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The Mother's Day Good Things & Recipes Potpourri May 9th, 2001

Every mother needs a special day, and although there is the nationally recognized day to celebrate mothers, perhaps it isn't one you particularly look forward to. I know there have been years when I didn't enjoy the designated day very much... or when I was disappointed at how the day went. This I am sure was due to a myriad of reasons that varied from not being remembered in advance, not receiving flowers and cards, *or* receiving flowers and cards and feeling guilty over my not being/feeling worthy of the sentiments expressed in them, ashamed that I didn't/couldn't do enough for my mother, mother in law and step mother.... Oh, the list has gone on and
on. Over the years, some of the Mother's Day messages preached in
church have been difficult to hear... as I could not relate to the wonderful qualities attributed to mothers... either because my mother didn't posses them or I didn't possess them... or because I was working on or striving toward the qualities being described---but felt helplessly or hopelessly inadequate; but one year something finally clicked with me and I concluded that it wasn't where I was that mattered... what mattered was this: after hearing that message when I got up to leave that place, was I going to go the same way and end up feeling the same feelings during next year's Mother's Day message?
Or, was I going to resolve to change the things I could change and learn to be content with those things I could not? Was I going to resent the message or was I going to accept it as an exhortation from the LORD to learn to be the mother God has called me to be?

I had a decision to make... and it was a decision that I have given much thought to. I wanted to be a mother worthy of remembrance. Many many times since then I have thought on my ways and have consciously decided that I want to be a mother worthy of remembrance, and I want the memories to be sweet. Children need a sweet mother... and I am determined that our children have one. This is sometimes difficult as I sometimes forget to keep my emotions under wraps when it comes to disappointment, or sometimes when I am tired, I am intolerant with silliness when it comes to housekeeping, and some days I don't feel particularly patient when it comes to completing necessary chores...
but the thought swirls around my mind that I desire to be a fragrant offering to the LORD and a sweet mother to our children. This thought seems to harness emotions that aren't sweet. It governs my decisions as to how I want to handle situations.

As I shared this with some of you last year, one thing I have begun to do is to remember my husband and children on Mother's Day by writing them cards and giving each one a little gift. I have been thinking about these cards and gifts quite a bit. Now, I must share that the gifts will not be costly because I am unable to spend a great deal and there are many children to shop for... and although they will be very simple, they will have been specifically chosen for each child, and each card will be written specifically for each child. I am very much looking forward to this coming Sunday as I share with each one how grateful I am that the LORD has created and chosen them individually and how thankful I am that He saw fit to allow me to be their mother.
How woefully inadequate I feel for this significant calling---but O, how grateful I am.[PARA][PARA]To thank my husband for making my job and life as a mother so pleasant, I will be making a few of his favourite things. He has sacrificed greatly on my behalf. I recognize that I have neglected him when the need of a child has had to be immediately met, and yet he is continually putting my needs ahead of his own and has a practice of seeing that I have what I need as a wife, mother and homemaker. Knowing this makes me want to be very careful with what he provides and to wisely consider his thoughts regarding household necessities and priorities. These things influence my thoughts as I consider his desires for his children, and as their mother, I continually seek to understand how to help them develop into the people the LORD has designed them to be. I regret the countless times I have failed to see the bigger picture and have focused on the little insignificant things...but these regrets are the fuel to encourage me to strive to be more loving and to seek to avoid the pitfalls in the future.[PARA] ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
Do you need a little pampering??? You might enjoy making some bath salts for your bath or to give as a gift for someone else. Maybe you might like to make these for a special mom in your life! This is a very very easy project! You might even make some salts for your husband and treat him to a refreshing soak in the tub after a long day! You'll have to be creative about a "manly" scent! ;-)

Here's a general bath salt recipe

2 cups coarse rock salt
6 drops food colouring
18 drops essential oil
1/4 teaspoon glycerin

Use 1/2 cup salts per bath.
Essential oils can be purchased "online," at fragrance stores, some craft stores and natural food stores.
Remember the glycerin---the glycerin makes the salts "glisten," and the salts look so pretty this way. You can usually find glycerin at the pharmacy or the drug store.
Colouring: Liquid food colouring is only so-so for colouring---so, use cake decorating paste colours---they are a bit more expensive, but a little goes a very long way. These also give you opportunity to make some of the more unique shades: crème, sage, lavender, etc. You'll have to stir and stir and stir to blend the colours well.
For the mixing: Use glass bowls and metal spoons. Plastic or wood absorbs the oil/fragrance.

You can put these salts in jars with pretty lids or you can put them in bags. Now, the "baggies" way of packaging is not so great because the fragrance tends to fade and the baggies get tiny little holes in them. So, another thing you can do is to use Food-Saver system bags or Seal-A-Meal bags. This way you can determine the amount you want to put in each bag and seal them according to that amount. The plastic bags can be put into a decorated fabric bag and tied with pretty ribbon or raffia and dried flowers.

Another Basic Recipe
2 cups Epsom salts
10-15 drops of your favorite fragrance or essential oil

Mix together in a big metal bowl (remember, plastic absorbs the oil fragrance).
Then put in a jelly jar. Cut a piece of fabric into a circle (with about an inch or two extra to make a ruffle), and put it over the flat lid section of the jar. Then take the lip section, screw that on over the fabric, and voila! The Epsom salts have a nice glimmer to them in the light, like snow!

Additions: You can also mix 1 cup of baking soda, which makes the granules a bit finer. Also, for a creamy bath, add one cup of regular powdered milk.

What's cooking?

Here's a tasty recipe our family really likes (I make 2 of these).
Along with serving "nutty herb" rolls, I make a large spinach salad with bacon, hard cooked eggs, 1/2 red onion sliced into thin rings, croutons and Parmesan cheese to serve with this Quiche. Also cantaloupe wedges sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt and pepper taste nice with this meal.

Delicious Quiche Lorraine
A 9 inch single crust pie (unbaked)
10-12 slices bacon
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced sweet onion (sauté in a little of the bacon grease)
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups light cream *or* 1/2 & 1/2
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper[PARA]1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
[PARA] Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Fry bacon in a large skillet, over medium-high heat until crisp.
Drain on paper towels, & chop coarsely. Sprinkle half of the bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell and sprinkle with the other half of the bacon, cheese and onion.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven (425). Reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Let quiche stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges for serving. ((Note: a favourite addition to this is to add spinach *or* cooked & crumbled sausage instead of the bacon along with sliced tomato wedges arranged around the edge of the Quiche.)) ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

I was going to print for you the Blueberry French toast recipe again, but here is a very similar recipe that doesn't call for blueberries---it is essentially the same---in case you no longer have berries in the freezer. You prepare this "the night before..."

French Toast Soufflé

10 cups white bread cubes (French or sour-dough both work well, too)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
8 eggs
11/2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 Cup powdered sugar

1. Place bread cubes in a lightly greased (sprayed) 9x13 inch baking
pan. (Or the next size larger pan if you have one) 2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, adding one at a time; then add milk, half and half, and vanilla.
3. Dot the top of the bread cubes with cream cheese cut into little cubes; then drizzle the maple syrup over the top and then pour
egg/milk(s) mixture over top of bread; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next morning, remove soufflé from refrigerator and let stand at
room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until set. Sprinkle soufflé with powdered sugar and serve warm with raspberry jam or maple syrup.


How about another delicious spinach salad? (Can you tell I am still "pumping iron" ??)

My daughter made this for me... so delicious, I had to share it with you.

Hard cooked egg
Dried Cranberries or Craisins
Marti's low fat Garlic Basil salad dressing (purchased at Costco)

Place the washed and dried spinach on the salad plate, sprinkle with diced egg (still hot) and lots of cranberries. Sprinkle dressing over all. I think you could easily do this in the "family size" salad bowl and serve individual portions.

Can you use another chocolate chip cookie recipe?!?!

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening,
brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you haven't been out gardening... it's sure a nice time to be outside! Perhaps you might like to try a little container of herbs to start off with. We just got new seed and since the garden is nearly all planted, it is time to work on the herb garden. I only plant the herbs that I actually will use... and so I am looking forward to getting these herbs growing! I will use some of them fresh and dry them for use over the winter. We are finding that all of the children can contribute something to the preparation and maintenance of the garden, and so we are trying to daily have special responsibilities for each one to take care of.
Our fuschia starts are finally beginning to take off. I bought smaller ones this year because of the cost-I am hoping that they will catch up quickly as the weather warms up. I think they just might with the nicer weather and Miracle Grow plant food!
In the garden, we planted more seed than we will personally need so that there will be extra. We will be able to share with those whose yard space doesn't allow for a garden and for those who cannot easily get fresh vegetables. Maybe you could do this, too. Quite some time ago, we had so many vegetables that we took them to church and each week the bags were emptied... so I know this is a help to some!!
I pray that you enjoy a very nice Mother's Day... even if your mother is no longer living, or if you are undergoing difficult times as a mother... perhaps there is a mother you know that you can honour and perhaps you might somehow brighten her day by remembering her. Many times the LORD heals our heartaches by using us to be a soothing balm to another who is hurting or lonely. Seek His Face.... and may the LORD be the joy and rejoicing of your heart.
pamela spurling ~ TheWelcomeHome ~ 2001 ~



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