The Large Significance of Small Things.

I admit it.  I’ve got an edge of domesticity. I just don’t talk about it all that much.   All of that “stuff”, though it takes up the majority of many women’s lives  is too small to be the starting point, not to indicate that small is not significant.  Just that the bigger picture must inform smaller ones or we live and think in limited ways and forfeit the fullness things were intended to have.  I really believe a home should be managed like a well-oiled machine. But the machine serves a larger purpose. That’s where we have to start.  That’s the energizing fuel.

So all this domestic stuff, I just do it. Everyday and all day by choice and by necessity in hopes I’m bringing in a bit of the beauty and order of God along the way.  All the while I load the dishwasher and contemplate the latest UN meeting discussing women in the world or talk to my boys about the significance of the Roman Empire while I wipe a poopy bottom and clean lint out of the dryer. I trust my hands are worshipping God with external service while my mind is doing likewise and they both carry on quiet nicely.  Perhaps that is odd.  I often feel it must be odd.  I line up and label my laundry baskets in the hall according to category; I’ve  a huge drawer of spices which I use regularly and mix them with the gusto of my oil paints; I like my beds made every morning and my floors mopped every week; I cut my boy’s hair and am working on creating homemade deodorant; I attempt to grow herbs and love to hang curtains and pieces of art against nicely painted walls.  I maintain that we are not cookie cutter mommas and this is not a competition. What a relief. When I am in a creative effort be it writing, painting, lesson planning or cooking things get messy.  Super messy. I take over rooms.  I cannot create clean.  I try. Really I do (say I to my husband whose job it is to clean up the kitchen with the boys after supper while I bathe the princess).

So it got messy this week again with the following delights.  Perhaps out of relief of sick kids getting well after three weeks.  I usually don’t find great satisfaction in creating things of impermanance, but my thoughts on that are evolving and it is always enjoyable to have my children enter into these experiments.  Have fun getting messy with the domestic business of creating.  Entirely God-like and everything to do with the Grand Pursuit.

Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes

Cakes: Make a dozen, cook on 350 F for 25 min. 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour, 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa flour, 1 tsp. baking powder. 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 avocado (pitted and peeled), 1 c. pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla, 3/4 c. milk (I prefer rice milk, soy can be used too), 1/3 canola oil.   Frosting: 1/4 block silken tofu (drained and patted dry), 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. salt, 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted. Pulse all in food processor.  Frost cakes when cool. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and avocado bits (it was fun to freak my boys out with green slivers).  Keep leftover cakes stored in fridge, covered.

Parmesan-Califlower Fritters w/ Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce

Fritters: 1/4 c. quinoa (cook it in a skillet with a bit of oil until it starts popping, then add 1 c. of water, bring to a boil and simmer until water is absorbed), 1/2 tsp. salt, 8 oz. cauliflower (cooked and mashed). 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, 2 lg. eggs, 2 tsp. chopped parsley, 2 tsp. italian breadcrumbs or whole wheat, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper.  Spray cookie sheet and pre-heat oven to 450 F (makes 18 fritters).  Heat saucepan with some oil over high heat, cook quinoa until it starts to pop.  Add with rest of ingredients into bowl.  Shape into 3-inch loose patties and plop on sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Sauce (kudos to my sister Kim):  1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, In food processor: 1/2 Vidalia onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 celery stalks, 2 peeled carrots, fresh basil leaves, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, italian seasoning to taste, cinnamon and sugar to taste, 2 32 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes.  In large pot saute onions and garlic in oil about 10 min.  Add rest of ingredients and 2 dried bay leaves.  Simmer on low for one hour, stirring often.  Serve over fritters with fresh spinach salad.  Great leftover lunches for a day or so!

Benjamin’s Favorite Dish: Tropical Puff Pancake

Works best with an iron skillet.  Coat it with oil and put in 425 oven to heat for 10 minutes. Double this recipe to feed a family of five.  Pancake: 1 T. oil extra-virgin olive oil, 2/3 c. ww pastry flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 4 eggs (organic ones to me taste so much better), 1 c. milk (rice works fine too, but don’t add as much), 2 tb. melted butter.  Pour batter into hot skillet, bake for 15 min. then reduce temp. to 375 and bake another 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Will deflate as it cools. Topping: In small sauce pan combine 2 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder, 1 8 oz. can of pineapple with juice (fresh is better), 1/2 c. shredded coconut and 2 sliced bananas (organic is best). Cook until slightly bubbly and thick.  Spoon filling onto center and slice like a pie, serve with real maple syrup.  

Avocado Chimichurri Brushetta 

This is my all-time favorite appetizer I like to serve inside of mini toasted ww pita breads with a tomato basil soup and a salad.  2 T. lemon juice, 2 T. red wine vinegar, 3 cloves garlic (minced), 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. chopped cilantro, 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, 2 avocados peeled, pitted and cubed.  Whisk all together, spoon into pitas.



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