My Growing Challenge~Sweet Potatoes!!!

I hope Melinda takes a look at my blog sometime soon, because this is truly my growing challenge; sweet potatoes! I’ve never grown them. I didn’t know what to expect. I am totally out of my element with these babies. We live where the soil is more clay then sand….my folks have sandy soil on the Eastern Shore of MD. But not here. So, Honey built me more boxes as you can see and I used sand, peat and vermiculite for the sweet potatoes…..I know it’s probably not warm enough for them quite yet, BUT they had to go in the ground. Honey and I are taking some R&R. We’re heading to our favorite place on earth; the mountains. In order for everything not to die while I’m gone, I’ve had to get it in the ground. It has a much better chance of survival there with God taking care of it. The neighbor’s oldest daughter is tending to the dogs and the garden, but there’s only so much to ask a person to do. Here’s how it looks……

They’re a little wilted after being transferred to soil….I hope they put on their happy faces….SOON!

They are climbers, so I strung up some twine.

If you’ve read any of my blog, you know how much I love color, and how it’s been a part of my healing from Lyme Disease. I’ve had this old retro chair that I found at a yard sale about 10 yrs ago….it was ugly! Just as a way of measuring my milestones….10 yrs…and I finally got it sanded, primed and painted my favorite color…PINK! I think it adds just the right amount of whimsy to my garden.

I’ll get those two empty beds ready when I get back from R&R. Right now they are growing grass! YUCK! I spent another 4.5 hrs today mowing. I was pretty impressed with my time….I’ve figured out that the fastest way to get it done is in circles! Boy, that’s all I need…more ditzy Di! But today while I was mowing God gave me a little treat….other than finding several ticks crawling….I saw my most prized bird…a Bluebird! I’ve got a box my blind dad built that I need to get up, but that will have to wait. Now, time for some R&R!

Eggs a la Goldenrod!

I’m being featured on Kelly The Kitchen Kop today with this easy and nourishingly traditional food!

That’s the name my dad gave this great egg dish when I was growing up. Dad was a cook in the Army during the Korean War….I’m not sure if he learned this dish there or if he just made it up. My family has loved it for years and Honey and I just had it the other night for dinner. As you know, I’m an “old” cook, so I rarely measure anything. Please play around with it and adjust as necessary.

Begin by making a white sauce. Due to our many food allergies, I use rice flour.

1/4 C raw butter

1/4 C rice flour

1-2 C raw milk

Melt butter in cast iron skillet. Add flour and cook for a minute or so. Then add 1-2 C raw milk, depending on how thick you like it. You can always add as you go along….but you can’t take out! Stir the milk in with a wisk and heat until thick, but not too thick. Salt & pepper as desired.

8-12 eggs hardboiled

Shell and separate the yolks from the whites. Chop the whites and add to white sauce. Mash the yolks in a bowl. Serve over toast of choice by pouring white sauce and egg over toast and topping with the mashed yolk…..if you like it fancy….add a dash of paprika!

Hit The Trail with Power Bars!

Our 19 year old son is venturing out to hike the Appalachian Trail for 3 days. We’ll drive him within 60 miles of VaTech and his buddies will pick him up there. This is no normal hike. Our son has chronic lyme disease and hasn’t been doing very well, but he says he HAS to do this. From all the reading and listening to experts in the field of boys and men, I’m sure this is his rite of passage. From boyhood to manhood. He will be 20 on May 16. This is something he NEEDS to do. Perhaps to smack this disease right in the face and yell; “YOU CAN’T HAVE ME!” I’ve done that many of days….yelled that is. I’ve yelled at the author of disease and sickness and claimed that he, Satan, cannot have us. We are God’s precious children and His alone. If you think of it pray for Ben on May 3-6! He will need the power of God to hike those Virginia mountains!

I found a wonderful recipe that will give Ben energy while hiking. It’s got lots of carbs and protein and I even tried to make it as Nourishingly Traditional as possible. I found it on 101 Cookbooks. So along with his beef jerky, tuna, trail mix and whatever else he has weight for, he’ll have some yummy power bars!

Power Bars

by Heidi at 101 Cookbooks

(I altered it some)

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

2 C pecans & walnuts chopped (I made them crispy nuts from Nourishing Traditions)

2/3 C unsweetened shredded coconut

1 1/4 C rolled oats

1 1/2 C unsweetened brown rice crispy cereal

1 C brown rice syrup

1/4 C Turanado Sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp finely ground coffee

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Grease a 8×8 or 9×13 pan with the coconut oil, set aside. Toast the nuts if you didn’t make crispy nuts and the coconut in a 350F oven for a few minutes. In large bowl mix the coconut, nuts, rice crispy cereal and oats. Stir together. In a saucepan combine, rice syrup, sugar, salt, coffee and vanilla. Cook over med heat constantly until it starts to thicken and comes to a boil…about 4 minutes. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread in the greased pan and allow to cool at room temp. Cut when cooled into bars.

I test tasted them before they were completely cool and they are really sweet and yummy! Not something I’d eat on a regular basis, but a good energy bar for Ben on his adventure.

As a side note to the taste test….these bars are very soft. I think the next time, I’d add more coconut and cereal…they might work better as balls….and oh, yes, less rice syrup! They are extremely sweet. So, if you’d like, play around with it at your own risk…this is a real test kitchen for my experiments!

Precious!

I just had to share this precious picture I took of Mama and Baby Lambie.

~~~~

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

FOREVER.”

~Psalm 23~

NIV

Growing Challenge Update

I’m not really sure what week I’m suppose to be on with The Growing Challenge, but I sure have been motivated and busy. I’ve actually been so busy I haven’t had time to blog. Wow! That’s truly amazing and truly a miracle! God has been blessing me with absolute, divine health and every day I’m truly grateful.

This morning I was awake with the dawn…however I didn’t rise until nearly an hour later….Oh the life of an empty nester!!! During these years of resting, I’ve learned to do just that; rest. What’s the hurry? We live in such a fast paced society just outside of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Even the slow lane is fast. So, when I can, I rest….BUT today was not a day of rest….thank goodness tomorrow IS!

I pulled weeds in my garden and went to our local garden store. I bought lots of herbs that I couldn’t grow from seed and a few annuals for potting. I’m really very much a perennial girl. I prefer plants that can stand on their own once they get established. It’s that leaky memory I have and if I have to water it then it usually dies. Honey finished the two boxes that he started lasts weekend before he had his little accident. Thank God, his eye is fine and he hasn’t given it any thought. In my quest to make room for the two boxes I decided to push the fence back further for…..well….. two more!!!! Honey built them without my even asking. So, now I have to fill them with dirt and get them planted in a snap. I got the sweet potato boxes filled with peat, sand & vermiculite. Hopefully they will be happy there. I still need to put in a couple posts and string them up for the vines to climb. BUT for today, I’m finished, I’m exhausted and it feels soooo GOOD! 🙂

I planted 100 onion & leeks

onions & leeks

My kitchen garden of herbs

Borage & Basil seedlings….not too big yet

new annuals to plant

lots of new herbs to use as medicinal and culinary, not to mention beauty

Peace at Peaceful Acres

I was awake again this AM at 2:30. Nothing really troubling me, just those menopausal hormones or should I say lack there of. But as I reflected on the weekend, I almost started laughing out loud. PEACE. PEACEFUL ACRES!!!!!! LOL! How many of us truly have peace? How many of us truly want peace? I’d say, mostly all of us want it and very few of us have it. I guess God knew that I would need to hear a short message yesterday morning by Kay Arthur at Precept Ministries. She is one of the best Bible teachers I know of. So because of a conversation with our 20 yr old son Sat night, I decided I needed to listen to “Resurrection Peace that Gives us Hope”. One point that stuck with me from John 20, was that when Mary went to the tomb looking for the crucified Christ….she was looking for him dead. He was not dead, but resurrected. How many of us are looking for a crucified Christ. I guess that is also why I don’t wear a crucifix. The Christ I worship is RESURRECTED! So, I look for the living Christ and I’ve found him.

In this passage of John 20, Christ who is resurrected goes to the Disciples who are locked up in a room hoping the Jews don’t search for them to also crucify. The risen Christ comes to them and the first words recorded that he says are, “Peace be with you.” He had to say it again. “Peace be with you.”

It was that peace I needed yesterday and Saturday night. I can’t go into details but our son is sick with Lyme Disease and it’s many co-infections and it’s eating his brain up pretty badly. I’ve had it do that so I know what he’s feeling. That’s not what he wants to hear though. He talked about the feelings of depression and desperation he’s having. At least he’s talking. But when you love someone, as Honey has loved me through all this, it breaks your heart. So, we of course went to the ONE who can give us peace and will ultimately bring healing.

Then on Sunday afternoon about 4:30. Honey was working on my last little raised bed for my monster sweet potatoes and he accidentally knocked a can of brake cleaner off the shelf in the shed. When it fell unbeknown st to him, the can was punctured. He didn’t realize that and picked it up. It was spraying all over him, and it went in his eye. He ran in the house like a mad man and was ripping his clothes off and jumped in the shower. I was a wreck! In my crying, I just kept asking if he could see….all I could think of is him not ever being able to look at me again. You see Honey loves to look at me…he loves to look into my blue eyes and he loves it when they smile. That’s all I could think about.

He told me he could see but he didn’t know where his wedding ring was. When he flung his clothes off coming through the basement his ring went flying. So, I was down in the basement crying out to Abba God, my Daddy. As I sat on the weight bench crying, HE said to me, “PEACE”. I said, “yes, Lord. You are faithful and Your mercies are new EVERY morning. GREAT is YOUR FAITHFULNESS”. I looked over and on the floor was Honey’s wedding ring; his favorite possession.

I instantly got online and looked up “chemicals in the eyes”. The advice was to rinse the eye for 20 minutes. So I advised Honey to do so. Then I called the Doctor, which Honey said not to do….but online it said to do that. Finally the doctor told Honey who was doing very well, to call Poison Control with the info off the can. By this time it’s been an hour and Honey’s eye is doing fine….a little irritation, but no vision problem or damage. As he’s reading the info to Poison Control, I’m googling it and as he writes on his pad, “NO TISSUE DAMAGE”, I’ve also come to that understanding.

So, we thank you LORD, for your loving kindnesses, which are new every morning.

“Peace be with you!”

~JESUS~

Sweet Potatoes Galore!

Vines everywhere

I just had to show off my sweet potatoes one more time before I plant them. I’m amazed. I had no idea what I was doing, but it worked! 😉 For those of you who were in my shoes a month or so ago, sit back and enjoy. I’ll try to give you steps so when it’s your turn you’ll be able to answer intelligently what a slip is….clue it’s not ladies underwear!!!!

Sweet Potato with Slips (roots are growing from slips)

Sweet Potato without slips

Naked Sweet Potato after Slips were pulled Off

Slip with roots

That’s it in a nut shell. Now I’ll move on to another challenge. This was a good one! Hopefully these babies will be in warm soil this weekend! 8)