Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We were recently in Burns to celebrate the insurance man's father's 89th birthday. When we got up on Saturday morning my mother-in-law Bethel cheerily announced that we were having 'Aebleskivers' for breakfast. This brought out a burst of curiosity on our parts, and we learned it was a Danish treat, cooked in a special cast iron pan, shown above. Mom had made up the batter ahead, and was busy pouring each little hole full of the batter. *The batter contains: flour, salt, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, soda and butter.
We stood around and watched this interesting process.

She used a little stick (that came with the pan) to slowly turn the balls of batter as they browned on the bottom.

This resulted in balls of cooked, browned batter...

with holes in the middle, and semi-empty in the centers.

Here's our very interesting breakfast treat! I don't have any photos of us eating them, as they disappeared rapidly! She served them with jam, syrup and/or applesauce. She showed us how to break them open, put a little butter in and then the topping of your choice. My favorite turned out to be raspberry jam...yum! We all liked this novelty, and talked about how Julie's children would all think it really fun to have 'balls' for breakfast!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Genesis 1:14

We live in a land of extremes, called the High Desert. Not exactly the North or South Pole, but extreme never the less. Last Thursday we ate lunch in our Pergola on a beautiful fall day with temps about 72 degrees. I had my wash hanging outside, and continued my gardening. Over the weekend a winter storm blew in and last night I went to bed with it snowing outside. This morning it had cleared off and left just a little frozen ground with a skiff of snow. Snow on the changing leaves of autumn were beautiful this morning outside my window.
I love that God created seasons and changes, and that we can never really predict the weather, nor control it. Hooray for autumn, and winter coming speedily in her footprints.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Gift of Sight

On Thursday, Oct. 14th I had my first cataract removed from my left eye. It is such a simple procedure, I hardly think it qualifies to be called 'surgery'.
I went to this beautiful building in Redmond for the procedure. I was fortunate enough to get to choose to have a 'crystal lens' placed in my eye, which should restore vision in all three areas of my vision: distance, mid-way and close up. However, it did take several days for my eyes to adjust and focus together with this lens. In the meanwhile it was frightening and scary, and made me realize once again the gift and blessing of sight. The human eye is such an amazing and wonderful creation, and the fastest healing tissue in our bodies.

This is me right after the surgery, with my frozen left eye taped down. I will have the other cataract removed this Thursday, and in about three weeks both eyes will have stabilized and I should be seeing better than I was before cataracts. Truly a miracle, and one I never want to take lightly. I am so very thankful to have my sight restored, and continue to enjoy the beauty all around me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Recipe of the Week

We haven't had much time lately to continue with our recipe of the week, so today I am posting one. It's called Autumn Beef and Vegetables in Red Wine Sauce. This is a crock pot recipe, and I made it yesterday while I caught up on things, from being out of town.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds round steak
2 medium carrots, cut up
2 stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup quartered fresh mushrooms
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
Any veggies left over in the frig that need to be used up
3 T. quick-cooking tapioca
1 can or jar stewed or regular cut up tomatoes
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1/2 cup cooking sherry or red wine
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. salt
Fresh ground pepper

Layer veggies on the bottom of your crock pot. I used the veggies mentioned in the recipe plus: some small potatoes from our garden, 1/4 head of green cabbage loosely chopped, and 1/2 a yellow bell pepper. Sprinkle the tapioca over the veggies. Cut the round steak into personal size chunks (2-3 inches) and lay on top of veggies. Combine the un-drained tomatoes, broth, wine, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Pour over the meat and veggies. Cover and cook on low-heat for 8 hours. The recipe calls for serving this over hot cooked noodles, but I opted for a soup/stew effect and served it in large bowls. This is relatively easy, and it made a hearty autumn supper. The insurance man loved it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Mark 4:29It seems that Autumn hurries by so fast, and there is so much to be done. I would like to slow down, and savor the season. However, the garden and it's produce just won't wait for savoring. So, the solution I have found is to savor while I garden, or process our produce. Last night it was canning tomatoes. Tonight it will be applesauce. All good things from our God.
I have been cutting branches of leaves from the yard to make arrangements with, and the colors this year are extra-wonderful! Sometimes I wonder if I should post so much about gardening, but the name of our blog IS Tending Our Gardens after all. I am so thankful to not have to work outside the home at this season of our lives, and get to spend so much time in the garden. Maybe autumn is so busy, because we know the end is nearing?

I have been extra busy this year, because I have the first of two cataract surgeries
today. They have told me that bending and gardening will not work for the next month, so I have been scurrying to complete things, so I can turn to inside projects, like: scrap booking, family history projects, catching up on my reading, crocheting and sewing and cooking. I think the insurance man will be scurrying to get the rest of our outside maintenance done. I am looking forward to seeing clearly again, and plan to be very exited tomorrow to see the first result. I will savor tomorrow...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last week we had some beautiful weather, and a friend took me for a ride in her cute red convertible. We drove out to the town of Sisters, and found a new place to have lunch.
Next we drove on west and up into the foothills of the Cascades, where we found vine maples turning colors. It was a beautiful drive, and we ended up at Round Lake, a lake I had never visited before. It is actually in the middle of an older forest fire burn, but is very pretty.

On our way home we stopped and cut some colored leaves and filled her trunk to take home to make up into giant arrangements (which I've been greatly enjoying!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Look at what I found during my gardening yesterday, hiding under a shrub. According to Wikipedia, it is a variety of 'Coprinus Comatus', a rather common mushroom it says. Well, I'm here to say this is not common in our area, and we should never take such beauty as common!
The beautiful patterns on it's cap just blew me away. It was rather large, and I called the insurance man and a few neighbors just to admire this beauty of God's handi-work. It's a good thing I did, because the frost that night 'melted' the cap as if it had never been there. I'm so glad I found it's hiding spot.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I have found a new reason to love our new fire pit. On these beautiful, but cool afternoons, I have been having a 'bonfire' while I clean out the garden, and harvest our produce. It smells so good, and feels just like autumn in the air, with a bonfire even for us town dwellers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The house is filled with an abundance of harvest blooms...I am truly blessed.