Thursday, August 7, 2008


I have a nice little disease affecting me lately. It's called postphobia.

The symptoms are: lack of good posts, pictures, and updates.

The causes are numerous, including but not limited to: busy schedules, stress, no access to computers that can upload pictures (agh!), and little time for computer.

This blog has been on my mind a lot lately. I am concerned that the focus here continues to be honoring the Lord with the work of our hands. In my own life, I am thinking about that very thing quite a bit lately. I want to be so careful, that the goal of everything I do is to further His kingdom and bring Him glory. I don't just want to write about food, plants, fabric, and people. I want to write about Him. More specifically, I want to learn how physical things that I do and create can be used by Him and for Him. Of course, that topic takes in many things, including food, plants, fabric, and people. :)

Just so y'all know......I have been wanting to say this for awhile....Clarification: YES, I DO MORE THAN JUST SPEND TIME IN THE KITCHEN. I realize that many of my recent posts have been about kitchen things, and that is purely coincidental. I honestly do have a balanced life; it just so happens that kitchen things have been what I've been in the mood to write about. I apologize to those of you who want to hear about other things once in awhile. I have about half a dozen posts circling in my head; all about sewing, quilting, painting, instrument playing, singing, woodworking (honestly), gardening.....ahhhhh! I have to stop. It's so frustrating to not be able to type everything in one post. :)

Hey - wait. Can I just give a one-or-two sentence update on each subject? Would that be crazy?

~ Sewing: Okay, too broad a topic for the moment.

~ Quilting: Nope, can't talk about this one until I upload the pictures.

~ Painting: We've been painting the outside of our house this week. Sigh. I have pictures for that too,'ve guessed it! They're not uploaded.

~ Instrument playing: I've been inspired by Sarah to get out my fiddle again. I haven't touched it since getting my mandolin. Thanks, Sarah!

~ Singing: We had some lovely fun with another family this morning. A friend of ours offered to give our two families singing lessons. Between our two families, we have 12 children - quite a choir!

~ Woodworking: Pictures for this are also sitting on the camera, waiting to be uploaded.

~Gardening: My squash plants have officially died. I know; it's sad, isn't it? I have missed the squash so much this year. I still can't believe they didn't flourish; we usually have squash coming out our ears.

But our cucumbers produced well....which brings me to my next topic: the Relish Story.

Okay, so it's not that big of a deal, but I promised to share some pictures of the relish-making, and here they are:

I started with this little heap of shiny green cucumbers (or, as my little sisters say "raw pickles.")
Not a ton, but enough.

Here's a picture of my work station. I had this side of the table. In the top left corner, you can see a bit of corn cob. My mother and three youngest siblings were freezing corn while I was making relish. What a busy, noisy, happy kitchen!

Also, take a good look that that neat little gadget in the bottom right-hand corner. It's called a Bononzi chopper; Mom gave it to me as a gift last year, and it's so fascinating. This is what it makes:
Isn't it beauuuutiful, the way all the pieces are the same size? They weren't quite small enough to make real relish - it was more like tiny pickles - but it still tastes good.

This is cooking the mixture....

...And, can you believe it? I didn't get a picture of the end product! I did, however, learn one thing. Do not use wooden spoons to stir pickle brine. The acid in the vinegar will turn the wood a bright yellow. (See above photo for a comparison between a yellow spoon, and one that was not used for pickles.)

But then, what would a time in the kitchen be, without learning something?

I can't think of a good life-lesson to draw from relish-making, but I know I've personally been learning a lot lately about redeeming my time, and getting a lot done in one day. Relish was a part of that.


What have y'all been doing lately? Please forgive me for a rather crazy, hectic post, and tell me how life is out your way. I love hearing from each one of you SO much. It makes my day to get a comment. And I'm sure that what you have to say would be more interesting than yellow spoons! *grin*


Sarah said...

I enjoyed this post, Amber! Thank you for sharing your heart in regards to your blog . . . it was encouraging to read!

It looks like the relish making went well. :) That is an amazing kitchen tool! It would certainly make preparing the recipe much simpler and faster.

I hope that you have the opportunity to upload photos soon, as I am looking forward to seeing them! :)

That is too bad that all your squash plants have died! I am so sorry! If you lived closer, I would give you some of our squash. :) But alas, you are just a tad too far away for that. ;)

I am glad that I 'inspired' you to play your fiddle! After I got my dulcimer, my fiddle suffered from lack of use for a time, too. :) I can certainly understand the excitement of a new instrument! (By the way, on my blog in reply to your comment, I asked which instrument you played . . . when typing it, it had completely slipped my mind that you have already told me! Sorry about that!)

Thank you again for sharing this post!

Leah said...

Hello Amber, I found your blog a few days ago from a comment you left on Sarah's blog, (As Lilies Sewing) and have enjoyed reading some of your posts. It sounds like you have a very busy happy life!
Home made relish sounds so good! I spent almost the whole day yesterday in our large garden and had a wonderful time picking beans and broccoli, I can hardly wait for our cucumbers to get large enough to pick.
I'm sorry to hear about your squash plants dying, that must be very disappointing.

Thank you for putting the 'deaths' counter on your blog, it is very sobering. I just came back from Sidewalk Counseling at an abortion clinic, what a horrible thing it is to see mothers going in to destroy their babies lives. We plead for them to not to do it, but most go in without hardly looking at us.

Thank you for sharing with us!
Love in Christ Jesus,

Meredith Ivy said...

Hi Amber! You've won a blogging award! See my blog for details.

Amber said...

Thanks, Sarah. Your comments always encourage me, too. And thank you for the offer of squash.:) I also wish we lived closer! Not for squashes' sake, however. :)

Welcome to my blog, Leah! I enjoyed reading the "Giving the Gospel" post on your blog. What a wonderful thing it is, to be able to witness!

Meredeth Ivy, I haven't properly welcomed you, either; so...welcome! You are so kind, to give me a blogging award. Thank you very much. I'm so surprised! I also enjoyed reading your blog today, and finding out a little about you. I love how your profile says "my college is my home, and my primary textbook is Proverbs 31:10-31." I guess you can tell that I love those verses too! :)

I am just sitting here thinking how wonderful it is to meet other young ladies through the blogging world. I hear a lot about the dangers of internet, and I know it's true, but there are also blessings, and you ladies are a part of that blessing! Thanks so much for being my blogging friends.