Chronicles 4-5 to 4-11 2021

Spring has definitely sprung. The Asparagus are up and my peach tree is blooming. We are hoping that we don’t have another late frost. I also spent a couple days walking the woods looking for morel mushrooms. I found a few other things including my walking stick after I put it down to get a picture of a blood root plant blooming. I heard lots of bees buzzing and am really hoping to get some peaches this year from my little tree. Please little bees visit my fruit trees.

I am also looking at other spring projects to work on around the yard. I had Duane use the tractor to break up some slag I did not get spread last year.  I started spreading it on the last part of the parking spaces by the house in front of the propane tank.

I also started planting onions. I got one row in and the next morning a mole had fallowed the row making its tunnel. I am hoping I put an end to him. We got a piece of flex pipe that would slide inside the tail pipe on the truck. We parked the truck next to his tunnel and then ran the flex pipe from the truck to the tunnel. Hopefully it died from carbon monoxide poisoning and some of my onions will survive his tunneling. I will wait a week and then plant the rest of the onions if there isn’t any more activity. Hopefully I don’t play out a repeat performance of caddy shack in my attempts to eliminate these little pests from our yard and garden.

I got aged horse manure and sawdust bedding from a neighbor last year. When I plant my garden I like to lay down at least 4 layers of newspaper between my rows and then cover it with horse manure with wood chips to keep the paper from blowing away. This helps keep the weeds down so Duane doesn’t have to till between the rows. In the fall he can put the big tiller on the tractor and till the paper and fertilizer into the soil.

I am also working on laying pavers, cement blocks or bricks between the rows of asparagus. Then instead of the big weed job after the asparagus die out I will be able to just torch it with my propane dragon. These will also hopefully help keep down some of the dirt tracked in from the garden.

I tried something new this week and I was surprised at how it really spoke to my heart. The Lord has had me in Ephesians. Sometimes when you read something over and over your mind tends to just skim it and not really take it in. I started at the beginning and began reading it and then writing it in my own words. This has really helped me get more out of it.

The message I got from the first chapter has me meditating on the fact that I was chosen to be adopted by my heavenly Father and that this pleases Him. A few months back during a time of worship I felt like my heavenly Father was telling me my adoption was final.

In the weeks to come I was reminded how often when a child is adopted they go through a period of time where they still don’t understand all the privileges of their new home. Sometimes they horde food, hiding it in their rooms. Often an adopted child will want to take all their prize possessions with them everywhere they go. Often they will react with anger and frustration because they do not understand the securities of their new home. I feel like I am in a season like this with my father in heaven. I so often fall short of what his word teaches us to do and to be like. I remember back to when I worked at a group home for children from extreme circumstances and what we would go through with these girls preparing them for a foster or adoptive home. It was a difficult job but oh so rewarding when the light bulb would come on and a child would realize their true value and be ready to be placed in a safe forever home. My Father has and still is doing a big work in me and the difference is that he knew what I would become and took joy in adopting me, mess and all. The light bulb is starting to come on about how he takes care of the birds and will take care of me too.

A few weeks back I was hungry for sweet and sour something. I decided to wing it and try making it with tofu. Here is the recipe I came up with after a little experimenting. Depending on your diet limits and taste preferences you could add more or less maple syrup or leave it out of the vegies and sauce. The little bit in the tofu marinade helps it brown a bit in the air fryer however can be left out too.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Cook amount of brown rice desired for 4 to 6 servings.

Drain and pat dry 1 block of extra firm tofu. Cut into ¼ inch thick slices then cut these slices into 4 pieces. Rinse and dry tofu container and combine

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 teaspoon tahini

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 T maple syrup

Dip each little piece of tofu into mixture and put in a sealable plastic container. When all are dipped in marinade then pour any leftover marinade over the top of tofu that is dipped. Put in the fridge to marinade while prepping veggies.

1 cup sliced carrots

2 large bell peppers sliced

1 large onion sliced

1 can bamboo shoots drained

1 cup pea pods

I have a removable crock in my crock pot so I prep this the night before. Put veggies in the crock.

 Once veggies are prepared take out tofu and put in air fryer for 3 5 minute intervals at 400 degrees. I have 3 racks and rotate them so that each tray is evenly cooked. Pour any marinade over veggies. Rinse and dry out marinade container. When Tofu is done put back into container after cooled.

 Combine the ingredients below  in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil a minute or two then pour over veggies.

¾ cups apple cider vnegar

¼ cup lemon juice

1-20oz can pineapple

2 Tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic minced

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons arrow root or corn starch

25 drops liquid stevia or 6 teaspoons stevia

 I put the crock with veggies and sauce in the fridge. The next morning get it out and put it on low before getting busy with my day. I add the tofu 15 minutes before serving.

Warm up your rice and serve your sweet and sour over rice. We eat a lot of rice so I usually have a large batch cooked and just warm up what we need for each meal.  

This week they had pineapples for 89 cents each so I bought 4 of them and froze them. I put my pineapple in a bowl to cut them up. This catches all the juice while cutting. I then lay the pealed slices out on a cookie sheet that will not rust and freeze. Once frozen I take them off and put them in a gallon zip lock bag and return them to the freezer before they can thaw. This keeps the chunks separate and you can just get what you want from the larger bag. I then take the outer skin cut off and squeeze the juice out of it. I take all the juice and freeze it in ice cube trays. You can add the cubes to your bag of pineapple. You can substitute 2 cups fresh pineapple and 4 cubes of juice for 1 20 oz can pineapple.

The best part of my week was spent with my step-daughter and her family. They have 6 children and my love bucket is always full after spending time with the grandchildren. This time it worked out that my granddaughter 14 and I were able to slip off to Hobby Lobby and do some crafting together. God is good and I am blessed here on the Wade Homestead.