Food is a language I speak fluently. For me, food has always been the very best way for me to express love. When Nick and Olivia came home, they left absolutely everything that was familiar. They had to get accustomed to a new culture with customs, foods, and language different from the one they had always known. They were introduced to faith and its practice in a meaningful way. And they had to learn to be a part of a family.
One of the things that I can do is to create meals around dishes that are familiar to them, or that were especially memorable for them, recalling those precious good memories from the years before they came home to us. We have been eating a LOT of Bulgarian food lately because I have been compiling a collection of Bulgarian recipes that Nick and Olivia have requested. This requires converting and modifying them for the ingredients available here in the States, and testing them to further tweak for our tastes.
I’m about three-quarters through the recipes that I have collected, and I’m beginning to style and photograph each recipe. Once that is complete, I’ll start casting about for printers so that I can make them available as a complete cookbook.
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Last week, Geo and I gathered about 5 pounds of crabapples from one of our trees and made some crabapple jam. I love this time of year. There is so much to remind us of God’s bounty, so much to be thankful for. How blessed we are to be able to feed ourselves from our own land, from foods that grow wild all around us.
Besides food, we are surrounded by medicines. The youngest five went down with a cold virus just three days after their older brother had surgery to repair a shattered knee. I was able to make a strong medicinal tea from elderberries we harvested from around the barn. I’m happy to say that they are all feeling better.
William, our 16 year old, is recovering beautifully from his surgery, too. Thanks be to God.
And that crabapple jam? It was delicious spread on our homemade sourdough bread.
1 1/2 c. raw honey, agave nectar, or organic sugar
Place fruit, water, and vinegar in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook fruit until they burst, about 20 minutes. Run fruit through a food mill or sieve. Push pulp through the sieve and discard skins and seeds. Place pulp back into the pot and add honey. Heat gently until honey is completely dissolved and incorporated.
Using a jelly funnel, fill clean, hot jelly jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Process in a hot water bath for 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool.
This recipe results in a very thick jam. If you were to add mulling spices, you would have a beautiful crabapple butter. The flavour is astringent. Consider serving with butter or cream cheese, or on a piece of shortbread. It would also be lovely served alongside a beautifully roasted pork loin.
By Nissa Gadbois - RenaissanceMama
At Home With the Gadbois Family http://gadboisfamily.com/
The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms – Angelus Silesius
This beauty was overlooked on our farm up until this year. But the goats noticed her before I did. I’m horrified at what they’ve done to the lower half of her. She is a venerable shrub – rather enormous. Once she has done blooming, I will make some cuttings and give her children pride of place in our gardens. Not only is this Rosa Rugosa a beautiful thing, it is also a very useful culinary plant. You can make so much from the petals, but also from the great big hips that come at the end of the season. You can make everything from an elegant syrup to a luscious dressing for poultry.