Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Forty Days

Lent starts tomorrow - a forty day journey to Easter. Lent is a relatively new concept to me in some ways. I do remember it as part of my upbringing - starting with a churchy pancake dinner and hearing about how people were 'giving things up' for forty days (usually Tim Hortons), but it's only recently that I've grasped an understanding of how powerful these forty days can actually be.

At Eucharist, we're thinking of it as a climb to the mountaintop. It won't be an easy climb, but I know it'll be a good one. I'll be mapping out these forty days as a journey. Where am I now? How is my relationship with God, with others and with myself? Where do I want to be at the end of this? There are a lot of things heavy on my heart these days, and there are moments and days when I literally feel weighed down in the depths of my soul. This is not how I was meant to live, and I know that God is calling me to something bigger, lighter, more full of life. Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" - so on that glorious Sunday in April, when we celebrate the resurrection, my hope is that I am free to do that, and understand what it means. There are a lot of specific goals and entanglements that go along with this, better shared in person I suppose, but I wanted to share at least this much because this is probably my favorite time of the year, and a lot of people don't know much about it besides the whole pancakes thing.

It starts tomorrow night - Ash Wednesday. If you feel at all like there is healing that needs to happen in your life, or that there are relationships that need to be mended, or that there is hurt that needs to be reconciled, just be open to the idea that these forty days might be the right time for that to happen.

(Top photos taken at the Hot Chocolate Festival in the Dundas Valley on Family Day)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Fun!

Well, I just had a lovely weekend!

1. Cute Friday morning sewing project. Got the idea here. Gah! I just love hearts and love and Valentine's Day...
2. Special delivery! Spent the afternoon on  Friday handing out gifts to some of my favorite people. Find out more on the Sweet Ice blog!
3. Art Crawl! There was lots to see, as usual. We tried to make it to all our regular stops, but everywhere you turn there are more friends to catch up with! So fun. (The picture on the right is from 'Have I Been Here Before?' by Lenka Novak at Hamilton Artists Inc.)
4. Needlework's grand opening! Kate and Liz's new shop looks absolutely darling...they've done an amazing job so far. Make sure you stop in there sometime soon - they've got lots of sewing notions and they already have an amazing selection of fabric!
5. It finally snowed!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recipe: Red Pepper & Goat's Cheese Soup

Here's something different for ya! I made some yummy soup last week, and thought I'd share. Something I realized, in the process, is that if I take pictures while I'm cooking, I basically HAVE to clean as I go, which leads to a very pleasant kitchen experience!

So, this is a red pepper and goat's cheese soup, and in the end, even though there are lots of delicious ingredients, it mostly just tastes like red pepper...so...don't make it if you don't like red peppers, okay? Also, this is a very brief and unprofessional recipe, so if you are at all concerned, you can find my inspiration here...I basically just doubled it and tweaked it to my liking. Here we go!
1. Fry onions until they're golden, and then add wine to pan. Fry until alcohol evaporates - about another 2 minutes.
2. In a large pot, combine onions, peppers (chopped), apples (chopped), basil and stock. Boil 20 minutes or until peppers are tender.
3. Puree in blender, then put back in pot and whisk in goat's cheese. (You can add even more if you LOVE goat's cheese like I do!)
4. Add salt and pepper to taste and then eat the soup.
This takes about a hour total (to chop, boil, and puree), and makes a big full pot that you can enjoy all week! You can garnish with basil or goat's cheese, and make sure to stop by the bakery to get some fresh bread. Enjoy!