When we were little, my brother used to play on baseball teams a lot. So Mama would pack up me and my sister and the whole family would head out to the ball park where my sister and I would try to find someone to play with or risk having to pretend we were actually following the baseball game. There was this thing that the boys on the opposing team did whenever someone went up to bat, they’d chant “Hey batter batter batter batter batter batter batter batter..” No, they weren’t requesting that someone mix up some muffins. Apparently this chant was to throw off the batter’s concentration in order to give them an advantage (If you have to throw off their concentration in order to win though, what is that saying about your playing abilities? Just a random thought from a backseat driver, I’ll shut up now). I woke up this morning and was thinking of how many of us have something on the sidelines, chanting as we take our turn at bat. How many times we get distracted by petty things that nag, nag, nag, so distracted that we lose sight of our original goal. On a grander scale, we may set out to change the world and be fully capable of doing that, but we get so caught up in swatting a honey bee that the sun sets and we missed the chance to give our orders to the assembled army. They’ve all gone home out of boredom, and we’re not a single step closer to our goal. Why? Because we spent our day swatting at a honey bee. Annoying, isn’t it? There are so many batter chants in our life. Things that steal our focus, things that cause us to go tilting windmills instead of accomplishing what we’re meant to accomplish. Those little honeybees could be anything from ugly acting people to congested traffic. I have a hundred petty things that call for my attention each morning. I’m not talking about laundry, dishes, or such. Those aren’t petty. I mean things like getting irritated over something someone else does or says, chasing after offenses or spending my time getting frustrated that I can’t make something work the way I want it to when there is another way that will work staring me right in the face. Crazy, huh? I have to remind myself that my life is too short to dedicate it to trivial things like that. A dear friend (hey Auntie!) pointed out to me recently that the Greek word for “offense” also means “bait” as in, to bait a trap to ensnare. So if you think about it, when we waste our time taking the bait of a honeybee or those folks in the outfield trying to throw us off, we’re allowing ourselves to be caught in it’s trap – and when we’re caught in a trap, we’re not doing what we need/want to do. I know you’re gonna hear some chants today and probably have more than a few honeybees buzzing about your head but I challenge you to ignore them as you go up to bat. This is your time to hit it out of the park and you have limitless home runs within you.
Since apples and zucchini are so abundant this time of year, it's only natural that the two be used together in one recipe. Made this yesterday and it makes a nice moist bread. My family loved it!
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 cup shredded peeled apples
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, sugars and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples and pecans (batter will be stiff).
Spoon into three greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until done.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely
Make going back to school sweeter by tucking one of these cookies into the kids' lunch boxes. My daughter made these cookies today for her grandchildren and they are the best oatmeal cookies I have ever had. You simply have to try them.
11/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt (use ¼ tsp. if starting with salted butter)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. freshly grated NUTMEG
2 sticks butter,unsalted softened
1/2 tsp. PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
1 Cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 Cups oatmeal
11/2 Cups raisins
Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions and preheat oven to 350°.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and NUTMEG; set aside.
Beat the butter and VANILLA until creamy.
Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix well.
Fold in the oats and raisins.
Roll the dough into generous 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each ball.
Bake at 350° until the cookie edges turn golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Halfway through the baking time switch the cookie sheets from top to bottom and turn them from front to back.
Place the cookie sheets on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely before removing.
For chocolate chip cookies, substitute chocolate chips for raisins and omit the
Recipe from Penzeys
Homemade stewed tomatoes from the crockpot for freezing. When the tomatoes are abundant this is a great way to use some of them and have stewed tomatoes for dishes when the winds are cold and the snow is blowing outside and you're all warm and ready to dig in to some good food.
6 to 8 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons margarine (I use bacon grease)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons sugar (more or less)
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Core tomatoes; place in boiling water for about 15 to 20 seconds, then into ice water to cool quickly; peel.
Cut tomatoes in wedges. In Crock Pot, combine all ingredients.
Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours.
Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle top with parsley, if desired.
Serve as a side dish or freeze in portions for soups or other recipes.