An April flurry will make you scurry.

Boy am I glad I stuck to my plan of waiting to start seeds till mid April and I am also glad for heat in my green house. I have several cruciferous plants poking their first two leaves out from under their blanket of dirt, but the tomatoes and peppers are staying covered up waiting for warmer days to show their faces.

Unlike some of my friends I did not have much to do to try and protect things here on the farm. A friend with fruit trees was up a big part of the night keeping water spraying on them to protect their blooms. Our fruit trees are too spread out to do this, however after the snow melted the trees seem to be OK. Hopefully it will not affect them bearing fruit. By the end of the week I was able to go out and pick a bouquet of Lilac blossoms to make the house smell pretty as they bloom. I am so thankful for Duane’s sister planting them for his mom. I look forward to their fragrant blooms every year.

I did do a little experiment with the three morel mushrooms I found. Here is the sight where I got the information for my experiment (https://youtu.be/lTFugHA2WaI ). I did not have all the ingredients so I improvised. I blended about 1 cup of wood chips from a recent tree my husband cut down, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 T molasses, a handful of wood ash from the wood stove and about 1 1/2 cups oat flour. We ended up leaving them set for 3 days with an aerator for a fish tank running because of this weeks snow. I modified what I did to fit what I had here on the farm. Despite the snow still melting we took it out Thursday and poured it over half of the area I prepared for them to grow. Before the snow I laid between 4 and 6 inches of wood chips along the north side of the chicken coup which is about 56 feet long.

We also ordered a kit to plant a larger planting of morel spores and decided after seeing the rain run off up next to the chicken coup to put them in another area. They came in Friday. I will do 5 separate plantings and am following their instructions and hoping for a harvest next year.

It seems my sweet potato slips grew exponentially this last week. I woke up one morning to discover they were ready to slip off the potatoes and put them in water to root. I put 24 slips into water to root the first of the week only to discover on Saturday that I should not have put the two starts that had some bio-film on them in with the other fresh slips. I lost all but 4 of the 24 as they had rotted in the water.

I brought all my sweet potatoes that were in water to the kitchen sink, cleaned them all up and put fresh water in their containers. I also got a new cup to root my slips in. This one is clear and hopefully I will see if I have a problem before I loose them all again. This is a new problem I haven’t had before but I am going to be more cautious now. Instructions on how to start sweet potatoes is below.

Wednesday I had tea with a friend. I wanted to make it special. We have all been more isolated lately and I know the season of covid has been hard on her household and that it is still affecting them. We were hoping a friend that we have not gathered with since restrictions hit would be joining us too, however the snow kept them from returning from Florida. It was good talking and crafting with a friend.

Thursday morning after the snow had melted I got up and went back to the woods to explore the mushroom situation after all that moisture. I did not find any morels this time, however have decided to explore the other types of fungi that grow back there. I would love to learn about some of the other mushrooms that are edible and not as popular as the morels. I am amazed at how many there are. Identifying them is hard so I will be cautious. I don’t want to poison us in the process.

Thursday afternoon was a blessing. I got to spend time with one of my cousins, my mom, sister and aunt. We had a little celebration for my Aunt Mary’s Birthday. I have not been able to see her for over a year because of covid. Despite her busy schedule, my sister made the time special with pizza, presents and 2 beautiful cakes. She is a dietitian at the nursing home where my aunt lives and I am thankful she has been there to stay in touch with my aunt when family was not allowed to come in. My sister is one special young lady who gives up so much in her life to make the residents at the facility where she works lives better. My aunt is an 87 year old survivor of covid. She is also in an Alzheimer’s unit at the home. That she kept looking at me like she was trying to figure out who I am and her occasional smiles along with her singing along with us as we sang Happy Birthday was a huge blessing.

Friday I got some of my running and shopping done then Duane and I helped a friend get their apartment ready to move into. It will be awesome seeing what God does with her in her new neighborhood. She has fought some real battles and I am so proud of her for where she is at. Saturday was spent working on a devotion I am writing for our church. I also had one published this week and will include it below. God is teaching me to carve little times with him in my busy schedule and teaching me to not always have to know what he is up to but to trust him and his plans for my life. He is helping me look past what is to what he has for me. God is good and I am blessed here on the Wade Homestead.

Low Fat Vegan Tamale  Recipe

In a large stock pot put about ½ inch of water dice one onion then add several slices of daikon radish. Simmer this stirring until the onions and daikon are browned and well carmelized. It is OK if the bottom of the pan gets brown you just don’t want it to get black. Then add 4 ½ cups of water.

. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes until you have a rich dark broth. Run this through a wire sieve into a 4 cup container. If you need more broth to make 4 cups then add a bit of hot water. If you have a bit more than 4 cups put into another cup until you are sure you don’t need it. I pick out the daikon radishes and add the onions to the filling.

Put dried corn husks in a pot or the sink in warm water.

Filling

1 can refried beans. I like (Rosarita No Fat Traditional)

I poblano Pepper roasted and the outer membrane removed and chopped fine

1 Jalapeno roasted and outer membrane removed and chopped fine

1 clove garlic minced

2 cans black beans

Chop the peppers fine, mince garlic then mix the above ingredients together in a bowl.

Tamale dough

4 cups masa mix

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup tahini

4 cups broth

Stir the baking powder into the massa mix then I work the tahini into the massa mix until it is well mixed (I use a fork for this). Once it is well mixed I  pour the 4 cups of broth in quickly and stir it until  all the liquid is worked in. I like to use my hands to kneed it a bit at this point. Be careful not to burn yourself. I keep my flours refrigerated so this is not a problem for me.  Once you have a soft dough then pull your first corn husk out of the water. Tare a couple strips from the husk to tie it off with. I take about 2 Tablespoons and flatten it in the middle of the husk making a rectangle. I put  2 to 3 Tablespoons of bean mixture in the middle of the dough making a vertical finger’s width down the middle of the dough that is spread. I usually take a butter knife and fill it about the length of the dough in the direction of the grain of the husk. Then roll the sides up around the filling closing the gap by overlapping the dough just a touch. Roll the husk around the dough and filling then fold the top and bottom over at the top of the dough and at the bottom of the dough. Then use the strips I pulled off to tie my tamale shut.  I use a pasta cooker. I fill it to the bottom of the metal inside strainer with water and then take the strainer basket out. I lay it on its side on the counter and lay the tamales in it stacking them on top of each other until they fill the basket. Heat the pot with water until it starts to boil. I turn it down to low and set the basket in the pot. I then cover this with a washcloth or towel to trap the steam in. I set my timer for 30 minutes and check the water level adding enough to bring it back up to the bottom of the inside basket again. It is helpful to keep the tea kettle hot for nice hot water while doing this. After 1 hour I dump the first batch out to cool and put the remaining tamales in and cook the same as above .  I like to serve these with a bed of lettuce and fresh salsa.  The asparagus I served with them was put on my air fryer racks, sprayed with water then sprinkled with smoked salt and air fried for 5 minutes on 370 degrees. I then rotated the racks and cooked them for another 3 minutes. My tomatoes were yellow this time giving it a bright springy look.

“There is no fear in love (dread does not exist). But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves (the expectation of divine) punishment, so the one who is afraid (of God’s Judgment) is not perfected in love (has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love) (I John 4:18 AMP).

Today of all days, why was there a roadblock ahead with a detour sign? How did I go from a Sunday afternoon walk to speeding down the highway with my husband beside me as he described his symptoms of a heart attack? I was trying to stay calm, but my mind raced.

Going as fast as I dared down that winding country road, I realized this was the precise road the Lord showed me in my mind’s eye that morning in worship. Somehow in the previous week, I realized obedience equals love to my Father in heaven. That Sunday morning when the congregation began to sing, “I love you, Lord,” it was difficult for me to sing those words, realizing they meant, “I will obey you, Lord.” Earlier that week, I had written on my chalkboard, “My obedience is pertinent to the Lord.” 

I got on my face telling my Father I wanted to be obedient to Him and needed His help. At this point, He showed me a road that felt scary to me–the same one I was now driving on. My first thought was, “No! Please don’t take my husband from me.” I argued with the Lord about all the reasons I needed my husband.  Each argument was met with reminders of how He had walked me through other frightening situations. Finally, I let go, trusting my Father in heaven to do what was best for us. He then showed me a picture of the Last Supper, but instead of John leaning on Christ’s chest, I was. I had an immediate awareness that if I would just lean into Jesus, my husband and I both would be all right.

My husband was admitted to the hospital, and as the time progressed, even waiting for a bed in the heart unit didn’t upset me. We actually dared to enjoy our time together, joking about room service and the massages my husband received. We finally got into the cardiac unit, and they found his left anterior descending artery was 95% blocked. With amazement, the doctor told us there was absolutely no damage to his heart. By midweek, we were home, and he was back to work feeling better than he had for years. 

It was no mistake the Lord wrote this preface into our lives before 2020’s pandemic, riots, and election. It started a process where I learned to lean into Him during all the scary things that went on that year.

Ask yourself these questions: 
Is there something I am afraid to let go of?
Is there an area where I need to lean into Jesus?

Then ask the Holy Spirit what He would like to replace these fears with. Lastly, if these fears dare cross your mind, strike back with the words the Holy Spirit has given you! We become victorious as we renew our minds like this.

~ Teresa Wade