One of the things Alan and I especially appreciate about traveling is the opportunity to experience new dishes and flavor combinations. On our recent cruise through the Panama Canal, we tried all kinds of good desserts, but our hands-down favorite was a rhubarb crumble that had huge black cherries in it. I’ve long loved rhubarb-strawberry pie, but this was even more scrumptious, and with a little practice, I think I’ve re-created a worthy facsimile thereof !
Rhubarb and Black Cherry Crumble
(serves 8-12, depending on how much ice cream you add!)
Start with 5 stalks of fresh, bright red rhubarb. Wash them, and cut off the ends. Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and spread them into the bottom of an 9X12″ baking dish.Add 1 15-16-ounce can black cherries with the juice.In a separate dish, thoroughly cream together:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter (or margarine).
Next, mix in by hand:
1.33 cups flourSpread this mixture evenly over the fruit. It will be a little lumpy, but that’s okay!Bake in the oven at 350°F. for 45 minutes or until bubbly and turning slightly golden brown on top. (Don’t over bake it!)Serve it hot (or at least warm) with a big scoop of ice cream. Even my grand children loved this one, so you know it’s sweet and gooey! 🙂
“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34.
Posted in Around home, Central American Adventures, Cooking Can Be Fun!, Grandchildren, Recipes, Travels Around the World
Tagged 1 Chronicles 16:34, Favorite desserts on the Norwegian Star, Making rhubarb taste great!, Recipe for the Best ever Rhubarb crumble, Recipe with black cherries, Rhubarb and Black Cherry Crumble
Happy Spring to you!! We celebrated spring and Cindi’s birthday yesterday, which was so much fun that I wanted to share right away in case any of you living in the GR area might be interested in going to the Sugarbush Festival at Blandford Nature Center tomorrow (March 24, 2018) where they’ll be making maple syrup, etc! Also, this coming week would be an ideal time to take your kids
to the Critter Barn in Zeeland, MI, during spring break because they have all sorts of babies being birthed, and if you show up at feeding time, they may even let you give the baby goats a bottle of warm milk! (This may depend on how many children come.) Of course, being our Birthday Club, we stopped at Sandy’s Donut House for some of their famous donuts, and we took a lunch break at El Aztecas Mexican Restaurant, where they spontaneously blessed us with some festive fried ice cream and sang “Happy Birthday” when they found out we were celebrating Cindi’s birthday. If you go to the Sugarbush Festival tomorrow, dress warmly, because it’s only supposed to be a high of 39°F, but there are lots of things to see outside and some lovely nature walks. Also, think about stopping at Sandy’s for a donut on your way, or maybe serving pancakes and syrup at home first, because there isn’t a pancake breakfast there. However, they did let us taste the syrup,
and you’ll be able to buy some yummy maple syrup cotton candy or other treats! If you decide to go the Critter House, I’d recommend going in the next few weeks while the mothers are birthing, and call ahead to see what time the next feeding will be. Be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little warm milk on,
because even kids will be kids…but it’s well worth the spilled milk! I’d never in all my years fed a baby goat before, and it was so much fun!One of the things I love best about our Birthday Club (and about life), is that we’re never too old to try new things, experience new joys and find new beauties. Are you trying new adventures? Keep exploring! The world is full of good things!
“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5).
“He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3).
Posted in Activities in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, Adventures, Aging and Retirement Issues, Birthday Club, Critters, Friendship, Grandchildren, Local News, Nature Studies, Parks, Seasonal Pictures
Tagged Baby kids getting fed from milk bottles, Critter Barn in Zeeland MI, El Aztecas Mexican Restaurant of Allendale MI, Great ideas for spring break in Grand Rapids MI, Our birthday club having fun, Psalm 33:5, Psalm 40:3, Sandy's Donut Shop in Grand Rapids MI, Sugarbush at Blandford Nature Center in Allendale MI, You're never too old to learn and have fun!
Our refrigerator has been sort of the epicenter of family and friend lore. If you’ve sent me a photo of your family in the last few years, it’s probably here! It also serves as a bulletin board and place to display the grand kids’ art work, and when the children visit, they definitely check to see what’s up! Now, I should explain that we bought this refrigerator used 25 years ago when we first moved into Tanglewood Cottage, and it was definitely in need of replacing. Therefore, it was the first thing to be changed out.However, I have a whole section on my blog dedicated to “The Pictures on my Fridge,” and every picture means a lot to me! So, before I let them touch my refrigerator, I lovingly peeled off all the photos and placed them into a coffee table photo album to keep the memories alive! The shiny, new refrigerator (my first “new” frig in our 44 years of marriage) has made me stop and think about the coming year. 2018 will be a shiny, new year… full of possibilities, but without any pictures hanging on it yet. What shall we do? First of all, I certainly don’t want to neglect my family and friends, and I want to finish this year well with the loved ones who are depending on me here at home. Sadly (because I’m so limited and our kitchen is an updating disaster area for the time being), that means I won’t be doing much blogging between now and mid January, although I’ll try to keep my recipes and Song of Solomon meditations going (and anything else as time allows).
One of my girlfriends suggested that I re-post some of my earlier blogs that people seemed to enjoy a lot. That didn’t feel quite right to me, although if you’ve got some free time and are interested in any particular topic, everything I’ve written for the past almost 10 years is still recorded, and if you type a subject into the “Search” bar on the top right-hand corner of this blog, it will bring up posts that touch on that subject. I have to admit, though: The fact that I won’t be able to write much frustrates me and makes me feel like a failure! Does that ever happen to you? You have more to do than you think you “should,” so you feel like a flop? Take heart! God’s priorities are different from ours. He makes things much simpler than we do. God doesn’t measure success in productivity, but in living right and loving well: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV). “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8).
Meanwhile, I pray that God will bless and guide each of you during this holiday season. May you find joy in anticipating the good things God has in store for you this coming year, and may you fill up your days with fruitful service and a host of happy memories from loving well and being loved!
Posted in A Patchwork of Little Thoughts, Around home, Encouragements for Living, Family News, Grandchildren, Holidays, Making choices, Relationships, The Pictures on My Fridge, Those Wonderful Special Occasions
Tagged Getting a new start in 2018, Hanging pictures on your refrigerator, James 2:8, Micah 6:8, What are your plans for the new year?, What does God want for us this coming year?
For any of you who’ve read my blog over the past few years, you may remember we have a grandson living in Grand Rapids who was a micro-preemie. His survival was in question and the source of unceasing prayers for months. Three years later, Samuel is still almost off-the-charts small, but the doctor has signed off on his needing any more speech assessments and says Samuel has completely caught up intellectually and physically (as far as coordination and skill go), for which we are all deeply grateful to our merciful heavenly Father, who loves us all even more dearly than we can imagine loving one another! Samuel has a passion for “Dude Perfect” and anything that has to do with balls, and so he asked if he could have a bowling party for his birthday. I haven’t been to many parties for three year olds (since all our other grand kids live pretty far away), but I can say that this is one of the most fun birthday parties I’ve ever attended where a small fry was center stage! Sammy carried his own ball and learned how to roll it down a little ramp to give it enough momentum to make it all the way to the end of the lane. I’d never seen one of these contraptions before, but what a great way to get toddlers going! We had four lanes’ worth of family (Brianna’s family also lives in town), and everybody got to bowl a couple of games, but I think we all enjoyed watching Sammy, who was so excited he was practically ecstatic the whole time!Sammy’s mother was a heroine that day, carrying Baby Sister the entire time to keep her content and then making sure Sammy was happy even when it was someone else’s turn now and then (although I think he not only had his own turns, but he got one of his mom’s and one of his dad’s each round as well).Brianna’s dad handily beat the rest of us, although her brother-in-law Sam had unbelievable power! Most importantly, everybody had a ball…including sweet Samuel! He even got a few balls among his birthday gifts! 🙂 Samuel wanted a carrot cake shaped like a ball for his birthday. The cake was moist, full of carrots and walnuts, and had cream cheese frosting. We all loved it (at least, those of us with teeth), but it made me consider the fact that Sammy is very unusual! However, isn’t every child unique and wonderful?!?In a day and age when fewer people are investing in children and more people are lavishing their love on pets, I’d like to encourage married couples who are considering whether or not they want children to go ahead and take the plunge! Sure, they’re a huge amount of work and life will never be the same, but it will be better! Through all the sleepless nights and struggles, you’ll become less selfish and emotionally richer. Most parents I know wouldn’t trade their kids for anything, even if they do roll their eyes at times and tease about it! In fact, I don’t think there’s anything more precious on earth than a home with children.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:3-5).
(P.S.—I took the photos from the bowling alley, but the three portraits of Samuel were taken by his mom and used by her permission. Thank you, Brianna!)
Posted in Activities in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, Around home, Bringing up kids, Grandchildren, Life with Toddlers, Premature Baby's Journey: Samuel
Tagged Are kids worth all the trouble?, Bowling party, Bowling with a toddler, carrot cake, Pros and cons of having children, Psalm 127:3-5, Spectrum lanes in Grand Rapids MI, What's a preemie like three years later?
Yesterday we had the privilege of participating in the dedication of our youngest grand daughter. I know many Christian traditions baptize infants, but we practice “believer’s” baptism instead, which means a person is baptized only after they make a personal commitment to Christ as their Lord and Savior. (The closest thing I can think of—although it’s actually different—is “confirmation” in churches that do practice infant baptism.) In many countries (not only through the centuries but still today), people are not considered true believers (or persecuted as such in hostile countries) until they are baptized, but that is not why we defer baptism. We believe that baptism (and communion) do not have saving value in themselves (“sacraments” which confer saving grace on a person). We believe people are saved by faith alone—their own faith, not their parents—and that baptism is an outward witness to an inner conversion experience that happened instantaneously when the person believed in Christ and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior.However, we do strongly believe in committing ourselves to bringing up our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (teaching them about God and his ways), and to this much-prayed-and-hoped-for end—that our children will believe in God and choose Christ for themselves—we dedicate our children to the Lord, committing ourselves as a spiritual community to praying for and participating in the love and training of our children. So, yesterday several babies were dedicated, and among them, not only our grand daughter, but our daughter-in-law’s sister’s baby too! What a very special day of solemnities and joy! Brianna comes from such a big family that we ended up celebrating in two homes afterward, so Elanor got her own cake. Being just six months old, she’d never had cake before but was bound and determined she wanted to try it…and…why not? It met with complete approval, and I hope and pray that as she learns more about the ineffable mysteries and goodness of God, she will be even more delighted and pleased!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him“(Psalm 34:8).
Posted in Around home, Christianity, Family News, Grandchildren, Making choices, Memoirs, Religious Issues, Salvation
Tagged Baby Dedications, Have you ever been baptized?, Is baptism necessary for salvation?, Psalm 34:8, Six-month-old eating cake, What is "believer's baptism" and how does it differ from infant baptism?, Why not baptize your baby?