Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend wanderings...

Weekends have never had a special distinction
around here. With the exception of church on Sunday
mornings, our days on the farm run from one to the next.
Until now.
Gracie Jo started grade one this September and weekends
have just taken on a preciousness I've never known...

So what do we do with a lovely Sunday afternoon,
with air so crisp and fresh it reaches way down
into your chest and bursts with expectation...
You put on a thick sweater, tuck in the blankets,
and wander wherever the road leads you!

And we're off! (Looks like Jude is going to need a
new hat - heehee! - time to get out the hooks!)

Ready, Mom!

Country roads, take me home
to the place I belong...

My *second* favorite herd of cows...and 'Curly' the bull :)

And this girl, who has a zest for life like no other.
So like her father...

Yep, not sure what to say about this.
Other than I love him :)

We do not remember days;
we remember moments.
~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand


I can do it!!

Can you feel the joy?

That's our girl.
Did I mention she takes after her father ;)


Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love,
the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
~The Wonder Years

We hope your weekend wanderings are
making wonderful memories too.

The Koobs Klan

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Moving Mountains

One week before this video was taken
we were told by one of Jude's doctors that,
because of the sprangles on his collarbone
and misalignment of his shoulderblades,
he would probably not crawl.
Not that there was anything wrong with
him developmentally, he just
was physically incapable of crawling.

Feast your eyes on this.
Because of your prayers.
Because of sheer determination.
And because greater is He...

You, my dear (Jude), are from God
and have overcome them,
than the one who is in the world.

~1 John 4:4~

Make no mistake.
God still moves mountains.

Overwhelmed by grace,
The Koobs Klan

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

'Silly' sauce

As I picked the tomatoes in the cold morning,
rain soaking through my coverall and running
down my neck, I muttered and I mumbled.

Just what I needed today...
more work!

I always feel guilty complaining about the
garden. How can one complain about the
bounty and the goodness it has produced?
But, really, the last thing I wanted to do
today was more tomatoes.

Thankfully, God had other plans.
He knew that all those crazy tomatoes...were
just what I needed today.

At the beginning of the summer my mom
brought me a box full of, what most people
would have passed off as, junk.

For me, it was a priceless treasure.

Old baking pans, a 'vintage' Mix Master,
baggies of cookie cutters and cake decorating tips,
and recipe books. Some in Dutch, some boasting
butcher paper covers, and some old photo albums
full of newspaper clippings with notes carefully jotted
in the margins and favorites starred in the corner.
All in my Oma's handwriting.
This box of my Oma's baking 'junk' couldn't be
any more precious to me. Memories of gingerbread
house making, decorating dozens of shortbread
cookies, and learning the finer art of pudding
making come flooding back every time I
look inside. And when I came across this precious
recipe, I could hardly contain my joy.

Oma VanVliet's Chili Sauce.
Finding this faded recipe, taped to the back cover with
yellow, peeling scotch tape warmed my heart.
I can still hear Opa telling us to run down to the pantry
to grab a jar of 'Oma's chili sauce'. Opa's English was
near perfect, but he always carried that strong Dutch
accent that caused the word 'chili' to be pronounced more
like 'silly'. I'm pretty sure that us grandkids all thought
we were eating 'silly sauce' until we at least 12 :)

Figuring out the recipe put a smile on my face.
I'm pretty sure Oma used cloves...not 1/2 tablespoon of gloves!
And I can just imagine her sharply correcting herself when she
wrote 'fresh' celery instead of 'raw' celery. Like Opa, she was
very determined to be Canadian. I find it funny how
determined my grandparents were to be English, and
how our generation clings so tenaciously to our Dutch roots.

A perfect accompaniment to nasi goreng, 'Oma
VanVliet's macaroni' and other fall casseroles, chili
sauce was always a staple at our tables. The
thought of carrying on Oma's memories in a sauce
may seem strange to some, but I knew right away
that this was one recipe that would find it's
way back to our meals.

Sewn by Oma, this apron was the perfect choice
for today's work. It, too, makes me smile when I see it.
I wonder what she was thinking when she picked out this
fabric?? Probably it was on the clearance rack - there were
certain elements of her 'dutchness' that could never be erased :)

The recipe didn't call for tears, but I'm pretty sure
some found their way in here.

As the smell of the chili sauce wafted through the house
and Oma's favorite hymns played gently on the radio,
special memories and merciful reminders wove through
my thoughts. What will my grand-daughter remember
about me? What will she think of when she hears my name?
What special memories will she hold in her heart?

Will I ever have a grand-daughter of my own?

I'm quickly brought back to the present by the sound of
laughter and squeals coming from the kids' bedroom.
...and LOUD thumping.
'What are those turkeys up to know?' I wonder with a grin.

This is what the boys
do when Mama's busy
crying in the kitchen.
Well, no one's broken
their arm...yet.

I walk away, smiling,
because those boys sure are boys.
Opa would have loved them.
And, oh, how Oma would've
YELLED at them!!

And I'm so thankful for all those
bloomin' tomatoes.
They were just what I needed today.

"...your Father knows what you need

before you even ask him."
~Matthew 6:8~

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tonnes of Tomatoes...or 'Close your Eyes, Marnie!'

What do you do when the garden just won't stop??

If it's a busy day, you chop 'em up...

And throw them in the freezer to deal with later!!

You call your sweet Mama - salsa making queen
and master of the death slicer! Unlike me she
slices away on that thing without any apparent
concern for her digits...when I grow up I want
to be just like her :)

Even dad *appears* happy to end the day's beans for me.
I love my dad :)

And what to do with all the leftover bits?
Smush the goodness out of them, leaving all the delicious
juices behind. I'm not even a fan of tomato juice, but this
stuff is SO GOOD!

Garden fresh tomato juice - scrumpdillyocious!

The Green Zebras :: our favorite heirloom variety
And so beautiful. Each one is like a watercolour canvas.

I'll be honest, I thought Pete was crazy in the spring,
planting all these tomatoes
but it's been worth every ounce of effort.
And still is.

And sometimes,when fun gizmos are involved,
I can even persuade farmer husband to help.
It also helps if I wear a cute little dress :)

Add some of our onions, garlic from Uncle Simon (courtesy
of Pete's mom's garden), a touch of salt and lemon juice
and a most mouth-watering marinara sauce materializes.

The shelves in the pantry are filling up with goodness.

And when all else fails...
send every visitor, delivery person and farmhand
home with a bucketful! If you need some tomato-y
goodness, you know where to find us. Teehee!

Blessed by the bounty,
The Koobs Klan