This harvest season we've, of necessity, tried a few new things. We were buried in jalapenos, beets, and pears, so we hit google, dug through my recipe files, and found some different ways to preserve our bounteous harvest. Jalapeno jelly is a huge hit (and amazing on plain tortilla chips!), as is pear butter (which makes the house smell soooooo good). Even the pickled beets made a few fans (after an hour or so of refusing to try them, my middle child held his nose and force-fed himself the teensiest bite possible and then declared, "Well, that wasn't that bad!"). But I think my new favorite is:
|Delicioso pear bread! (photo courtesy joyosity via flickr)|
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (I usually only use a 1/2 teaspoon)
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (this part is insanely time consuming!!!!!)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (to keep the pears from browning, though I've omitted this and they've been fine)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, of course)
In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. (It's actually really dry at this point, it's almost more kneading than stirring!) Toss pears with lemon juice. Stir pears and walnuts, if desired, into batter.
Spoon into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Oh my goodness, so delicious!!!
One of my favorite LDS doctrines is that we have a Heavenly Father AND a Heavenly Mother. It's always been disappointing to me that we don't know much about her, and I absolutely despise the "folk doctrine" that has cropped up which insists that we don't talk about her out of "respect".
An enterprising person put together this Youtube video of dozens of times that She has been mentioned by Church leaders in General Conference, often in conjunction with Heavenly Father as our Heavenly Parents. It brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my face the first time I watched it, and every time since.
Also, not too long ago, BYU Studies (about as conservative and orthodox a publication as you can get) published an article entitled "'A Mother There': A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven" which debunks some of the myths surrounding Her (including the "respect" one) and lays out exactly what Church leaders have taught about her. The download costs $2, but it's well worth it, in my opinion.
This was a fun link. I already knew most of these "girl power" songs, but I found a few new ones to add to my pump-me-up soundtrack. Ani DiFranco, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Pink, Mama Cass...there's something for everyone here! Here's a taste:
One of my book clubs met last night and another one meets next week. I look forward to these two evenings every month! The amount of discussion about the book itself varies depending on if anyone (besides me) actually read it, but it's always a good time to catch up with old friends and get to know new ones better. If you're not in a book club, I highly recommend finding one and trying it out!