Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Warm Comfort Soup for a Cold Day

A favorite soup loved by so many! I make this every fall and many have requested the recipe. Enjoy!

Nature Day Baked Potato Soup

(Makes 6-8 servings)

by: Mary Stevens

You Need:

4 large baked potatoes

2/3 cup butter

2/3 cup flour

6 cups milk (skim, 2% or whole - depending on how rich you desire)

3/4 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

4 green onions, chopped

12 slices of bacon, fried & crumbled (Hormel bacon bits in the bag work great)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream

Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out pulp and put into small bowl, breaking up large chunks.

Melt butter in large kettle/pan. Add flour gradually. Add milk in small amounts while stirring. Continue to stir until smooth, thickened and bubbly. (I use a small handheld blender to incorporate any small lumps.)

Add the potato pulp and stir in the salt, pepper, and 3/4 of the onions, bacon and cheese. (I will put the onion on the side for those that don’t care for onion.) Cook until heated through and add the sour cream.

If you wish to serve it in a crock pot, transfer to slow cooker and top with remaining cheese, onion and bacon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bearing Fruit

We have been blessed with a plentiful crop of raspberries this year. Early one morning last week, my husband joined me to pick some for breakfast. As I plucked them quickly from their life source, I began noticing how full of character each berry was as I studied their design.

A raspberry.

Not a fancy building.
Not a classic car.
Not a designer sweater.

Simply a raspberry.

A small berry is just starting to take its shape, while the fully mature berry sits proudly next to it. Both look so different, yet they are attached to the same vine. It occurred to me that in order for this fruit to grow into a beautiful, strong and mature berry, it needed to be connected to the vine with a root system that would provide it life. I needed this reminder.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Two Days Later...

The same raspberry...disconnected from it's source of life - this is what happens to my heart when I choose not to stay connected to my Creator (my vine). Thankfully, God never lets me go.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mommy, Will You Play Marbles With Me?

I responded with a "no" and continued to communicate my laundry list of tasks to her little face. Something caused me to stop. I decided to play for just 1 minute to appease her.

As we played, I found myself remembering something I had long forgotten. As a young girl, I was so fascinated with these colorful glass balls, that I would collect them. Different colors and sizes, I always found them so beautiful, so alluring. You could do so much with them - the possibilities were endless. I had forgotten how much I truly enjoyed them as a child. And now, here I was with my own child, playing a simple game of marbles watching her delight in them. While we organized them by color, I recounted my marble stories with her and she listened intently. At that moment, we had so much in common. A moment I only wish I could have been frozen forever.

And to think I almost missed it. Not only recalling the innocent joy of collecting marbles - but even more, seeing my daughter's joy and excitement all while playing a simple game of marbles. Stopping midst the busyness was the best thing I could have done.

Elizabeth, will you play marbles with me?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Toadal Laughter

Never knew a toad could bring so much joy to the face of a child. Something that feels so strange, yet brings such delight. His bumpy and slimy body squirming to get away, this little creature has no idea that he is being held by the hands of a sweet boy who wants to play with him. A simple moment between an unsuspecting toad and a very curious little boy.