The Humble Turnip!

Turnips aren’t just vintage!  They are ancient!  We know they were eaten by the Romans at the beginning of the Christian Era. They were easy to cultivate, so they spread to many places.  

I’ll take you back to the time Henry VIII.  Turnips were on the menu!   They boiled and baked the turnip roots.  They stewed the turnip tops and made ‘salat’ from the tender-most greens!  

The turnip came to Canada in 1541 by the French explorer, Jacques Cartier.  Colonists brought the turnip to Virginia in the 1620s and the Native Americans adopted it and it became commonly grown. 

Some call the turnip ‘humble’.  I call it delicious.  I am a huge fan.  I also call it, inexpensive, easy to store and a bargain in the kitchen.  It is filled with vitamins and nutrients, and like so many other vintage vegetables, it is at the top of the healthy eating list!

There are many things to do with a turnip, and let’s not forget that the Irish used turnips to carve for jack o’ lanterns, long before the pumpkin debuted on All Hallows Eve!  The vintage recipes for cooking turnips in a pot with onion and smoked pork are all over cyber land.  You can use a ring of kielbasa, pork ribs, or bacon. 

You can add a turnip to your boiling potatoes and mash it right along with the spuds.  You can add a turnip, sliced thin, to the casserole of au gratin potatoes. Make sure you cube a turnip to add to your favorite version of vegetable soup. Roast chunks of turnip in the oven and let the sugar in them caramelize.  Delicious! Add julienne strips of turnip to a fresh salad.  Shred a turnip for a fantastic spice cake!  Yes!

I’m going to share two recipes with you.  This beautiful baked turnip is stuffed with sausage, breadcrumbs and Gouda cheese.  It is so easy, and it is important to note that I used left over breakfast sausage and a couple biscuits as my breadcrumbs! 

Use medium sized raw turnips. Cut the top off and scoop out most of the center.  Leave a half- inch thick shell.  Chop the part that you scoop out.  Mix it with some cooked sausage, breadcrumbs.  Stuff that mixture back into the turnip.  Top it with a pat of butter and a chunk of Gouda cheese.  Havarti cheese or Swiss cheese would be good, too.   

Add a little bit of water to the roasting pan and cover it with foil.  The water will steam the turnips and help them cook through.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, depending upon the size of the turnips.  Remove the foil and finish baking for another ten minutes, so the tops get crispy.  These are delicious and look beautiful plated or served on a big platter.  Enjoy!

I first featured this cake recipe in one of my Made at Home newspaper cooking columns in 2010, but I have shared it over and over again!  It is delicious and you’ll want to try it.  Nobody will know that there is a turnip in the batter! 

Turnip Spice Cake with Lemon Glaze

1¾ cups granulated sugar 
3 eggs 
1 cup olive oil 
2 teaspoons almond extract

2 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
2 cups shredded, peeled turnip

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Lemon Glaze: 
¼ cup fresh lemon juice 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup powdered sugar

Whip together the sugar, eggs, olive oil and almond extract.  Add the dry ingredients a little at a time and whip until well blended.  Stir in the turnip and walnuts.   Pour into a prepared 10- inch tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes until a pick inserted comes out clean.  Cool the cake for 20 minutes before inverting.   Mix the glaze ingredients until smooth and brush a little over the warm cake.   Reserve the remaining glaze to pour over each piece of cake when serving.

I'll be sharing this post with a couple parties, so make sure you check my sidebar for the list!  If you'd like to see other posts from my Vintage Vegetables series, just click the page in my menu!  Enjoy ... and eat your vegetables!

Carrots with Pepper Bleu Cheese Sauce

Why do you serve carrots to your family?  Because they are filled with fiber and nutrients?  Because they are colorful and look pretty on the plate?  Because they are sweet enough for the kids to like them?

Do you cook them same way all the time?  Do you boil them and add a little butter?  Do you include them in pot roast, stews and soups?  Of course.  We all do!  I’ve also added roasting them with a drizzle of olive oil to my go-to recipes.

I’m convinced that we would enjoy this very old vegetable more, if we found different ways to prepare them!  They are very old!  According to, they have been around since 3000 BC.  In keeping with my food project title, Vintage Vegetables, I have to say that carrots are more than vintage!  Some refer to them as old world.  They certainly are, but they have remained a sustainable vegetable into this new world

Carrots or Queen Anne’s Lace?  Wild carrots have a parsnip-type root. Those wild things are referred to as Queen Anne’s Lace today, but that doesn’t make me want to dig up the roots of those pretty highway roadside wildflowers.  I’ll settle for the carrots … in any color … that I can buy at the market … more enjoyably at the outdoor Farmers’ markets!

Let’s not forget how versatile the carrot is.  We’ve all made carrot salads, carrot cakes and carrot muffins.  We enjoy eating them raw, and I’ve never seen a child refuse them if there is Ranch Dip available! 

Another important note about carrots is that they adapt nicely to the flavors of herbs.  Add a handful of fresh basil leaves to the pan while you simmer baby carrots and the flavor changes considerably.  Add dill or cilantro and you have two additional flavors.  A spritz of lemon juice with the dill and lime juice with the cilantro, and you’ll make your carrots even better.  Please set the salt and pepper aside and try something new!  Just because carrots are old world doesn’t mean we can’t bring them to this millennium! 

This recipe couldn't be easier ... and it is such a tasty way to prepare this very vintage vegetable!  There is a shortcut, too!

Roast the carrots in a drizzle of olive oil in a 400 degree oven.  Use a heavy sheet pan or roasting pan. Sprinkle  It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to reach a tender state.  Roasting caramelizes the carrots and that browned color makes the vegetables more appetizing.

The sauce is so simple.  Saute chopped red and green bell peppers in a little butter.  You can use from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of peppers.  When they are soft, simply stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite bleu cheese salad dressing.  Pour it over the warm carrots and serve them.  The buttery cheesy sauce adds a savory note to the carrots.  It is so simple and delicious.  Enjoy!

I'll share this with a couple blog parties so make sure you click through to see the other posts.

This post is a part of my Vintage Vegetables food project for 2020.  If you want to see other posts, just visit the Vintage Vegetables page.

Fennel & Chicken

I was fifty years old before I had tasted fennel!  I'm a cook, but fennel had never interested me, until a friend described its fresh flavor. I had looked at lots of recipes for baked fish dishes that included fennel, but that combination of fish and licorice didn't interest me! I'm still not crazy about fish and fennel, but I'm crazy about fennel!

Fennel is an ingredient in many recipes from the Middle East, but it is  also used in many German salads, and fennel seed is a primary ingredient in the flavoring of Italian sausages. The bulb, the feathery leaves and the seeds are used in cooking.

Sheet pan meals are featured in probably thousands of websites!  I found recipes for Roast Chicken and Fennel in various places and made it my own.  You should do that, too.  Use my recipe as inspiration, but make it your own!

Just look how fresh these three ingredients look!  A pretty red onion, a lemon and the fennel make a fantastic foundation of flavor.

In addition to these ingredients, I used a baby carrots, tiny potatoes and 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Seasonings included Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Seasoning, salt and pepper.

Clean the fennel and slice the bulb. Slice the lemon and the onion.  In a sheet pan, place the vegetables and drizzle them with a little olive oil.  Lay the chicken pieces on top of the fennel, drizzle oil on the chicken and sprinkle with the seasonings.  I used salt and pepper on the vegetables.

Roast the sheet pan dinner at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Enjoy it!  The savory, fresh flavors are exceptional.  Make sure you include a lemon slice on every plate and squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken.  Garnish each serving with a sprig of the fennel leaf.  Delicious!  I'll share this post with some of the parties listed on my sidebar.  Make sure you click through to see those, too!

There are lots of other ways to prepare fennel. I love it thinly sliced in fresh salads.  Try it with slices of apples and a light vinaigrette.  Try it with bite size pieces of watermelon, lightly drizzled with lemon juice.  It is also great added to a salad of mixed salad greens with poppy seed dressing. Do a little internet search and you'll find lots of new ways to use this vintage vegetable!

Vintage Vegetables - 2020 Project

I have several special projects planned for this first year of the new decade!  One of my favorites, however, is this one!  I'll be posting recipes using old time vegetables ... and sometimes using old time recipes with today's favorite vegetables! 

It thrills me to know that young families are cooking again!  I'm fearful that we missed a couple generations of this, as restaurants and fast food chains took the place of a meal around the kitchen table.  Things have changed back to the old ways.  Buying local is popular and frequenting farmers' markets is a part of many families' weekly routines.  Vegetables are in, again!  Fantastic!

I want to be sure that my blog's followers enjoy learning old ways to prepare vegetables.  I want to make sure that those followers can identify heirloom vegetables ... and that they know what to do with them.  Let's not miss any opportunity to eat healthy and shop local!

This project begins today, January 1, 2020.

Follow my blog for weekly posts, and if you miss some all you have to do is visit the "Vintage Vegetable" page to see what you've missed!

Saturday is Soup Day!

Dutch Potato Soup

It is in my DNA to prepare a pot of soup on Saturday ... and that goes for any season!  I'm a fan of soup twelve months a year and when it is really hot outside, I'll switch to chilled soup.

My daughter made a delicious prime rib roast for Christmas Dinner and I brought home one of the rib bones.  I had soup on my mind!

I first made this soup many years ago for our Christmas Eve extended family gathering.  Soup and sandwiches were on the menu and I was already making creamy Oyster Stew for my daddy, so I wanted something with a hearty brown broth.  The recipe was in a commercial cooking textbook I had, but I've changed it over the years.  

It is important to note that you can start the soup with any roasted beef scraps.  I used this beautiful bone that still had plenty of meat on it.  Roasted is the key because it adds important flavor.  The other ingredients you need are sliced potatoes, onion, celery and caraway seeds, onion and garlic powder.

Begin the process by gently reheating the rib bone (with plenty of meat and a little fat still attached) in a soup pot.  If you are using left over pot roast or if your bone doesn't have enough fat on it, you might need to add some olive oil to the pot.

Peel and slice 6 potatoes.  Add just a handful of the slices to your pot and fry the potatoes.  Add a sprinkle of the onion and garlic powders to the potatoes.  Add a quarter of an onion, sliced, to the pot. After the potatoes and onions have browned, add the rest of the potatoes to the pot.  Frying these ingredients adds a wonderful sweet and nutty caramelization flavor to the soup.  It is an important step.

Add 6 cups of water to the pot; add a rib of celery chopped; salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of caraway seed.  I add a sliced turnip to my soup, and if you feed turnip haters, they will never know it is in this big pot!  Let the soup simmer for an hour.  Test the flavor of the broth and if you need to add beef base or mushroom base, add it.  I also like to add a handful of fresh or dried mushrooms in the last ten minutes of cooking.  I add them at the end so they don't cook away.  You can see three stages of cooking in this photo.

If I were serving this soup as a dinner party course, I'd probably garnish the bowl with a drop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh parsley or chopped chives.  It is heavy enough to be a nice meal in itself, though and for Saturday is Soup Day, it usually goes right from the pot to a bowl and to the couch in front of the television!

Hope you try it.  Do it your way and make your own version.  I'll be sharing with a couple blog parties, so make sure you click through and visit those sites, too.  

Luke Chapter 24 - He is Risen

Luke Chapter 24

In this final chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we read about the resurrection of Jesus.  God’s power gives Him new life so He could communicate with His followers and others.

The women went to the tomb, hoping to dress His body with their herbs and oils, but found the tomb to be empty.  They wee astonished and when two angels appeared to them outside the tomb, they were told that Jesus had risen.  

Jesus encounters two men walking to another town and he listens to their conversation, which was about what had happened to Him. The scripture says that they did not recognize Jesus until he sat with them at their table to eat. 

Jesus then visited with His disciples, who did not recognize Him at first. When they finally did recognize Him, they were reluctant to believe that it was actually Him.   He reminded all these people that what He had taught … that all the things told in the Old Testament had to happen. That He had to be killed, so He could be resurrected and ascend to Heaven.  Everything else that occurs can only happen after these events happen.  Jesus left their presence saying Peace be with you.

The Disciples and the women returned to Jerusalem to tell what they knew.  The message of Jesus … salvation through the forgiveness of our sins … is to be told around the world and it began that day in Jerusalem.

In twenty-four chapters, Luke tells us everything we need to know about the life and the message of Jesus. Luke leaves us with the knowledge that God is great and merciful and that we should thank God for the gift of his Son. The Jesus Movement continues.
My take-away from this chapter is that I should not be surprised that people struggle as they come to salvation.  The followers of Jesus … people who had been with Him through His ministry … couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Him after He had risen.  He had told them over and over what was going to happen.  It had been prophesied and was written in the Old Testament, but they clearly did not believe Him.  Finally, they believed and could share the news.

Let’s Cook!

Let’s look at meals for Dr. Luke.  He really did seem to enjoy weaving his writings around meals.  On this Christmas Eve, as you read my post, search “Easter” in my blog and you’ll see several posts about my family’s Easter Dinners.  

A couple dozen people have followed these blog posts about the Gospel of Luke.  Some have sent me text messages and others have sent emails telling me that they needed to have this to read this season. 

I wrote these because I needed to write them this season.  Christmas is not an easy holiday for folks who have things going on in their lives … things that cause them to have trouble finding the Christmas spirit.  We know who we are.  If reading my posts helped in any little way … I’m glad. 

I think the overall take-away from the Gospel of Luke … in the big picture of life and living … is to be assured that what we experience in this life was carved in stone at the beginning of time.  That is hard to imagine that God planned all these things for us … the good and the bad.  I don’t dwell on it, but I believe it … and I believe that everything that happens really does happen for a reason.  I also believe that we might have to get much older and wiser to discover the reasoning, if we ever do!

I’m also certain that the birth of that little Baby in that stable in Bethlehem was a glorious miracle that launched a movement that changed the world.  We probably need to be reminded of that these days, but we can be assured that in the midst of all the political bitterness … in all the evil and danger we see daily … there is a Heaven.  I’m not sure where it is … maybe up there, may right here in another dimension, but it is a place waiting for us, when the right time comes.

We should celebrate Christmastime all year long.  I think I do!  Merry Christmas!

Luke Chapter 23 - The Cross

Chapter 23

This chapter tells of the crucifixion.  A group of people take Jesus to Pilate and they continue to accuse Him of stirring up the people and not paying taxes.  Pilate told them he couldn’t find a reason to punish Jesus. When Pilate found out that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to Herod, who was responsible for Galilee.  Herod couldn’t find a reason to punish Jesus either, so he went Him back to Pilate.

The charges against Jesus were that he was a revolutionary; that he incited people to not pay their taxes; and that he claimed to be a king (and Caesar was the king).

Pilate wanted to release Jesus. It was the custom to release a prisoner every Passover season.  But the vicious crowd made the choice.  They asked that Barabbas be released and that Jesus was crucified.  Jesus was beaten in a way that made Him so weak that He should have died quickly, once hung on the cross, which He was expected to carry to Calvary. Simon carried the cross for Him.  I don’t need to describe the details of the crucifixion, but in the Gospel of John, Jesus says says of His life that no one takes it from Me, but I lay in down of Myself. 

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.  Those words spoken by Jesus at the end are probably examples of a prayer He said all through His ministry.  How many times did He face adversaries?

Jesus died on the cross. Joseph of Arimathea asked to have His body so He could be buried in his tomb. Then everyone rested on the Sabbath.

My take-away from this chapter takes me back to something I’ve written previously.  Everything was carved in stone since the beginning of time, one of my dad’s favorite phrases.  He believed it and I believe it.  This tragic horribly sad story of crucifixion had to happen.  It was a part of the plan.

It may seem a little strange to be reading about the crucifixion two days before Christmas, when we celebrate the birth.  Several years ago, I stood next to a man watching our community’s Holiday Lights Parade, as floats went by us.  One of the floats was built in two parts.  The front was the Nativity and the back was Jesus hanging on the cross.  This man was aggravated that anybody would put that on a float for Christmastime and I told him I thought the two events were connected.  He scolded me.   This man is attempting to run for a seat in Congress.  That seat is currently filled by a man with strong religious roots, so I don’t think my parade-watcher stands a chance of winning!

One year, Joe and I wanted to celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.  The Feast finds its origins in Italian-Catholic traditions pertaining to fasting on the day before the Christmas Day Feast.  We were just interested in the food and I started cooking at about 2:00 in the afternoon and we ate fish seven different ways throughout the evening. 

Let’s Cook!

Follow this link to one of our favorite ways to prepare fish! 

Luke Chapter 22 - The Last Supper

Chapter 22

This chapter details the takes us to the Last Supper.  Passover is being celebrated and Jerusalem is filled with lots of extra people who had heard Jesus speak, so they came to the city expecting great things.  Jesus told the disciples to find a place to have their Passover meal and gave them exact instructions on finding that location.

The priests were afraid of Jesus and the impact He had on the people.  They were afraid of their own population.  They were looking for a way to capture Jesus and bring him to what they believed was justice.  This is where Satan and Judas come in.  Judas was a disciple, but Jesus knew that one of the twelve would betray him and He said so.  The disciples looked around trying to decide which of them was the culprit.  The priests paid Judas and Judas did the job.

The meal was prepared … and in one of the commentaries I read … the author suggested that Luke really liked to include meals in his text.  He did!  Of course, this meal is most important.  Jesus continues to teach the disciples how to get along without Him.  He details the significance of the bread, symbolizing his sacrificed body.  He discusses the cup, symbolizing his blood.  This establishes what we know today as the Lord’s Supper or Communion, an act that strengthens our connection to Christ.  “In remembrance of Me” is the key.

While this is happening, the disciples are arguing about who will be in charge when Jesus is gone.  Jesus tells them that authority comes from service.  Jesus also tells Peter that he will betray him three times, and Peter does indeed.  Peter doesn’t want to be connected to Jesus, fearing his own life.  Jesus tells Peter that Satan has him, but that he will return to Jesus and that upon his return, Peter will strengthen the Jesus movement.

The story plays out.  Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives to pray.  He returns to find his disciples asleep.  A group, with Judas at the front, comes to arrest Jesus.  He is tortured and humiliated and the trial begins.

My take-away from this chapter … aside from the importance of re-energizing our spirit through the Lord’s Supper … is that there is a Judas and a Peter in everyone’s life.  They exist in our circles of friends, in clubs, in church bodies, in places of employment, everywhere.  How do we handle those kinds of people?  I encountered one just this week … a Judas.  This individual will sacrifice everybody on her team to make herself look especially good!  I haven’t decided exactly how I will interact with her in the future!  I will probably attempt to give her some motherly guidance and encourage her to be a member of the team and praise the team as a whole and not herself individually. 

Let’s Cook!

I’m happy to have learned that Luke liked to include meals in his text!  I think there is strength in mealtime.  Families and friends communicate better around food!  Celebrations always include meals at our house.  Enjoy this link to one our special celebrations for Phoebe!

Luke 21 - The Widow's Offering

Chapter 21

In this chapter, Jesus warns his followers about the fall of Jerusalem, but the chapter begins with yet another of my favorite childhood stories.  My daddy had to explain what a widow was and why it was so important to understand that she gave all the money she had … even though it was very little money.  He explained that her gift was more important because it was all she had.  I was probably five years old.  

Going through this Gospel has really made me reminisce about all the people who helped raise me in church!  Mother and Daddy did a great job teaching us and teaching other children, too … but I had some wonderful Sunday School teachers.  I distinctly remember a teacher showing us two pennies in a little basket that we passed for our offering.  She told the story explaining the importance of the widow’s gift.

Jesus talked about how the temple was going to be destroyed and how Jerusalem would fall.  Of course, nobody wanted to hear that, so they asked Jesus when this would happen.  He further described that many false messiahs would come and claim to be Jesus.  He warned his followers not to be fooled by them and not to follow them.  He told them that all the wars and earthquakes and famines would come and would be frightening, but that they had to happen.  Jesus wept for Jerusalem because He knew what was going to happen, even though it would be another 40 years before the city was destroyed.

Jesus told them that there would be signs of His second coming and he shared the parable of the fig tree, using it as an example.  The tree buds and summer is near.  Fruit is coming.  He said that in the same way, signs would predict the second coming.
Jesus is in Jerusalem, knowing exactly what is going to happen to Him.  He is trying to prepare His followers in the best possible way.  His instructions were simple.  Be prayerful and be ready, always.

My take-away from this chapter is also simple.  Always be ready!  In old age, my dad would make me so angry when he would say he was ready … that he had more on the other side than he had on earth.   I couldn’t imagine life without him and I couldn’t imagine that he really felt that way.  Now that I am an orphan child and all the people who loved me unconditionally are on the other side, I understand!  I’m far from ready, though!  I have lots to do.

Let’s Cook!

This has become one of my favorite wintertime recipes!

Roasted Butternut Squash

4 cups cubed raw butternut squash
2 Tablespoons orange infused canola oil
1 orange
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the squash on a heavy baking sheet.  Drizzle the oil over the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Slice the orange and lay it over the squash.  Roast at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the squash is tender and slightly brown on the edges.  Remove from the oven immediately and serve warm or at room temperature.   Olive oil may be used instead of canola oil and if you don’t have orange infused oil, squeeze the juice and sprinkle the zest of an orange over the squash before roasting.

Luke 20 - Joe is Waiting for Me!

Chapter 20

Time was drawing near for Christ to see the cross, and the leaders were drilling him and asking him lots of questions.  They wanted to know by who’s authority he spoke and taught.  They wanted to know who gave him the right to throw the money lenders out of the temple.  

He answered them with a question, asking if the baptism of John was from men or from Heaven.  They debated their answer, but told Him they didn’t know.  They considered John a prophet and they did know, but they were after one thing: to trick Jesus.

Jesus uses a parable about tenant farmers and an owner of a vineyard.  The owner left the vineyard in the hands of tenants.  He sent one of his servants to obtain some fruit, and the tenants beat him and sent him away.  This happened two more times.  Finally, the owner sent his own son, but the tenants decided to just kill him.  That would give them heir to the vineyard.

Jesus uses this story to tell the leaders what was going to happen to Him.  Meanwhile, the Pharisees continue to try to trick Him.  They sent spies in an effort to catch Him doing or saying something wrong.  One asked Jesus if it was lawful for them to pay taxes to Caesar.  This is where the memorable phrase comes from … “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s” because Caesar’s face was on the money!   Jesus asked them why they tried to test Him.

The Sadducees asked Jesus a question about a woman who lost her husband … then married her husband’s brother. Then the second husband died and she married another of her husband’s brothers.  The questioned who she would be married to in Heaven.  Well, that is a good question and I’m not sure I like the answer!  The purpose is for Jesus to explain that in Heaven there will not be a patriarchal structure.  Well, that still isn’t an answer for me and I’m just going to look for Joe Moore and I will expect to see my parents together!
My take-away from this chapter really pertains to that last parable.  We simply don’t know what Heaven will be like.  I’ve read lots of books about folks who claim to have gone to Heaven and returned to tell us about it.  I believe we will be reunited with the folks we have loved on earth. I hope I meet some folks that I never met in this life, but who certainly are an important part of my ancestry.  I also believe I’ll find a few dogs and a cat in Heaven because I loved them so much! 

Let’s Cook!

Honey Walnut Chicken Salad

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 ½ cups walnut pieces
One red bell pepper, sliced
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 cup sesame sticks
Salad greens
1 can cream of coconut
2 cups pineapple juice
Honey Pineapple Coconut Salad Dressing

To make six main course salads, sauté the chicken thighs in 2 tablespoons canola oil for four minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with pineapple juice. Bake them at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. Chill overnight, in the juice.

Glaze the walnuts by sautéing them in 2 tablespoons of the cream of coconut. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of onion powder and ½ teaspoon of chipotle powder. Transfer to a tray lined with waxed paper and let them cool.

Make the salad dressing by combining 1 cup of mayonnaise with ½ cup of pineapple juice, ¼ cup of Southern Illinois honey, ¼ cup of cream of coconut and a dash of rice vinegar.

Compose the salad by topping the greens with sliced chicken, red peppers, walnuts, pineapple and sesame sticks. Top with the dressing.

I patterned this salad after a favorite Chinese dish ... Honey Walnut Chicken ... and, of course, you don't have to use Southern Illinois honey!

Luke Chapter 19 - A Wee Little Man!

Chapter 19

This chapter begins with one of my favorite Bible stories for little children.  Oh, I loved the song when I was little and I loved teaching it to kids.  Zacchaeus was a wee little man!  Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and passed through Jericho.  Some scholars believe that the only reason He went through Jericho was to meet Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and he was a very rich man.  He wanted to see Jesus, so he climbed a tree, so Jesus would also see him!  When Jesus saw him He told him to get down because He was going home with him.  The end of that story finds Zacchaeus admitting to his sins and Jesus proclaiming his 
salvation.  Zacchaeus gave money back to the poor, fourfold.  Laws required that somebody who had stolen money would have to pay the amount stolen back … plus 20%.   Zacchaeus did much more.

Jesus speaks in a parable about a rich man who traveled a distance to another place to  ‘accept his kingdom’ and gave his servants some money to use while he was gone.  When he returned, having been given a kingdom, one of his servants had multiplied his money ten times, so the new ruler gave him ten cities to govern.  Another had multiplied his money five times, so he was given five cities to govern.  A third hadn’t done anything with the money, so the rich man chastised him and had him give his money to the one who had multiplied his ten times.

This same rich man had rebellious citizens who hated him and said they wouldn’t be ruled by him.  They were full of hate.  So the new ruler had them slain.  Life … being ruled by him or death.  The meaning?  Follow Jesus and live forever.

As Jesus got closer to Jerusalem, his followers thought they were going to see something magnificent.  They though the Kingdom of God would mean bright lights and bells and whistles.  Instead, Jesus tells them to go find a colt and bring it to him.  A king entering his city would surely ride on a stallion. Not Jesus.  He rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey and the people cheered.  They didn’t know what was ahead of Him, but He did.

My takeaway from this chapter could be a deep understanding of what Jesus expects from us, but it is all about Zacchaeus and how magical that story is for little children.  The hand motions are so much fun. It is so easy for kids to identify with the wee little man … and the message of not stealing and returning what doesn’t belong to us is easily taught!  The song writer is unknown.

Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see

And when the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree
And said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I'm going to your house today!
For I'm going to your house today!'

Zacchaeus was a wee little man
But a happy man was he
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he


Let’s Cook!

I think if Zacchaeus had eaten his spinach, he might have been taller!  Follow this link for some spinach recipes.  It really is good for you!   Spinach!

Luke: Chapter 18 How to Pray

Chapter 18

In this chapter, Jesus tells his Disciples again that they are moving towards Jerusalem and He describes what will happen to him.  He knows the cross is in his future.

He tells his followers that they should always pray … always be in the spirit of prayer.  He tells them not to get frustrated and become discouraged and stop praying.  I have to say that until we learn that prayer is answered, just not always what we are expecting, it is easy to give up on praying. I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer and I am certain that the more of us who join in prayer, the better.  At one point in our family, my mother was ill and her mother was ill.  She had asked for prayers for her mother.  Grandmother improved and so did Mother.  I asked her if she realized that she had gotten better, too … and she told me that she did realize that and that she was certain that her own improvement was also a result of the prayers.  She said, “people are praying for our family.”  She was right.

Jesus tells a story about a woman who continued to ask a judge to avenge her.  The judge was no good, but finally helped the woman because he got tired of having to deal with her.  He warns us not to pray constantly because we think God is reluctant to help us.  In fact, it is just the opposite. As I said earlier, God may have answered our prayer and we just don’t know it.  We might need to change the way we feel about something … and that sometimes comes with continued prayers.

Jesus also tells a story about people who are self-righteous.  They pray and tell God how important they are!  The suggestion is that God isn’t listening to folks who talk about themselves in their prayers.  Those prayers are my will be done and not Thy will be done … kinds of prayers!  It doesn’t work that way!  Humility is required.

People had started taking their children to see Jesus and listen to his teaching.  Some of his followers didn’t like this, but He made it clear that the children should be allowed.  He warned that we should never block the way of a child.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter Heaven.”  This phrase is a favorite of mine!  Jesus tells of a rich man who asked Him how to enter the Kingdom of God.  The rich man says that he follows all the commandments and is faithful.  Jesus reminds him of his wealth and tells him to share it with the poor. 

The last part of this chapter is the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man.  He asked Jesus to restore his sight and Jesus did so … telling him that his faith had made him see. 

My take-away from this chapter is all about prayer.  My belief in the power of prayer was multiplied a hundred times when I was diagnosed with cancer.  I couldn’t imagine leaving this earth and leaving behind my husband and daughter.  I knew what losing me would do to my parents, because they had already lost one adult child.  There were just a couple weeks between the time of my diagnosis and my surgery, but during that time one of my friends told me he was spending a lot of time on his knees for me!  That meant he was kneeling and praying for me!  I was humbled by that.  My cancer was gone with surgery.  I was one of the lucky folks who didn’t require any post-operative treatments.  No chemotherapy, no radiation.

After a few weeks, I came to realize exactly why that happened.  Young advertising reps that I worked with had a prayer chain going the morning of my surgery.  People from television, radio and newspapers in multiple states were in communication and praying for me.  A group of Methodist men had a prayer breakfast especially to remember me.  Friends from a Pentecostal church in a little town where I had worked met together to pray for me.  Of course, my own family and closest friends were remembering me that morning of the surgery.   Oh, the power of prayer.

Let’s Cook!

I think you’ll enjoy this recipe for Strawberry Banana Coffee Cake.  Make it the day before you want it, because it gets better overnight!  Just follow this link  Coffee Cake Recipe

Mary Queen of Scots Dinner Menu Booklet

Grandma Debbie's Christmas 2018

Grandma's Blue & Green Pupkins!

Autumn at Grandma Debbie's