Roasted String Beans

I remember having a conversation with my sister a few years ago about how she loved roasting vegetables. I have been such a ‘boil or steam  the veggies’ (if there are any veggies at all) person, it really took me some time to get my head around cooking a vegetable in the oven. I knew that it was going to be one of the techniques I was going to try this year as I grow my friendship with this food group.

My first attempt to roast included string beans. I have had string beans in some places where I was surprised that I could actually like them, and I have had string beans that I didn’t like at all (and that didn’t surprise me). This recipe was… okay. Or, I should say, this attempt with this recipe was okay. It will likely be revisited and I will continue to experiment with this recipe, this veggie, this method.

I think this method helps a vegetable show off. Whatever you put with it for seasoning (done correctly) is like a perfect scarf or hat near a woman’s face. Additional flavors can show off different features of the string bean, but the string bean (or whatever the veggie is) can be the star.

Starting the week on Thursday

Here is another written/unpublished post from 2012. Not only do I still do this, it has grown in it’s impact of our family. Just yesterday when Marc and I were talking about our days, I began by saying “Monday will be a much better day if these things happen.”

*****************************************************************************Thursday

Years ago Marc and I knew this guy. We only knew John and Amy and their kids for a brief time, but something John told me impacts me every week. I must have been walking across campus on a Friday afternoon and John was walking in the opposite direction. We chatted about the weekend and somehow it came about to John’s plan for weekend success with his family. He didn’t come home on Friday until the work of this week and planning for next week were done. I had imagined getting the past work done, but not the future work.

When I realized that homeschooling on Monday mornings was a lot of wasted time waiting for me to get things organized, or that Saturday and Sunday had a lot of time committed to planning or worrying about planning, I remembered John’s approach to weekends.  Because we often have a field trip planned on Friday, or because we are so excited to be done with a week, I began to use Thursday afternoons as my planning time. (That also worked because we don’t have any lessons to get kids to on Thursdays.)

So on Thursday afternoons, I gather all of our binders and books and the calendar, and get each of the kids work planned for next week. If I have any extra stuff to get together or prepare. I (usually) have plenty of time on Friday to take care of it. So Saturday and Sunday are homeschool planning free zones.

I had gotten so used to Sunday night, Monday morning being the beginning of a new week, it took some very deliberate planning to change my internal calendar. But recently when I missed my Thursday planning, it was awful enough to remind me why I made the change in the first place..

Monday’s are totally different for us now. We do have a hard time making the transition from weekend to school week – who doesn’t? But two major things have been taken care of and make that transition MUCH smoother.

I don’t think that my schedule will work for everyone. I would never say this is how it should be done. But I would challenge you to look at your calendar and tasks and to take ownership of your calendar and make it work for you – not you work for it.

My Valentine

TurnerHill1994This is our 21st Valentines day together.

We don’t really ‘do’ Valentines day – we do life.

We do dates and notes and sweet-nothings and cuddling on the couch.

We do calendaring and taxi-ing and lifting each others loads.

We do kitchen and bathroom chores, laundry and vacuuming.

We make small changes and Huge changes.

We make eye contact that says more than the words that we might try.

We do budgeting and splurging, vacationing and working, reading and praying.

We take walks sometimes and hikes sometimes.

We parent and homeschool and do entrepreneurial stuff.

We explore coffee and beer places together.

We argue. We make up.

We grow things and prune things, change things and keep some things the same.

We give. We take. We lead. We follow.

We have traditions and customs and bursts of spontaneity.

We giggle. We cry. We hold hands.

I’m so thankful for our life.

About Izzie

written in the Fall of 2012 – found in Evernote

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Not a plantain, but often called a weed. 🙂

My friend Izzie – there are so many cool things about her. Our youngest girls are best friends – they probably don’t remember a time when the other wasn’t there. We eat, talk, pray, play guitar and sing together. Izzie and I will sit around a talk about nothing and then she will ask ‘how is it with your soul?’ And it’s okay. (It wouldn’t be okay coming from a lot of people.)

But the thing that I think is most cool about Izzie today happened today. Anna got stung. Her first sting. And it hurt. I ran to get some salve for her and Izzie ran to the front yard saying something under her breath as she went. She came back in with a leaf and asked for a mortar and pestle. I don’t happen to have one hanging around my house so Izzie asked if I minded her saliva mixed with this plant that it became apparent was going to be put on the sting site.

Izzie chewed. Izzie applied. We held the chewed plantain onto the sting site with band aid. Ice applied to held numb the site as the plantain drew the poison from the stinger out. Anna felt better. So did I.

Everyone should have a friend who will chew on yard weeds to comfort your child.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Meatloaf

One of the results of the Oriental Ginger meal was a surplus of broccoli and cauliflower. I was determined to not have them go to waste – which may have happened once or twice with fruits and vegetables under my care.

I figured there must be some sort of meatloaf that I could include them in – I don’t know why – I’m not a big meatloaf maker or eater, but it is what got in my head.

IMG_20160117_140601402_HDRSearching for such a recipe, I didn’t really find any. So, I decided to make it up.

I had a pound of ground turkey, a bunch of broccoli and cauliflower, and some other stuff in the fridge. I steamed the veggies, then pureed them in the food processor. I threw in some garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. I dumped the puree in a a bowl with the turkey. Too loose. Looked in the fridge and found some leftover rice. Much nicer than bread crumbs. Added an egg (whisked) to help with the binding. Put it into a greased bundt pan, because this mixture was ugly and I hoped it would be helped by a fun shape. I also threw in a bunch of seasonings, but I can’t remember what I used.
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Baked the ‘loaf’ until the meat thermometer registered 165.

Turns out, I throw together a ‘dump-loaf’ pretty well, and everyone liked it. It even was enjoyed as a leftover by those that enjoy leftover.

Don’t know that I will make the effort to cook another broccoli and cauliflower loaf – but I’m pretty pleased to know that I could, IF I wanted to.