Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Friday, August 29, 2008

In the Pantry - Baking Items, Spices, Herbs, Extracts, Sweeteners, Bread and Breakfast Cereals

Thank you, Anne, for the idea of devoting some time to write about what I stock in my pantry. I hope it is helpful for those of you who visit The Good Woman because it has certainly been helpful for me to think about. It is resulting in greater attention to my pantry for the purpose of frugality and some reorganizing also.

Here is what is on the list for the pantry this week:

Baking items: salt (I use Trader Joe's Coarse Sea Salt from France - ugly grey color - for foods which have a liquid base that simmer for awhile on the stove such as soups or stews. Since it is coarse, it needs time to dissolve and doesn't work for sprinkling on from a shaker. The finer salt that I use in cooking and in a shaker for table use is Redmond Real Salt which I get from my food co-op in a 25 lb. box. It is shared between 4 or 5 people. It is also available at Whole Foods in pound bags. Sea salt that is white has had all the minerals removed and is no different than regular toxic table salt.); baking powder (the kind with no aluminium, which I get at Whole Foods); baking soda (Arm and Hammer is fine - I buy it in bulk at Costco); yeast (I like SAFF, which I find at Smart and Final in a one-pound package. Keep it in the freezer and it will last three years);

Spices in bottles (these are not fresh, such as ginger) - I have started buying organic as I run out; listed in order of frequency: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, cardamom seed, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, allspice berries, whole cinnamon, whole cloves, ground mace.

Herbs (not fresh) - Again, as I run out, I am replacing with organic; these are also listed in order of frequency: basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, oregano, rosemary, black peppercorns, Italian seasoning, thyme, sage, celery seed, poppy seed, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, curry powder, ground coriander, coriander seed, turmeric, dill seed, onion powder, white pepper, fennel seed, tarragon, whole mustard seed, fennel seed, gumbo file, cream of tartar, green peppercorns.

Note about some of my spices and herbs: I use certain herbs and spices extensively in my cooking, so I order them in organic one-pound bags from my food buying co-op (so much cheaper that way). I store them in antique quart canning jars with the old metal and glass lids (these are part of my kitchen decor). What is left in the bag after I fill the jars is tightly closed and stored in the freezer. The following are the herbs and spices referred to: basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, oregano, rosemary, black peppercorns, coarse ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaves and cinnamon.

Extracts - I only use real extracts, never imitation since they are chemical in nature: vanilla, lemon, orange, maple, chocolate, pineapple and coconut.

Sweeteners: Rapadura or Sucanat cane sugar (these are completely unprocessed whole cane sugars - the only ones that I know of. I get them at Whole Foods), pure organic maple syrup (Whole Foods), stevia sweetener (an herbal sweetener that contains absolutely no sugar, which I buy at Trader Joe's), raw, unfiltered honey (I get it at Trader Joe's as spun uncooked, unfiltered honey), pure palm sugar (this is a very healthy option that I am learning how to use; find it at oriental stores; it looks like a jar of peanut butter) and organic unsulfured molasses (Wholesome brand which I get at Whole Foods Market).

Note about sweeteners: I have used and promoted agave nectar in the recent past. Unfortunately, there is now information from the Weston A. Price Foundation that challenges all the previous information regarding agave nectar. It is fructose sugar which causes many profound health problems over time. It is also, as it turns out, very highly processed and does not at all resemble the original product taken from the agave plant. So I have steered clear of it. Instead, I am now only using pure organic maple syrup and honey, Rapadura, sucanat, stevia and am learning how to use palm sugar. (Follow this link to learn why agave nectar is even more damaging than high fructose corn syrup.)

Bread: I either make my own (hasn't happened recently) or I buy Alvarado Street or Trader Joe's brand sprouted wheat, rye, barley or sourdough. Alvarado Street is available at Whole Foods and Raley's (more expensive than Whole Foods) and of course the Trader Joe's brand. I like to use Alvarado Street pizza bread for pizza, and Alvarado Street hot dog and hamburger buns. Sprouted bread is, by far, the healthiest bread going. For more info about sprouted breads, go here and look for the subtitle A Real Food Lesson in the post.

Breakfasts Cereals: Most cold breakfast cereals are highly processed and one of the most compromised faux foods in the modern grocery store. Test animals die when fed breakfast cereal exclusively - after only a few weeks - since it is only devitalized but also toxic in nature. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, when your body needs dense nutrition after a night of fasting. (Sorry for the lecture - I can't seem to help myself.) We rarely eat cold cereal or even hot cereal for that matter. But when we do eat the cold variety it is a cereal that is sprouted. I stock only one called Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal. It tastes very much like Grape Nuts Flakes without all the processing. It can be found at Whole Foods Market.

That's all for this time. Now I've got to go get things organized in my pantry. These posts are very motivational for me!

Continue reading...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - 1 Peter 5:5

The Apron of Humility - A Very Special
Garment in the Spiritual Wardrobe

"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble' ". (1 Peter 5:5)
"Clothe yourselves...with humility
…” Here we are commanded to wear what I call the “apron of humility”. Right now, aprons that make a statement are in vogue. Some of you with preschoolers might, at times, be tempted to wear an apron that says, “Who are these kids and why are they calling me Mom?” For the woman experiencing PMS or hot flashes, “Warning! I have an attitude and I know how to use it!” An apron for the wife whose husband expects to be treated like royalty may read, “If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen!” Finally the apron that I have decided to order, “I’m not aging, I’m marinating.”

I call these “oxymoron aprons” because they communicate a message that is really contradictory to the true idea that an apron conveys. What a beautiful word picture the "apron of humility" depicts. What does an apron say to you? To me it says, “I’m ready to serve.” An apron presupposes humility. Jesus put on an apron to wash the disciple’s feet.

I'd like to explore this idea a little further. This is The Good Woman blog. The "good woman out of the treasure of her heart, brings forth what is good." In other words, she is full of love and good deeds. And it is true that "love" (eminent love for Christ) always serves up her good deeds wearing the apron of humility. You will never see her without it on, otherwise it is not love that is serving. It is an impostor cloaked in the facade of love. Only love possesses this apron and knows how to put it on and use it.

In the kitchen an apron is worn for protection from spatters of hot food. Since love always serves with humility, when we make love for God our true motivation, we will be protected from pride. Any other motive will always begin and end with pride.

And as other aprons make a statement so does the apron of humility. First I’ll tell you what it does not say. It does not say, “This is the apron of humility.” If you could literally see it, it would read, “Christ, in love, wore this first – for me.” Then you realize, “I am not worthy to wear this apron.” Do we really understand what a royal privilege it is to humbly serve the King of Kings with our good deeds – to really love, wearing the apron of humility?

John the Baptist understood, “It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” We are not worthy to wear the apron of humility, but God allows us to serve up our good deeds with it on. Remember, though, no motive but love can wear the apron of humility. Love must be our eminent motive for “Even if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3)

Are you willing to wear the apron of humility? It really should be one of the most important garments in your spiritual wardrobe. Try it on for size by memorizing and practicing 1 Peter 5:5, the Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday's verse for the next two weeks!

Note: The photo above is of Jann (left) and Marilyn wearing their "aprons of humility". They, along with 13 others, served the guests at my daughter's wedding with such love that we just can't stop talking about it.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - No More Wasted Salad

Through the years you learn how to resolve little domestic problems. This is one of those resolutions.

The problem was: When serving a green salad with our meal, I used to make up a large salad in a big serving bowl for everyone to take from and put on their plates. I continued to do this after all the kids moved out, cutting down on the amount I made because it was just my husband and myself eating. The problem was that, although Robert took salad onto his plate, he did not eat it. He likes salad, but always eats the heavier food first and I noticed that he was eating little, if any of his salad. (This was probably happening when the kids were at home too, but I was so focused on them that I didn't notice Robert.) Robert said that he got too full eating everything else; and so the salad would go to waste. Also, if there was any left in the serving bowl, most of the time it was thrown into the compost bucket as salad just doesn't keep well as leftovers.

The resolution was:
Rather than try to change my husband's eating habits (you probably know how well that works), I changed the way I serve the salad and when I serve it. Now I make our salads in individual salad bowls. Instead of making one large salad, I make two small ones - one for each of us. I put the salad on the table as a first course. The rest of the food comes after we've eaten our green stuff. Robert likes this solution because he likes salad. We seem to appreciate the salad more like this and eat all of it. It also prevents waste.

For salad dressing (when I don't have any made up in the frig), I simply drizzle white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe's brand) or fresh squeezed lemon juice over the salad, then some extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil. I sprinkle on some kind of fresh or dried herbs (we love basil), some salt and pepper and occasionally some red pepper flakes. There's no salad dressing to have to refrigerate either when you do it this way.

The salad we had most recently was: red romaine, red and yellow tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper (all from our garden), pinto beans (some leftover in the frig from the other day), frozen peas (just scatter them frozen over the greens - they'll thaw out by the time you eat), red onion, and feta cheese with a sprinkling of basil, red pepper flakes, salt and coarse ground black pepper. Yum!!! And we ate and enjoyed every last little bitty pea!

So, you are probably asking, "How this is a tidy tip, Sharon?" Here are the answers to that question:

1. The salad bowls I use (instead of a large serving bowl) fit better in the dishwasher and I can get more dishes in without the one large serving bowl taking up a lot of space. Or, if I had chosen to wash it by hand, it saves me from that.

2. It saves room in the frig if I were to decide to save the salad that is left over from the big serving bowl (some keep okay), thus it also saves storage containers from being dirtied and washed.

3. It saves refrigerator space and storage containers that would be used to store the salad dressing. It also saves the time making up the dressing and the tools and containers used for that process.

4. Finally, it saves time dealing with what is left over, whether I store it or throw it out.

So, there's more than one mission accomplished serving salad like this - the main one being that my husband is eating and enjoying his fresh veggies. That makes me a real happy wife!

I hope you find this helpful. Have a great Tuesday!

Continue reading...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Addendum to Best Pasta and Meatballs Ever Recipe

Cut your work in half by making the meatballs ahead of time and freezing them.

When I put up the post for this recipe I forgot to add the following. I did go ahead and add it just now to the bottom of the post, but for those who have already looked at the recipe, it might be best to call your attention to this little time saver by adding an addendum.

Note: You can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them until you need them. They should last in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just follow the recipe for the meatballs only. After they have cooled on the platter, put them, in a single layer on a large baking sheet, leaving space in between them so they do no touch. Put the baking pan in the freezer for 3 or 4 hours. They should be frozed after this amount of time. Remove the meatballs from the pan and put into gallon zipper baggies and back into the freezer. When you plan to serve this meal, make the sauce and add in as many meatballs as you need (frozen). They will thaw out in the sauce. Just plan to add another 15-20 minutes to the cooking time for the sauce (and keep the flame on low). There! You 've just cut your work load in half (or less) on the day you serve this recipe.

Continue reading...

Real Food Recipes - The Best Pasta and Meatballs Ever

Since before my daughter's wedding I have intended to post this recipe. I am not quite back to posting a menu on Mondays, but I can at least share my recipe for this classic. This, if I may boast a little, is the best sauce and meatball recipe we (my husband and I) have had anywhere, ever. I tweaked a recipe by adding the bacon drippings, herbs and a few other ingredients. My husband tells me that it is the best for him also, and he is hard to please. To give you an idea, for the first five years of our marriage, he couldn't stop talking about his step-mother's spaghetti and meatballs. Since I introduced this recipe, he has ceased talking about her cooking altogether. I think I finally made the grade!

2 T. extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
2 T. bacon drippings (from range-fed pigs raised with no growth-hormones, anti-biotics, and processed with no nitrites or nitrites)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Two 35-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, crushed (do not drain) (If you cannot find these, regular tomatoes will work fine.)
1 t. crushed hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1 t. crushed, dried basil leaf
2 bay leaves
Redmond Real Salt or real sea salt (is gray in color, not white), to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
*tomato paste (if necessary)

Directions: Heat oil and bacon drippings in a heavy 4 to 5-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook and stir till onion is wilted, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, pepper flakes, basil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. *If sauce is too thin, add a little tomato paste to thicken, according to personal taste.

1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 cup fine, dry sprouted bread crumbs
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c. fresh Italian parsley (the flat-leaf variety)
1/2 t. each, dried crushed basil and dried crushed rosemary (or twice these amounts fresh, finely chopped)
1 t. salt (as mentioned above)
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging
1/4 c. extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 c. bacon drippings (as mentioned above)

Directions: Into a large mixing bowl, crumble pork and beef (do not mix yet). Add bread crumbs, grated cheese, garlic, egg, herbs and salt and pepper. Don your kitchen gloves and mix all ingredients until combined, but be careful not to over mix, as this makes the meatballs tough. Shape the mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs.

To dredge the meatballs, put flour into a one-gallon size zipper baggie. Add a few meatballs at a time, close bag and gently shake to coat meatballs. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add oil and fat to skillet, being careful that it does not smoke. Add meatballs to skillet without crowding so there is room to turn them. Brown, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove the meatballs to a platter and repeat process as necessary for remaining meatballs. Add browned meatball to the sauce, cooking gently for about 30 minutes.

1 lb. Tinkyada brand brown rice fettuccine or spaghetti
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese

Directions: Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Add pasta to water, making sure to stir 2 or three times to ensure that noodles do not stick together. Bring back to a boil and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta into a colander and rinse well with hot water, as brown rice pasta tends to stick to itself if not rinsed well.

Pile pasta on a large platter. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese. Spoon sauce over pasta and top with meatballs and a sprinkling of remaining cheese.

Note: You can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them until you need them. They should last in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just follow the recipe for the meatballs only. After they have cooled on the platter, put them, in a single layer on a large baking sheet, leaving space in between them so they do no touch. Put the baking pan in the freezer for 3 or 4 hours. They should be frozen after this amount of time. Remove the meatballs from the pan and put into gallon zipper baggies and back into the freezer. When you plan to serve this meal, make the sauce and add in as many meatballs as you need (frozen). They will thaw out in the sauce. Just plan to add another 15-20 minutes to the cooking time for the sauce (and keep the flame on low). There! You've just cut your work load in half (or less) on the day you serve this recipe.

Continue reading...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In the Pantry - Beans, Legumes, Grains, Flours, Pastas and Nuts

One of my faithful readers, Anne, suggested that I do a pantry post. This is an excerpt from what she wrote:
Here are the specifics of what I need to know about stocking the pantry: basic pantry items (anything you'd need to bake and cook basic meals/breads, etc), how much of each item to keep on hand depending on your household size, where is the best place to purchase it based upon quality or price (I found fancy Agave Nectar at Raley's for twice the plain stuff at Trader J's!); refrigerator/freezer items that should be kept on hand such as vegetables (in season), sauces, eggs, meats, cheeses (I have thrown out so many silly sauces that are packed with sugar and preservatives that I need never have purchased!); maybe even a list of basic kitchen necessities (some of my friends don't know what a pastry cutter is). It would be super cool if you tied your recipes to this list and if it called for an ingredient not in your cupboard it would be on a "shopping list". That's what keeps me away from most recipes - concern that I won't have half of the items called for and have to go to the grocery store a million times!
So, starting today I will be posting what I keep in my pantry. Anne wanted to see this used for Tidy Tip Tuesday, but I think it will be too involved for that. Instead, these ideas will be in a post titled "In the Pantry" and there will be more than one. I see this as ongoing (till it is finished anyway). Keep in mind that these are my pantry items and that you can certainly vary the items however you want. On this post I will cover beans, legumes, grains, flours, pastas, rice and nuts.

My basic pantry:

Beans, legumes, grains, flours, pastas, rice and nuts (always buy these organic):
If you buy the above items out of bulk bins (best price), get them from a store where the turnover for the bins is good and steady, such as Whole Foods (these items do go rancid when exposed to air, heat and light for long periods of time).

dried beans - pinto beans (about 2 lbs.);
canned beans - red kidney, black (1 can each of Trader Joe's organic);
frozen beans - pintos; I always make more than needed (go here for a recipe for great tasting pinto beans) and freeze what we do not eat in labeled plastic quart containers (Trader Joe's organic whole milk yogurt containers work great).

dried legumes - split peas (get Split Pea Soup recipe here), lentils and some kind of multiple legume-bean soup combo, all in 1 lb. packages.

grains - high-protein hard white wheat berries (I buy a 25-pound bag from my food co-op whenever I need to replenish). I grind as much grain as I need for immediate use. I also stock whole rolled oats for Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding - usually about 6-12 cups since one recipe calls for 6 cups.

flours - King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (5-lb. bag from Trader Joe's). I use this for dredging and occasionally for thickening (I do not bake with it); arrowroot for thickening (5 lb. bag from my co-op).

pastas - I only buy Tinkyada and Trader Joe's brands of brown rice pasta. No one in my family, including myself has ever cared for whole wheat pasta (yuk!). Brown rice pasta tastes so much better and does not contain the phytic acid that whole wheat pasta does. (To learn about phytic acid in food, click here). I stock fettuccine, elbows, (1 -lb. packages, both Tinkyada from Whole Foods), penne and spaghetti (1-lb. packages, both from Trader Joe's).

rice - I am very particular about rice. I love organic brown jasmine rice and find it at Whole Foods in the bulk bins. I usually buy about 2 lbs. at a time. Click here for Soft and Savory Brown Rice recipe.

nuts - I buy nuts at Costco in bulk - raw walnuts and pecans. I used to buy raw almonds there but now that the government has mandated pasteurization for almonds, I haven't really figured out where to get them at a price I can afford. So for now I am not stocking them. I soak all the nuts I buy in a salt-water solution and then slow roast them in my dehydrator. They are then stored in zipper baggies in the freezer. You can find the recipe here for soaking and drying nuts.
That's it for now. Next pantry post will be on breads, cereals and more. Thank you, Anne, for this suggestion!

Continue reading...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chef Rosa and the Cuisine Dream Team

I thought it was about time that I posted photos of the 15 people who cooked and served the delicious meal at my daughter's wedding. In case you did not read the post I put up recently about this wonderful group of people, I will reiterate.

There were 15 people from the Bible study that my husband teaches who volunteered to make and serve a sit-down meal for the wedding. This was such a display of God's goodness and love. It continues to amaze me! I am overflowing with gratitude. It was a labor of love that was precious and reminds me of the first miracle Jesus performed. He commanded the servants to fill the water pots with water and then turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. I felt like I was there at that wedding.

Rosa worked for weeks in advance to get everything organized. She and Mary, Agatha and Phyllis did the prep work for the Chicken Parmesan. On the day-of everything went so smoothly. This team was so well prepared. It amazed the guests. Everyone wanted to know who the wonderful caterers were. They served with such efficiency. But what was so glorifying to the Lord were the wide smiles and constant joy they displayed with every plate that was presented, every glass that was filled, and every slice of wedding cake that was served.

The Dream Team was a beautiful picture of the goodness and love of Christ. Christ still uses His servants, performing His wonders through them. He was present, and again turning the water into wine. I loved it and have never had such good food and cheerful service at any restaurant or event.

Here are some photos of Chef Rosa and her Cuisine Dream Team:

Mary (in white) and Shirley. What servants!
Agatha, ready and willing to do whatever needs doing.
Suqui (on left) and Marilyn. The smiles never stopped!
Les (on the left) and Joe were so professional, it seemed like they had done this all a hundred times before. No one could believe this team was serving for the first time ever.
And here are (from the left) Marv, Ben and Joann. Ben is Suqui and Marv's son. He surprised us when he showed up ready and willing to help. There were actually two people that came that we had not expected. Ben was one and Shirley, in the first photo was the other. Fifteen people, and they all had such fun!
Marlene is Les' wife. They had just returned from a much needed vacation in Hawaii. This was one of the first things that they did when they got back. I even got an email from Les and Marlene while they were vacationing, saying that they so looked forward to serving at the wedding.
And here is Chef Rosa herself. This precious servant of the Lord labored before, during and after the wedding, and only to glorify the Lord.
Here is Phyllis on the move, serving the groom's father. The team all served the guests from the right and picked up from the right. We had researched this aspect before the wedding. This was a well-oiled machine!
Bob, Rosa's husband, in the foreground, and Marv ready to roll!
More sweet smiles from Jann (left) and Marilyn - such servants!
Here is the crew, except for Les and Marlene , on a well-derserved dinner break. They even fed the disc jockey (in black shirt) and the photographer. From the front and counter clockwise: Marilyn, the disc jockey, Rosa, Agatha, Suqui, Shirley (standing), Ben, Jann (standing), Joann, Marv, Bob (Rosa's husband), Mary, Phyllis and Joe. It is my understanding that the photographer got a picture of all the workers together. I am so looking forward to seeing that one.

Thank you Rosa, Bob, Marv, Suqui, Ben, Mary, Joe, Phyllis, Jann, Marilyn, Les, Marlene, Agatha, Shirley and Joann! Your reward awaits you in heaven, but for now please know that you have ministered more than words can express to Robert and me, Bethany and Curtis and all the other folks you so graciously served at the wedding. Most of all, you served the Lord Jesus Christ.

Continue reading...

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Don Your Gloves

"Rubber gloves" can come in quite handy (no pun intended) in the kitchen. Actually they are not rubber anymore. Some are latex and some are vinyl. I buy the ones at Costco, which are latex. I found vinyl at Smart and Final (I'm a poet!).

These gloves are great in the kitchen for various uses. Use them when mixing anything messy such as meat loaf, meat balls (when forming them also), to dredge meat in flour or bread crumbs, when coating eggplant (or anything) with egg and flour for Eggplant Parmesan, scraping cookie dough off of a spoon onto the cookie sheet, etc. Also, don a pair of gloves when you have trouble opening a jar. The gloves will allow you to get a better grip on the jar, making it easier to open.

Have a great Tuesday and I would love to hear from any of you who have a tidy tip to share!

Continue reading...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Some Wedding Pics

Here are a few photos from our daughter's wedding. Bethany and Curtis are now honeymooning in Cabo San Lucas.

Curits is in the middle, the fellow with the biggest grin. Happy day!

The ring bearer, Isabella, the bride's niece (our granddaughter) is very serious about her responsibility to carry the rings.

Melissa and Courtney, the flower girls. Sooooo cute!

The flower girls prepare the way for the bride. Melissa and Courtney are Curtis' daughters. That means that Robert and I have two new little granddaughters. Life doesn't get much better than this.

This is one of my favorite pics - Bethany being brought to Curtis by her Dad. She and Curtis will be wed by him also.

Opening prayer after Bethany was given by her Dad and I to wed Curtis.
He'd better be serious about this!

Bethany and Cutis reciting their vows. Bethany was in tears the whole time, and Curtis nearly broke down when he was expressing vows to Bethany in his own words.

After the "I do's" and before the kiss.

" Curtis, you may now kiss the bride." And boy, did he!

A shot of Bethany as she and Curtis were walking out after the ceremony. I'd say she's a happy girl!

A big hug after becoming Mr. and Mrs.


Continue reading...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - James 3:17

This week's verse was chosen for two reasons. The first is that we learned James 1:2-4 recently. The next verse (5) tells us to ask God for wisdom when we lack it. Paired together, James 1:2-5 and James 3:17 give us what we need in regard to wisdom - the promise that God will grant it to us when we ask and a precious picture of what it looks like in action. How wonderful!

One way God gives us wisdom is through His word. James 1:17 provides us with a great working definition of wisdom. It is first of all "pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere".

Wow! What a powerful piece of information. Wisdom is first of all pure. That means that I will not adulterate God's word in whatever context wisdom is needed. I will not water down God's word but receive it for what it intends and be obedient to it.

If I must speak to someone regarding an offense as Matthew 18 tells me to, I need wisdom. This verse tells me how wisdom behaves. So if I become unreasonable or harsh as I am relating to that person, I am not exercising wisdom for wisdom is gentle and open to reason.

The second reason I chose this verse was because I had an opportunity recently to use James 3:17 as a guide when I, indeed, had to speak with someone. The one I spoke with was at ease the whole time and never put on the defensive. The desired result was realized and peace was the outcome. Wonderful! And there is so much more packed in this verse about wisdom. Take some time to memorize it and as you do, continue to unpack the treasures of wisdom found there.

If you are not familiar with Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday, please check it out by clicking here.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - It's a Wrap Lock

Here is a no-brainer that I just caught onto:

Look on the ends of your packages of foil, plastic wrap, waxed paper, etc. Most likely there is a tab to push in to hold the roll of foil, etc. securely and to keep it from falling out of the box when you store it or use it. You can see it clearly in the photo - "PRESS HERE TO LOCK END". I did it and it worked like a charm (wherever did that saying come from?). Even if your package does not have this tab, it seems to me that it would be a cinch just to cut out a similar tab on each end of the box.

I just discovered this today. Wonder what planet I've been on. I'd like to hear from my readers as to whether or not you were aware of this nifty little feature. Please send me a comment.

Continue reading...

Monday, August 11, 2008

A New Son

Here is a sneak preview of the wedding - the bride and groom taking the rings from the pillow. There will be more. But for now...we have a new son and we are thrilled about that. The wedding was this past Saturday and what fun we had! My daughter told me that she enjoyed every minute of it and that she experienced so much tangible love displayed toward her and her new husband throughout the afternoon and evening.

If there was a theme, I would have to say that it was "sacrificial love". I will be posting more about the wedding, including photos, but for now just this short update. (Hopefully, I can also get back to a more consistent schedule now as far as posting is concerned.)

Continue reading...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Vinegar for Shower Heads and Dishwashers

The wedding is just days away now. Yesterday the bridesmaids came over to help me assemble the programs and finish off a few other projects.

Everyday this week is filled with tying up loose ends, packing boxes with what is needed on the day of, getting hair and nails done up, finishing the last minute shopping for food for the wedding, etc. As I related last week, there is a team of workers (I call them "Chef Rosa and her Cuisine Dream Team") from the church that my husband and I attend who will cook and serve a sit-down-meal, but my daughter and I must do the shopping for it.

We are also picking up a "chuppah" for the wedding. A chuppah is a canopy that is used in Jewish weddings (my husband is Jewish though he is a Christian), and it symbolizes various aspects of the marriage, one of which is the wife's role of helper. I will write a post on that soon.

But the chuppah also represents the home of the new couple. It has a fabric covering and a frame, but characteristically it has no sides. This symbolizes that God will provide a roof over the newlywed's, and that they should respond to His provision by always having an open door to their loved ones.

But enough about the wedding. What you are here for is the tidy tip. So, keep reading:

To keep your shower head flowing freely, unscrew it and soak it overnight in full strength white vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits.

And another use for vinegar: Pour 1/4 cup vinegar into your dishwasher rinse cycle for streak free, sparkling dishes every time!

Continue reading...


© The Good Woman

You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on my website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Good Woman (Please see email option on sidebar to request permission).

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © The Good Woman. Website: the-good-woman.blogspot.com

Recent Comments

Every Tribe, Nation, Tongue and People...

Occupy Your Time for Christ's Glory!

Sing to Jesus

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The Good Woman © Layout By Hugo Meira.