Greens, Greens, Nothing But Greens!

Community Supported Agriculture – it’s a good thing

Our family subscribes to an annual share of produce from Stone Gardens Farm. Each week, we receive a box overflowing with vegetables straight from the farm. It’s an adventure to see what each week will bring; and we’ve learned to recognize and enjoy an amazing variety of produce.

We love our farm! I can’t recommend the CSA model highly enough. Do yourself a favor and search the internet for a CSA in your zip code.

But sometimes it’s overwhelming

Seriously.  A box full of kale, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, red deer tongue lettuce, escarole, spring mix salad, Asian braising greens, beet greens, salad turnips (with greens), radishes (with greens), kohlrabi (with greens), and Swiss chard is a challenge.

Who knows what these things even ARE?

What are you supposed to do with them?

And most importantly, how can you convince your kids to try them??

Weekly Get-through-your-box Tip:

Never fear. After two summers with our CSA, I’ve developed some strategies; and I’m happy to share. This week’s plan is… pesto!

It’s a plan, not a recipe, so you’ll have to experiment to find your favorite ratios. Typical pesto has basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. You, with your abundant box of greens, are free to try any combinations of:

  • nuts or seeds (We use pumpkin or sunflower seeds, since our youngest has a nut allergy.)
  • herbs (sage, basil, parsley are all good)
  • greens (ANY)
  • olive oil
  • cheese and garlic are optional… see what you like
I use a small food processor. First, finely grind the seeds or nuts. Then add herbs and greens… prepare to be amazed by the vast quantity of greens you can process in just one batch! Process until it forms a paste, adding olive oil as necessary for consistency. Taste and add garlic, parmesan, or salt if needed.

My latest batch had Asian greens, escarole, a few herbs from my garden, and pumpkin seeds… delicious! We’ll probably toss it with some pasta for an alternative to mac & cheese.

Hey, Heidi, why haven’t you written a blog post for so long?

Thanks for asking. Life has happened… family visits, theater, travel, a funeral, and more to come soon. I have much to tell.

But for now, let’s get to those greens.

Posted in CSA, generosity, recipes | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Dear Facebook

Dear Facebook,

I despise you.

Yes, I’ll admit I also adore you. I love to know there are people who care about me; who genuinely want to know what’s going on in my life. I have friends old and new — real, true, loyal friends — who would not be part of my life, except for you.

facebook by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-SphereBut let’s stick to the point: I despise you, Facebook.

You wreck my Sundays. You foul my mood when I’m headed out the door to worship. Here’s how:

  • You tell me how people spent Saturday night. And I do not care.
  • You let me know how people feel because of (or in spite of ) Saturday night’s activities. I have zero sympathy. You should already know this, you tracker-of-everything.
  • You inform me of everyone’s whereabouts on Sunday morning. And then I go to worship, thinking of everyone who’s missing all that the Lord has to offer: this life, this joy, this utter, complete rest. And I do care. I’m so saddened.

Facebook, you fall woefully short. I won’t see you next Sunday. I’ll stick with this:

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,“Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Easter by ekhum, on Pix-O-Sphere

Posted in Christ, lutheran | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Food Allergy Mom Talks Back

ARS peanuts

My daughter has a peanut allergy. Translation: My daughter is used as an excuse for people to say all manner of crazy things to me.

1. Oh, they can be desensitized for that now.

2. No one has the right to decide my kid can’t have a peanut butter sandwich for school lunch.

3. She can have one of these cookies… I don’t see any nuts.

4. I don’t believe in allergies.

5. You keep your house too clean/ate peanuts while you were pregnant/ gave her peanuts too soon/ gave her peanuts too late. That’s what made her have allergies.

6. Just a little bit won’t hurt. Maybe she’s over it now… how will you know if she never tries it?

7. You just need to toughen her up.

8. Oh, she can eat this! I used smooth peanut butter, not chunky.

Here’s the deal: I’m happy to talk about food allergies with you. I’ll tell you what I’ve learned, if you want to know. BUT… nothing we say will change what I need to do for my daughter. Nothing you think about allergies changes the facts. I saw my baby’s back covered in welts after someone ate a PB & J sandwich and then touched her. I watched her face swell up instantly after her first bite of peanut butter.

It’s not my job to decide who’s to blame. It’s my job to keep her safe. Translation: it’s my job to keep peanuts out of my home; to read EVERY label EVERY time; to talk to the chef at a restaurant; and to politely ignore any misguided advice.

And if you really think I caused her food allergy by keeping my house too clean, please accept my invitation to drop by anytime. We can have a good laugh together over that one!

Posted in allergies, parenting | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

I Recommend: Respect Your Husband Online

I read a great post by Connie this morning, and I think you’d like to read it, too. Especially if you have a husband…

Connie gets it right. Our words, spoken or written, have a huge impact… on the people we love and on an even larger, unseen audience. Check out what she says, and leave a comment if it makes you think. You might even decide to follow her blog. That’s what I did!

the daisyhead

Posted in simplicity | Tagged , | 2 Comments


What makes our home school different from other schools? There are so many options for education, how do I know I’ve made the best choice?

There’s really only one thing that really matters. Only one thing that truly transforms our school (and our parenting style, and our marriage). But it’s a big thing.

It’s this:

stop sign by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-SphereWhenever things go awry — whenever there’s a breach of trust, an act of unkindness, a rebellious attitude, a relationship that needs to be healed… it stops our school right in its tracks.  Because there’s no math problem, science project, field trip or test that’s more important than sin staring us right in the face.

Peace is gone. Feelings are hurt. Wrongdoers are ashamed. And it can’t be fixed by waiting until someone “shakes off” a bad mood. Or by saying it’s “OK” or “no big deal”. Or by pretending everything’s fine when it most certainly isn’t. It can’t be fixed by us.

We need healing.

P4012334_PSE by simplysusan, on Pix-O-Sphere

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.

Matthew 26:27-28 And Jesus took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We need Jesus. We need to remember that we are His. That He is here, right in the middle of our stopped-in-its-tracks school day, to forgive us. He’s here to cover us with the forgiveness that was won on the cross. Here to remind us of His empty tomb… here to heal us. Here to say this school day is “very good”.

(Note to readers who don’t home school: forgiveness is there for everyone. Jesus is bigger than just my house!)Link up to the ABC's

Posted in Christ, Homeschool, lutheran, parenting | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Blueprint for a Rainy Day


Today’s challenge was to write about this photo. I’m linking to it, since I don’t have permission to use it here. Go ahead and check it out so you’ll understand the story. I’ll still be here when you get back!

I’m glad for the job; don’t get me wrong. I know I’m lucky to even have a job these days, even if I am just barely scrapping by. I mean, I know blue-collar work is nothing shameful. I work hard every day; it’s honest money.

Still, I can’t help but sing the blues on a drizzly day like today. Seems like everything about me is monotonous: boring job, faded thrift store clothes, drab apartment.

Hah! That drab apartment isn’t going to last long either. Not with all these new blue-bloods moving in. I mean, these were houses that belonged to regular folk – people who would give you the time of day. Now these uppity rich people are moving in and “improving” the neighborhood, painting their houses all pansy-purple and pumpkin-orange and peacock-blue. And they can look right through me, not even notice I exist. I swear, I could walk right up, ring the bell, talk a blue streak to that lady, and she wouldn’t remember me by dinnertime.

Posted in writing | 2 Comments

The Ten Worst Things About Homeschooling

Link up to the ABC's  A guest post written by my oldest daughter:

1) You never get anything done.

I’m so busy working on my NaNoWriMo novel from November that I can’t (sanely) join Script Frenzy this April. I haven’t even started editing my novel yet! Trust me, if you are homeschooled, you will become a Dread Procrastinator.                                     Hey, that gives me an idea for a character…

2) You can’t have sick days unless you’re feverish, vomiting, hallucinating, in extreme pain, fainting, or all of the above.

3) You don’t get most of your public-schooled friends’ Facebook jokes.

On the other hand, you get all the jokes that begin, “A split infinitive walks into a bar…”

4) You have to talk to your parents.

I myself am REGULARLY FORCED to engage in polite dinner conversation with my parents. Oh, the AGONY of hours wasted in discussing politics, music, newts, and other minutia with my family (and without the solace of a cellphone…!).

5) People will ask you stupid questions.

Such as: “Do you have homework?” It really depends on your definition of ‘homework’.
“Do you have friends?” We’ve known each other for years, and you’re still asking me that? Really?

6) You may develop a large (even, dare I say, an INORDINATELY large) vocabulary.

7) You might do school on a Saturday. Voluntarily.

This is really very serious. If you find yourself going into withdrawal symptoms at the prospect of a weekend without science, dragging out history assignments because you’re having too much fun to actually finish them, or sneaking grammar textbooks up to your room for a little before-bed reading, you are doomed. You have become addicted to learning. There is as yet no cure for this ailment, and there is no sign that anyone who has succumbed to it will ever recover. I’m very sorry.

8) You may crave nontraditional learning spaces.

I speak from bitter experience here. The day you notice that your bedroom window is right above the porch roof, and that the screen of said window can come out, AND that you play the violin is the day that a normal life is forever denied to you.
But at least you’ll be ready for Broadway.

Reading by lady_jess, on Pix-O-Sphere
9) People may look at you funny when you tell them what you’re reading.

Your parents may even request shorter book reports. Note to self: the words ‘in-depth study’ do not mean ‘write an essay that is longer than the book’, especially when the book in question is by Victor Hugo.

10) Your life will not be nearly as boring as it might have been.

If all this does not dissuade you from homeschooling, I can accept no blame for the consequences.

I might, however, want to meet you.

Posted in Homeschool, parenting | Tagged , | 15 Comments