The little Clay Pot

Lots of things can go in a little Clay Pot

Last week of classes… December 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — littleclaypot @ 8:07 pm

NEW POSTS COMING SOON!

Looking forward to spending some catch up time with my lost  little Clay Pot identity!

In the meantime let it snow, let it snow let it snow!

 

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Gardening Metaphores June 10, 2010

I am trying to grow a garden where God has planted rocks.


I love to garden.  Admittedly, I am not very good at it…I have 4 house plants…make that 3…I don’t think I can technically count the one that is basically dead.  But I love to be outside with my hands in the dirt and the sun on my shoulders and the idea of growing the food that feeds my family.  At this point it is a hobby garden, not really a sustenance garden,but still–it grows food, and we will eat it.

I even like to weed.  There is something about it that is just brainless enough and yet attention demanding that makes it better than any other hand hobby I have, like knitting or crocheting.   And I have to admit, that the worn out old metaphor of comparing weeds to sin, never gets dull for me.  There are the little weeds that are easy to pull out…but if you let them go they multiply at alarming rates.  Then there are the weeds with long twisted roots that you pull, and then find that you didn’t get the whole root the first time, so you dig and pull and fight with that weed all summer until you finally eradicate it.  I pray a lot when I am working in the garden…every aspect seems to remind me of some wonderful truth of the Bible.

Unfortunately, just like me…the soil that my garden is planted in seems to be a “WORK IN PROGRESS.”  And I am beginning to wonder if some ancient civilization didn’t have a skyscraper that came tumbling down where my garden now sits.  There are SO MANY ROCKS!  And why is it that picking rocks is just not as satisfying as picking weeds?  So…I have been contemplating what these rocks are supposed to teach me.  What is the appropriate gardening metaphor?

  • My least favorite:  It is futile…you will never eradicate the rocks…go to the grocery store. ~ This one is pretty much self explanatory.
  • God really is “The creator and possessor of all things” because only a mighty God could possibly make so many rocks.
  • My Favorite so far: Sometimes there are rocks in life.  Little ones you can ignore.  Big ones you can’t ignore.  Heavy ones you drop on your thumb and wish you had never laid eyes on.  But each rock, little or big or heavy, was created by God and they are under His control (remember when Jesus told the Pharisees that the “stones would immediately cry out” if the people singing praise during the triumphal entry were to become silent?).  But I believe God wants me to garden, and the parable of the sower teaches me that seeds that are planted in stony ground can not  establish a good root…so what am I to do?  Give up?  No, God promises to provide…He does not promise it will be easy.  Each rock, stiff and stubborn can either be left right where it lay, and sabotage the efforts of my garden…or I can diligently place my hands on each rock and move it to what is slowly but surely becoming a very nice rock wall around my herb garden.  Kind of like people or events in life.  I can either leave them where they are and let them disrupt my life and make me and every one around me miserable…or I can set them aside and make something useful out of them.

Well, it would be nice if we could do that with some people.

But, events…those unpleasant, rocky, times in life that we would rather forget: the loss of loved ones, unemployment, the terrible twos, fights, down right embarrassing moments, the first gray hair–These events we can either leave in our garden of life and continue to work around them and stumble over them…OR I can move them to where they are making something useful, something even beautiful…Me.  God told Joshua and the children of Israel to pile 12 stones as a memorial for having crossed the Jordan river…so that the children could be told of the things God had done for them. We are to remember the lessons we have learned and teach them to our children.

So I think my metaphor will be this: Rocks were planted in the garden by God.  By His grace we can make something useful even beautiful out of them–a strong wall–a memorial–built out of life’s events, lessons and memories.  If we leave the rocks in our garden of life we will sabotage our efforts to grow something lush and  meaningful.  But if we pick them up, look at them, decide what the shape is, what we learned from it, how it fits in the wall of other memories then we may avoid making the same mistake twice…we can pick up a “rock” and say to our children “This rock is sharp and heavy…it could hurt you…don’t play with it.”  Now we could look at them and then chuck all these stinking rocks in the woods…but then we would miss out on the lovely part.  Some, I admit, we don’t want everyone to see…so we put those in the middle of the wall, surrounded by the other rocks that are not as ugly…but we can still use them to make the wall.  After living life for a while and having some “rocky times” we become stronger and more lovely.  I mean…after a lot of work, tedious back/nail breaking work, we can make a nice little rock garden wall.


 

Getting back to basics. May 28, 2010

Right of the bat, let me say “Sorry for the delay.”   The last month of school was a bit intense and the last two weeks have been spent trying to put my seriously havoc ridden home back together–a task that has almost been accomplished.  Add to that the beautiful weather and the need to get the seeds and plants in the ground and it has been all I could do to keep food in our bellies, let alone actually planning and being smart about it. In fact, during finals week my two oldest children made coffee cake for lunch to have with fruit…twice…because it kept them busy and answered the “What am I going to feed these cridders?” question.  Furthermore, in the spirit of true confession, Yesterday…I fed them ice cream and pretzels.

As things slowly come back together though…I can smell bread in the oven, and we can actually walk on the floors in the bedrooms and not on toys and laundry, and my nails still have traces of garden dirt…I feel a sense of supreme bliss, knowing that this summer is going to be fantastic.  I will be able to make my menus and enjoy the foods that I will access to at the farmers markets.  I will be able to grow some of our own foods and even some medicinal herbs that I am finally taking the time to learn about.  And I will be able to share these things with my children…so that they will know that we never stop learning and that we can always learn a new way of doing things.  For example: not going out to eat or grabbing sub sandwiches because mom doesn’t feel like cooking at the end of a long hot day but instead–simmering a stew hen all day, shredding the meat, mixing it with BBQ sauce and making a beautiful chicken BBQ salad with a side of fried left over salt potatoes with fennel and chives.  It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t hard and best of all it didn’t require extra $$ or time.

“MUD MEN”

Best of all, as things get back into our preferred routine, I will be able to watch my children be children.  As we teach them to work the soil, and pull weeds and water plants…we can watch them discover (again!) the wonderful attributes of MUD!  It is a simple pleasure…and perhaps a bit devious in nature because there is something so satisfying at hosing them off with the garden hose…but these are the things I hope to make more time for by getting back into the menu, planning routine. So I will pick up where I left off…hope you still plan on reading along and sharing your thoughts as we go.  But most of all I hope you enjoy your summer…and maybe even some “mud” of your own.

 

Saving time with Bounty April 26, 2010

Filed under: Frugal Living,Health,Uncategorized — littleclaypot @ 3:57 am

First off, I am looking forward to the end of school, and getting into the full swing of summer and keeping on with my efforts to feed the family reasonably local, & reasonably healthy on a budget of $100.00 per week.

This is the bill for the bounty order that will be delivered on Thursday.  I Finally broke down and ordered some extras (for us).  Bagels, Tarrells and some beef snack sticks.  One of the biggest complaints (and truly, there haven’t been many) has been the lack of  “easy food” -things like boxed cereal, pretzels and chips.  I told myself that I would alleviate this complaint by making home made snacks.  But…I have yet to work that into the schedule.  So, just a few more weeks of classes, and for now, if some bagels and beef sticks will buy me a few more moments of brain time…I am aalllllll for it.

Product Producer Price Items Subtotal
Bagels – Plain Amazing Grains $4.29 1 $4.29
Taralles – Garlic Amazing Grains $3.32 1 $3.32
Milk – Whole – 1 Gal Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery $6.31 3 $18.92
Yogurt – Blackberry – Quart Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery $4.06 1 $4.06
1/2 and 1/2 – 1 qt Queensboro Farm Products $1.55 1 $1.55
Jerusalem Artichoke – lb Gardners Gladiolus $3.90 1 $3.90
Salad – Bouquet Finger Lakes Fresh $2.00 1 $2.00
Gourmet Medley sprout mix Mizrahi Manor $3.04 1 $3.04
Steak Prime Rib – Dexter Mizrahi Manor $11.21 2 $22.43
Snack Sticks – Beef Drover Hill Farm $5.77 1 $5.77
Pasta – Linguini The Pasta Shoppe $2.60 1 $2.60
 

Spring Planning- March 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — littleclaypot @ 4:22 pm
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Finally getting into the swing of things with this new schedule.  Although I am starting to think that schedules are overrated and that I need to learn to adapt at a quicker pace.  But the weather has been lovely and it is starting to demand my full attention, insisting that we spend every possible moment outdoors…cleaning up the yard, playing with the dog, and dreaming about the garden that will be growing soon.

I am not an educated gardener.  I buy seeds, (or if the income allows plants from a nursery) I stick them in the ground, I water, weed, and cross my fingers.  Last year we put in 4 6×6 raised beds.  One of them went unused because of poor planning on my part.  This year I am trying to be more educated about where and when to plant what.  My hopes are to actually can/freeze some of the food we grow for next winter…but I have been saying that for about the last 7 years!

I am also looking into some of the local CSA’s (will spend some more time on this concept at a latter date I think).  I think that it may allow for me to focus on the few things I can grow and preserve, and not get over done with all the things I would “like” to grow.   I think the concept is also great for people who do not have enough space to provide a summer’s worth of bounty.

The spring planning is fun, but I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt!

 

Holidays–local style. March 18, 2010

Chag Pesach Sameach

Our family loves Passover.  It is a time for us to do something special, festive and meaningful.   I enjoy preparing the meal because it is foods that we do not eat all the time…and we all enjoy eating it!

This year I purchased my lamb, carrots, eggs, and apples, via CNY Bounty.  It will be the first lamb we have gotten from a local source, we are very excited.  The honey is local, and the walnuts are from Troyer’s Amish store up the road from me.  I will have to buy my parsley, matzoh and parsnips from a chain grocer, but I hope to buy my grape juice from  Nelson Farms.  I could dig up my own horseradish…but I may opt for the store bought version…It depends on if I get to be out side with a shovel on on of these 50 degree days coming up!

The cost breaks down as follows

  • Lamb chops- $22.75
  • 4 lbs of carrots (they will not all be used for this meal of course) $5.85
  • 1 doz eggs- $3.25
  • Apples- $5.53
  • Honey- In the Pantry
  • Walnuts- In the pantry
  • The rest is yet to be determined…but shouldn’t be bad.

So the whole meal will be about $50.00.  Not to bad for a holiday meal.

In other news we are still adjusting to our new schedule and I am coming into the “busy” time for school, papers to write, meetings to attend, tests to take etc.  And my Husband started his on-line classes. So My menu planning is going to be essential in keeping things under control…but…since when have our lives been under control?  *Grin*

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.  And they made His grave with the wicked– But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor [was any] deceit in His mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put [Him] to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see [His] seed, He shall prolong [His] days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.”

Isaiah 53:7-10

 

My Apologies. March 8, 2010

  • My Apologies, but the menu will not be published until Tuesday 3/9/10.  On the up side please use this opportunity to post a recipe or an ingredient and I will see what I can do to work it into the menu.
  • ALSO, I have been slaking on keeping up with the cost analysis portion of this endeavor…That should get back on track this week as I figure out more about the formatting on here etc.
  • Finally, any feed back/suggestion is always welcome.  So please do comment if you have an idea on a topic that would be beneficial.