Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grandma's Broccoli Salad

Today I harvested the first large crowns from our broccoli plants.  I have been craving my Grandma's broccoli salad, so I had to make some for dinner.  I think she told it that she first made it back when she was teaching home economics.  Thankfully I was able to find my old inkjet-printed 1999 copy of the recipe.

my old recipe paper
I have never had broccoli taste so good.  The tenderness of the fresh broccoli was a pleasant surprise for my mouth.  If you need a great broccoli salad recipe, this one is excellent and utterly adaptable.  You can use less mayo, no onions, no bacon bits, substitute sunflower seeds for the peanuts or craisins for the raisins.  It's simple, easy and will be a hit at your next summer potluck.

Here's how you do it:

I'm writing it mostly verbatim from what my mom told me back in '99.

Gradnma's Broccoli Salad

This recipe is for 2 stalks of broccoli.  For a potluck you'll probably want 4 stalks.

Dressing: per 2 stalks of broccoli  (my mom always bought whole stalks, not just the crowns and cut up the stems into bite sized pieces)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1.5 Tbsp sugar

2 stalks broccoli, chopped, peel where tough, discard leaves. 
1 cup raisins (soak in hot water, then drain and squeeze)
 1 med. onion, chopped
bacon bits
grated cheese, add just before serving

Mix the dressing in a medium sized bowl.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl.  Peanuts, bacon bits and cheese should be added to your taste.  Add dressing.  Chill for about an hour before serving.

Trendy Kale Chips

So everyone who's anyone in the gardening world seems to be making Kale chips.  I was avoiding it simply because it was popular, but man, I have a lot of kale!  The kids only eat it while grazing in the garden, so I decided I was willing to try them.  I think they taste a little like the nori seaweed paper you use when making sushi.  My daughter thinks they taste like soy sauce.  They're SO easy! 

Small and larger kale side by side.  The larger kale worked best.


Kale: I tried both the small new leaves and the larger, more mature ones.  The larger ones, cut free from the stem ended up being more crunchy and less chewy than the smaller ones.  You will need enough to fill up your cookie sheet.
Sea Salt
Garlic powder
Olive Oil

cut up on the sheet


*Heat the oven to 275 degrees.
*Pat your kale dry.  I didn't do this and it took forever for the kale to crisp up because I had just washed it.
*Spread the kale on your cookie sheet.  I used a jelly roll pan with sides.
*Drizzle olive oil over the Kale
*Sprinkle salt sparingly over the kale.  Remember, it will shrink. I put a little too much salt on because of this.
*Sprinkle garlic over kale if desired.
*Toss the kale to coat all sides with olive oil and salt.
*Spread the kale evenly over the cookie sheet

Bake for 20 minutes.  I ended up going for 30 minutes, but checking every ten, but my kale was pretty damp when I put it in.

Bring it out of the oven and eat.  Be prepared for a crunch you're only used to associating with potato chips.  Mmm!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wonderfully made

The shape of the pea pod; the juiciness of the perfectly ripe raspberry.  They are certainly wonderfully made!
Today was our first day of Vacation Bible School at our church.  The theme was God's Big Story, which is told about in the Bible and how that Story is still playing out.  We're a part of that big Story.  The verse today was "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." Psalm 139:14.

I was a group leader.  We read the story of creation and talked about all the crazy and beautiful things God has made.  The kids in my group ranged from shy and sweet to loud and boisterous.  I was moved to realize how carefully and masterfully created each one of them is.  Each of them has a significant role to play in the big world they live in.  I hope that today they were really inspired to begin to understand this.

We went for a walk on the church's prayer trail through the woods, had good snacks, fun games and made cool backpacks.  We talked about what part of God's creation we liked best after we finished.  Ideas ranged from thought provoking, like when someone said the "Lord's Prayer" was their favorite creation..to silly, when another child followed her theme of the day and said she liked Bigfoot best.

  I came away very thankful for the intricate design of the world and for the Creator who made it all.  Of course it was a lovely day and my mom in law, ever able to read my mind, invited us to come on over and pick some raspberries.  Of course we did and we had a wonderful time.  Mmmm...I'm full.


making backpacks
Isaac was my co-leader.  Silly kid.
on the trail

We are collecting funds to send Burundi kids to camp through Sister Connection.

Back home

Poor Saraiah has a puffy eye from a mosquito bite.

When you give your daughter the camera

I had my camera phone, so I got a picture of the little photographer.
Saraiah is 6, and I finally felt brave enough to give her the camera to try.  After I told her to move back a little to get the camera to focus, she thought she should get really far from everything to get it work.  We were on a walk to grandma's house to pick some raspberries.  She was very responsible and kept the strap around her neck and put the cap on the lens after taking pictures.  It was very sweet.  Also, my camera survived nicely.

she noticed that the self heal is blooming

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jessica's Tummy

I first met Jessica at church.  Ever since I can remember, she's been the go to person for many people I know who need a high quality, caring and intelligent child care person, whether it's for a day or a longer stint.  A 4H veteran, she taught my kids much of what they know about animals and impresses me regularly with the knowledge stored in her brain.  It has always been clear to me that she would be an excellent mother, so it was with joy I heard the news of baby Madalyn's impending arrival.  It was good to get to do something special for Jessica and baby's daddy, Robert by documenting this special time in their lives.