Wassail

dc3ffd22-d748-4865-84a0-b04e215b7547Wassail is a lovely spiced cider. I have made this recipe on both the stove and in my crockpot (though doubling the recipe in the later is tricky). Easy peasy stuff.
Wassail brings to mind the music minister’s wife at church. Well, he has since retired, so former music minister. His lovely wife made hundreds of gallons of wassail over the years for the choir members before performances.
It is nice for a sore throat or just as a way to warm up on a cold night. Bonus, it leaves your house smelling lovely.

Wassail

  • 2 quarts apple cide
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 12 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar to taste (Optional. You can use honey, but that would be better added to the cup after heating)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot (if doubling the recipe, which I always do, I find it is better done in a large stock pot or dutch oven). Bring to a nice simmer for at least 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
You can put cloves and cinnamon stick in a bit of cheese cloth if you do not want to bother with fishing them out (which is not hard with a nice slotted spoon).
I usually store left overs in the apple cider jug and heat up a cup at a time in a small pot on the stove.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Overflow With Thankfulness

This time of year it is fairly common to ponder things we are thankful for. I am usually a glass half full kind of gal. I like to try to see the bright side and the best in people. I am human and I do fail a lot though.

Overflowing With Thankfulness @godschicki

I was recently studying Colossians when I hit these verses:

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

(Emphasis mine)

Wow. Do you overflow with thankfulness?

When we put our roots into the Lord, into His Word, our faith is strengthened and our vision, our focus changes.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:15-17

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Colossians 4:2

(Emphasis mine in above verses)

When we let God’s peace rule our hearts, it’s a lot easier (note that I did not say easy, but easier) to be thankful, no matter what is going on in our lives. We know who is in control.

Be always thankful. Sing to God with thankful hearts. Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God.  A thankful heart. Catch a theme in Colossians?

 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Easy? No, but we were told this path would not be.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

James 1:2

Consider it an opportunity for great joy. Consider is more of a mental exercise than human nature. for it to become habit to look for the good, we have to consciously make that effort.

Why is it so important to have a thankful heart?

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

Philippians 2:14-15

The world is watching. If we do not have the joy of the Lord, why would they want to know Jesus? HIf we are always complaining. Always arguing. Where is the difference between the followers of Christ and the people of this worldly generation? Where is the light? The salt?

To do everything without complaining is a tall order, one I fail probably daily. Multiple times. Yet, I have found that if my heart is focused on Him, the more I give thanks, the more I overflow in thankfulness, the less room for complaints.

I am excited to be able to co-host the Loft once again. The theme for the month of November is Thanksgiving.
The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the prompt. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly prompt.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single prompt. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s prompt. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

The Loft Link Up
November Prompts: The month of November will be all about Thanksgiving and being thankful. Any post, picture, poem, song about thankfulness is what we are linking up in November.
NOTE: The Loft will be closed on November 25th so that we can celebrate Thanksgiving and spend time with family.
I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.
Now, it is time to link-up!!


Yummy Homemade Mayonnaise

Trying to cut out soy products is hard. It is in practically everything. So I wanted to find a recipe that used healthier oils. I have only found one non-soy based mayo in the stores, and some stores do not carry it. That brand is also egg free so when I make something my niece will eat I just get some of that.
I have always heard that making your own mayonnaise is easy and why buy it when you can make it? I have recently tried my hand at this recipe from Delicious Obsessions. Well, sort of.
I only had regular coconut oil, I am not a huge fan of mustard, I do not usually have white pepper and I did not want to include paprika.
The first time I did not go slow enough when adding the oil, and when it barely got above frig temp it started separating.
I use an immersion blender and an appropriately sized pickle jar (okay, it was a sweet salad cube jar that holds 3 cups or so) that my blender fits in. Saves a bit of clean up.
I also played around with the coconut oil a bit. Not having liquid, I used regular. the finished product was nice…until it was refrigerated….and when it warmed up to soften up it separated.
We also use a far amount of it, so I doubled the recipe.
Please read recipe through carefully before starting! Speaking from personal experience, this is where I get into trouble sometimes!
Homemade Mayonnaise @godschicki
(having all ingredients at room temperature is important for blending success)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups avocado oil
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
Dash pepper
If you use regular coconut oil, warm up just enough to melt-which is not hot at all! You will want your oils in a vessel that is easy to pour from.
In your vessel, put your eggs, 1/4 avocado oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Blend until nice and creamy.
This next step is really what takes the longest, and since the recipe is doubled from the original, takes a bit longer than 5 minutes…probably 8-10. S l o w l y drizzle your remaining oil. Like, as slow as possible. If you think you can not go any slower, you are doing it right. As your emulsion thickens, you may need to bring up your blender or tilt it so that the oil can get into the blades. I move it up and down a bit. Near the end it will seem done, but keep pouring the oil. Patience is your friend here!
Voilà. Yummy homemade mayo that is so much better for you than the junk in the stores.
You can use on sandwiches, in sauces or dips….anyway you would use your mayo!
Disclaimer: This recipe does contain raw egg, proceed at your own risk.

Thanksgiving Memories and Traditions

This month at the Loft, we are focusing on Thanksgiving.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations
Psalm 100

image
I have so many thoughts on thanksgiving, I have some weeks to cover them, but where to start?
Maybe with Thanksgiving Memories and Traditions.
I grew up in a big family. I mean, my mom was one of seven kids. Then there are their spouses. Then I am one of my grandparent’s 25 grandkids. I have lost count of how many great grandkids they have now. My kids are two of many more great-grandkids.
At Thanksgiving, my aunts, uncles, cousins and my family would all head to Grandma and Granddaddy’s house. For some it was a short drive. For others much longer.
We would have dinner after Granddaddy blessed the food with the blessing he always prays over meals. Lots of yummy dishes. Eating until we were stuffed. Turkey, sometimes ham, rolls, green beans, yams, collard greens, butter beans, corn, stuffing, gravy, and a whole host of desserts.
After dinner, the adults would sit and talk around the table, or put on the football game.
Us kids would go outside and build a big fire and catch sticks on fire in it…. really anytime we get together at Grandma’s we would build a fire weather permitting. It was really fun at Christmas because we would burn the wrapping paper and watch the flames dance in a rainbow of colors.
Granddaddy started it. He was always burning pine straw and leaves and such. I remember at 5 years old, he would start me a fire and go mow the lawn! He had taught me fire safety, but as a parent now I cringe at the thought of a five year old playing with fire while the grown up outside in in the front yard! But I am getting side tracked here.
We would draw names for Christmas gifts (because, with so many, it would cost a fortune to get everyone a gift). Cousins would draw from one pool and aunts and uncles from another.
We would set up and decorate grandma’s Christmas tree.
We used to do our gatherings the Saturday after Thanksgiving so the the actual day could be spent with in-laws and the other sides of the family.
Sighs.
Those were the good old days.
But people grow up. What was once a tight-knit bunch of cousins, is now a loosely woven family. Gone are the days of seeing everyone at the holidays. With such busy lives, family is not the priority it once was for most.
How I wish we still did all of that! I hate change.
But I am so thankful for those memories and my sister and I are trying out best to make sure our kids grow up close and we carry on what traditions we can.
For our family, we usually do two Thanksgivings. I make a meal for my husband and children either Thanksgiving day, or the Saturday after, whichever day we do not have the extended family get together. I make a turkey (Good Eats style), cranberry sauce (Good Eats style), green bean casserole (with real food ingredients), frog-eyed salad (sort of a watergate type salad), butter beans, sweet potato biscuits, stuffing (I want to make that real food this year) and collard greens (though, I am the only one who enjoys them)…sometimes I make other dishes, but with just the four of us, we do not need a lot. I also make pecan and pumpkin pies.
I really need to start planning it out and seeing what I can make ahead.
I want to do some sort of thanksgiving tree this year. With the kids so young, crafty things are a bit above their heads, but mayhap if we start this year, next year they will be more on board with it.
We also watch the Charlie Brown specials this time of year. Charlie Brown rocks.
After our little family Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas tree while watching a Christmas movie. That is probably my favorite part. I love Christmas time!
What are some traditions you have? Do you do crafts? Have favorite recipes?

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the prompt. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly prompt.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single prompt. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s prompt. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

The Loft Link Up
November Prompts: The month of November will be all about Thanksgiving and being thankful. Any post, picture, poem, song about thankfulness is what we are linking up in November.
I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.
Now, it is time to link-up!!