tribute this year:

 

Thank you for all blessings,
Tremendous and small.
In good times and seasons;
For harvest in Fall.

 

for joy and laughter;
Smiles, hugs and tears;
For friends and neighbors
Growing closer through the years.

 

For hope in the hard times
That helps us move on;
For warm and comfort;
For giving us a song.

 

Thank you for all things,
Even when we forget
To acknowledge your goodness
You’re our provider yet.

 

Thanks for new beginnings
That let us start again.
For every treasure,
WE bless you.  Amen.

MY PIANO

My piano stands as a reminder
Of the music in my soul,
Waiting to be let out;
Passion yet to be expressed;
Melodies rich and full.

 

The piano keys are always ready
To be played with love and zeal
Creating harmonies;
With dynamics soft and loud;
Describing how I feel.

 

Even when my piano is silent,
The music within plays on,
With crescendos and rests;
Percussions played by heartbeats;
Ever a living song.

HAPPINESS INSIDE

When it gets cold,
We need ways to get warm;
That make us feel cozy
And safe from a storm,

 
With sweaters and blankets,
Hot coffee and such;
Conversation and stories;
A friendly touch.

 
When the wind howls
Piling snow into drifts,
We’ll seek refuge inside,
With mugs that we lift,

 

Buttered rums and coffee
Fill us up with their cheer;
Happiness inside while
Winter is here.

SOUP

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In mid summer, when the temperature soars, salad is so delicious!

But now, the thermometer can’t seem to get above 40F and really seems to like plummeting into the 20’s.  Salad?  No, thank you:  Too chilling.

It’s soup season:  Hot, warming, comfort food in a bowl.

There are so many variations:  Made from broth, thick and creamy, full of noodles or rice, spicy or not.

My family says I make stoup.  That would be soup with so many goodies in it, one might think of it as stew; yet there is plenty of broth, so a spoon is needed to eat it.

Forget cold soups this time of year – No cucumber, peach or gazpacho for me!

I’m into hot and cozy.

Oh, and pass the warm bread to go with it, please.

PUT TO BED

Today was more like winter than mid fall:  Cold, windy and wet.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it freezes tonight…or snows…or both.

 

Thankfully, my “yarden” is all put to bed.  The hoses are picked up, drained and hung; more delicate bulbs have been dug and put into a box.

 

Some things will die now:  The basil, marigolds and zinias.  I’ll have to plant new ones next year.

 

Other things will go dormant:  The maple tree, delphinium, bee balm and such.  Then, when the soil warms and Spring’s happy call awakens them, they will send up new shoots and tender leavs.

 

A number of birds spend the winter here.  They will find seeds and other delightful bites, at least until the snow covers everything in its cold, white blanket.  Then, they’ll hang out in the elderberry bushes, chattering all at once, like the Ladies’ Aid Society having a gathering.

 

I am tucked in for winter, too.  The air conditioner is in the closet, replaced by a storm window; in fact all of the extra shelter of winter is in place.

 

There is a pile of quilts on my bed, instead of the one light blanket of summer.

 

I am not one to like salad all that much, once the weather turns cold.  Oh, maybe one on the side with hot food for the main course.  Soup, stew and pasta seem more appealing.

 

I like the change of seasons where I live.  Each one has its beauty.

 

Right now, while Autumn reigns, we have lovely days with plenty of sunshine mixed with chilly air; a sweater feels so good.

 

When Winter comes to stay for her season, there will be snowy days that call for favorite music and a pot filled with some yummy, warm comfort food on the stove.

 

Spring ushers in warmth, fragrance and new beginnings.  I especially love the smell as the earth thaws.

 

Then, Summer will arrive with her abundance and openness.  Neighbors come out of hiding to greet each other with such joy.

 

Now, then, is the cozy season, when plants and animals sleep; people gather indoors and the world grows quiet.

 

Good night, Yarden;  sleep well, little rodents who hybernate; see you in the Spring, bees who enjoy all the flowers, stay warm and safe, okay?

HOW TO ROAST PUMPKIN SEEDS

As promised, here are instructions for roasting pumpkin seeds…or winter squash seeds; the same things apply.

I know of three ways to fix these healthy gems:

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Simply roasted, shell and all:
1.  Scoop them out of the pumpkin or squash, pulp and all.
2.  Separate the pulp and throw it away.
3.  Rinse the seeds; then spread them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet to dry (about 1-2 hours)  That means you have time to go do something else.
4.  Put them into the oven.  Now, this part is simple enough; yet tricky:  I usually roast seeds on a low heat, probably around 200F.  Recipes I have seen say to roast at 350F.  The reason I don’t do that is, it seems that seeds scorch easily.
5.  Stir them occasionally to keep them from burning.
6.  When they’re a nice, toasty brown, take them out and let them cool a bit.
7.  While they are warm, toss them with a little olive oil (or any other type that you like.)
8.  Now for the fun:
You can simply sprinkle a little salt on them OR…
you can toss them in taco seasoning, ranch dressing mix, seasoning packets of all sorts…you get the idea:  Choose a flavor that you enjoy.

9.  Once they have had a chance to finish cooling and absorbing all that yummy flavor, eat them.
WARNING:  This method does mean that you might be spitting out bits of shell.  It’s not all that bad.

Boiled in salt water:
1.  Follow all of the steps in the first method, up to rinsing the seeds.
2.  Put them in a pan, cover them with water and add enough salt for them to absorb.  I have seen some recipes that call for 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of salt.  That’s too much for me, so I put about 1 Tbsp of salt to 2 cups of water.
3.  Boil them for 1/2 hour.
4.  Drain them and lay them out on a tray or cookie sheet to dry.

5.  You can stop right there if you want:  They’ll taste good.
OR
6.  You got it:  Toss them with a little oil and your favorite seasonings.  Let them sit a while; then enjoy.

sewingseeds

Just the kernels:
Okay, for this method, you will need a few things – a small pair of scissors, something to put the shells in, a loooooong, good movie to help with the tedium of this task;.
1.  Do the basics – scoop, separate, rinse.
2.  Start the movie.
3.  Cut the shells on the side, just enough that you can pull them apart and get the kernel.  Sometimes, boiling the seeds for about fifteen minutes; then letting them cool makes this easier.  Don’t cook them too long; the kernels will get soft.
4.  Save all those delicate little gems in a bowl.
5.  Toss them with a bit of oil; then roast them at 200 for about 5 minutes.  Careful:  They scorch very easily.
6.  Let them cool slightly; then flavor them.
The real benefit of this:  You don’t have to try eating those tough shells!

Have fun!!!