Garden update

It is growing fast. The tomato plant is taking over the pot and is blossoming. I might have tomatoes this spring. Awesome. Because of this, I need to transplant the peppers and the onions. So much for plants providing pest protection for each other. If my tomato cost is reduced by a large bounty I won’t complain about a few minutes of transplant work.

My next project is to plant tumeric and ginger root. They are so expensive. I will also be adding some different peppers and lettuce when I get another container. I am liking my homemade hot sauce and ketchup.



Homemade Apple Butter

I love homemade apple butter. It brings back warm, loving,memories of hot biscuits on Sunday morning at my grandmother Modear’s  breakfast table. Thinking about it is as comforting as big hugs. Over the years since leaving home, I have not found GOOD apple butter. Some didn’t even have that smooth texture much less the remembered taste. One day I saw a jar in the Polly’s Pies Restaurant. It looked right. I picked it up to give it a try and all the disappointing memories popped up. I decided to try making my own and put it back on the shelf. I searched for a recipe and found it in Fannie Farmer cookbook that I have owned for over 30 years.

I did make a few adjustments. I don’t typically use white sugar but I had about 1/2 cup left from a bag my daughter-in-law bought on her last visit. I supplemented with agave. I also added a red delicious apple to the granny smiths apples. I didn’t simmer until smooth because it took too long. I let it cool about 10 minutes and then put it in the blender. I blended it until smooth, less than a minute.

The results were just as I remembered. Warm, creamy, comforting and safe; all those taste and feelings of Sunday morning breakfast at Modear’s. I made biscuits and it was Hmmmmm good!

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4 lbs tart apples

 ∗I added a real sweet red delicious apple for added sweetness

2 cups cider, cider vinegar or water

∗I used water to cover the apples and 1 c apple cider vinegar


 ∗ I used 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c of agave


2 tsps cinnamon

1 tsp  ground cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

  ∗ I used the whole lemon except seeds

Cut the apples into pieces without peeling or coring them. Put them in a pot, cover with the cider, vinegar, or water and cook until soft. Put through a sieve or food mill. Measure. Add 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of apple pulp. The whole mixture, add a dash of salt and the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and lemon rind and juice. Cook, covered, over low hear until the sugar dissolves, taste and adjust the seasonings. Uncover and cook quickly, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.

Tradition or Truth?

When I was a kid I asked my Sunday School teacher why did Herod kill all the children two years old and younger? If Jesus was a newborn, why didn’t he just kill newborns. I don’t remember her answer but I it must not have made sense to my young mind. I was persistent enough for an answer I could understand that it got me expelled from my class for being disruptive. I was keeping her from teaching her planned lesson.

That question remained until I research it for my self. Here is what I understand to be the reason he killed children as old as 2 years old.

If we think of this logically, whether they were coming from the Orient or Africa it took time to get to Jerusalem traveling by camel in a caravan. We don’t know how long they were in Jerusalem but it is conceivable that they did not see Herod on immediate arrival. After traveling a great distance it is likely they wanted to make themselves presentable, freshen up as it were, before they even went to request an audience. Then Herod had to grant it. Next Herod had to call the priests and scribes to get the information to give the wise men. The priests and scribes were sent away so he could ask the wise men in secret when they first saw the star. Then the wise men had to travel from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. That journey was 4.4 miles which took less than a day by camel caravan. Now we can speculate that it only took a few days for all of this. We can also speculate that they saw the star sooner than the birth night. But here is the clincher. In verse 16, we learn clearly that Herod made his decision to slay males 2 years old and under based on information gathered from the wise men. If it was the same night he was born that they left Jerusalem, why kill 2 year old males? Why not newborns? I believe they were not there on the night of his birth. Others have stated the same. I asked them why continue to promote the idea that they were present if we can see they weren’t. Tradition was their answer.

Tradition versus Truth: which is more important?

Matthew 2

  1. Yehoshuwa (Jesus)  was born during the reign of Herod the Great   Matt 2:1
  2. The wise men or magi saw the star in the east. (Were they in the east or the star east of them?  Matt 2:1
  3. The wise men went to Jerusalem to Herod to get the location of the child. Matt 2:2  Why didn’t they follow the star to Bethlehem? Apparently the star was not visible to them the entire trip. It made sense to go to the capital as it were to find the king. Could they have thought the child was the heir to the throne from the present king? Possibly.
  4. Herod sent for his priests to determine where the child would be born.  Matt 2:4-6 Why didn’t he know? Hadn’t at least heard the prophecy regarding the Messiah?
  5. He asked the magi when the star appeared. This gave Herod the first clue to when the child was born. Matt 2:7
  6. He sent them to Bethlehem based on the prophecy and instructed them to return to him with the exact location.  Matt 2:8
  7. The star reappeared to guide them to Yehoshuwa’s location  Matt 2:9
  8. The wise men entered the house where the young child and his mother were. Matt 2:11  House not stable.
  9. The wise men did not return to Herod and this angered him He gave orders to kill every child in Bethlehem, 2 years old and under, based on the time given to him by the wise men.  Matt 2:16

Matthew 2:16 (NKJV)
16  Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

Continued Search for Gluten-free Sandwich Bread

I have tried several different recipes for gluten free bread. They all have been described as guaranteed sandwich bread. The first one I tried looked okay but crumbled when you sliced it. That was the result for several of them. I was about to give up and then I found the recipe using Teff flour online. This bread is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan bread. I have no health need that actually requires this kind of bread but if I can find one that is gluten-free that tastes good and slices for good sandwiches, I am on board. I am interested in anything that reduces inflammation. Arthritis, you know.  🙂

I didn’t know about Teff flour. It is a grain used in Ethiopian cooking for baking and as a side dish. It’s color ranges from light to dark  brown. I used a brown teff because it is the one I found in my favorite market. Bob’s Red Mill Teff Flour

I am learning about different kinds of flours and their uses. My only experience with sorghum was syrup my great-grandfather bought from a friend in the country. I didn’t know it could be made into flour. The recipe is below. It makes two loaves.  Enjoy

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1 1/2 cups millet flour

1/2 cup teff flour

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup cornstarch (double the potato starch if you can’t eat corn)

1 cup potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

4 tsp xanthum gum

1 tbsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp active dry yeast (not rapid rise)


4 tsp olive oil

3 1/4 warm water (not hot)

I halved the recipe to make one loaf. I mixed the ingredients much like making regular wheat bread. The difference is, there is no need to knead the mixture.  I allowed it to rise about 50 -70 minutes sitting on top of a warm stove. I baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes uncovered. I then baked covered it covered for 35-45 minutes. When it has baked completely, let it rest on a rack to cool a little.

As you may have noticed in the picture the bottom and sides were beautiful. The top cracked open. I don’t know why. It was delicious while warm. The next day the top and sides were hard and a little more difficult to slice. After three days it began to mold. I guess we don’t eat it fast enough. Refrigeration was not an option because it dried out the loaf.The source of the recipe suggested making bread crumbs, or croutons after the second day.  I should have done that.

I may try it again or I may just turn to flatbread for sandwiches.

To read the recipe and the full instructions


Teff Flour Cornbread

First of all what in the world is Teff Flour? Growing up in the southern United States the only flour you are usually familiar with is all purpose white flour. Unless you are from another country and it is common to your culture, you may not even realize there is another kind of flour. I discovered Teff flour when I was looking for a recipe for a gluten-free loaf of bread. That outcome is another post. Back to the cornbread.

I had made a Quinoa-lentil soup and I decided I needed cornbread to complete the meal. I looked in my pantry and discovered the types of flours I had purchased didn’t inspire me.  I checked my vegan and gluten free cookbooks for a four blend that would be satisfying. I was missing some ingredient. On my way home from church I had the thought use psyllium husk and Teff flour. The words of my friend Morgan came creeping into my thoughts. Write down your experiments and write your own cookbook. I don’t know about the cookbook but I tried my first true experiment: Teff Flour Cornbread

1 c Teff Flour

Before Cooking
1 c Cornmeal

1 tbl psyllium husk

1 tbl baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbl coconut oil

1 – 2 tbl olive oil

2 eggs

nondairy milk as needed for desired consistency

Let sit for about 5 minutes so the psyllium husk can do its thing. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes

After Cooking
It didn’t rise as high as I had hoped but it tasted good. The texture was true to cornbread and it was great with the soup. I call my first true experiment, my recipe a success. I will try more psyllium husk or baking powder next time. You are welcome to try it and modify. Let me know your results.

Teff Flour Cornbread and Quinoa-Lentil Soup



What I’ve Been Up To

Like any scientific endeavor, food scientist must spend some time in research. I decided to save myself some time with making my own condiments. I know there have to be food techs out there that have published their findings. I found two that seemed promising. They were

Homemade Condiments: Artisan Recipes Using Fresh, Natural Ingredients
Homemade Condiments: Artisan Recipes Using Fresh, Natural Ingredients by Jessica Harlan
The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples
The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples by Miyoko Schinner

Unfortunately, the first one was out of stock. I purchased the second and I have been very pleased with the information contained in the book.

I have been interested in vegan and gluten-free cooking, so this book provided vegan options. In one place I can find instructions for condiments and sauces. There are explanations regarding seaweed, tempeh, and soup concentrates. I am most excited about the vegan cheese recipes. The instructions are clear.There are also recipes that use the items.

I also discovered another book that I will mention here but it deserves its own post. It is The Healthy Mind Cookbook. God knows my mind needs all the help I can get.

What’s in A Name?

Before I begin, I want to state that I don’t believe there are any contradictions in the Bible. I do believe those things that appear to be contradictions are due to our lack of understanding of ancient writings, ancient cultures and the etymology of ancient words or languages. I am not a Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic or Latin scholar but I do know how to use tools that can help me understand the language. My purpose is knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV)
6  For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

So I begin. Have you ever wondered why Jesus was named Jesus? Jesus is not a Middle Eastern or Hebrew name. Then there is the prophecy by Isaiah that his name should be called Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
14  Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Seems like a contradiction or error doesn’t it. Well I worked backwards beginning with the name Jesus to get its origin. I will be using the Strongs Talking Greek and Hebrew Dictionay for this activity.

The Greek transliteration for Jesus is Iēsous. This word is translated from the Hebrew word Yehowshuwa`.

Yehowshuwa` or Yehowshu`a, yeh-ho-shoo’-ah; from <H3068> (Yehovah) and <H3467> (yasha`); Jehovah-saved; Jehoshuä (i.e. Joshua)
It is more likely that our translation of His name would be Joshua or the Greek version Jesus.

Now Immanuel is a little less straight forward. If you look up Immanuel it is translated God With Us. That doesn’t help with why he is named Jesus and not Immanuel. I found the answer in the meaning in Hebrew of the word “name”.

name-shem- a primitive word [perhaps rather from <H7760> (suwm) through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare <H8064> (shamayim)]; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character

We usually think in terms of the label that your parents give you at birth or the appellation part of the definition but we carry many other names. We called them titles. What exactly is a definite and conspicuous position? According to conspicuous means to be easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable; attracting attention, as by outstanding qualities or eccentricities. Position has several meanings but I believe these fit the context: status or standing; high standing, as in society; important status.

With these definitions Isaiah seems to be saying this virgin-birthed person will have a

clearly defined, readily observable, attention attracting standing in society, GOD WITH US.

I do believe as we read the reports of Matthew, Mark, John and the Luke, Jesus or Yehowshuwa` fulfills the prophecy. No contradiction.

That’s “What’s in a Name”

All questions and comments are welcome. I search for knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

Note: In future posts I will not use the name Jesus but Yehowshuwa` or Joshua.


Homemade Ketchup and Hot Sauce Update

This is the ketchup making update. I used fresh Roma tomatoes before. The recipe is found at What is This . I stated that I planned to try it with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and onion. I used dry sun-dried tomatoes so I had to re-hydrate them. I put the tomatoes in the Vitamix with enough water to cover and about an inch more. After the tomatoes were re-hydrated, I added garlic, onions,  and apple cider vinegar. I also substituted raw honey for agave. I fired up the Vitamix to high and pureed until smooth. It was a pasty texture. If you would like it more fluid add some water. I noticed the sun-dried made it sweeter than the Romas. I haven’t decided if I like it better but it is good. I think the next time I will leave out the honey and use distilled white vinegar.

I am really getting into making these condiments. I grilled some salmon for dinner so I tossed some Serrano peppers, and red peppers on the grill. They got a little of the salmon oil on them so I wasn’t sure how that was going to affect the hot sauce flavor. The next morning I made oatmeal for breakfast. While I was waiting for the oatmeal to come to a boil, I threw the peppers roasted and fresh with a pinch of salt into the Vitamix with some distilled vinegar. I left the seeds in. Awesome stuff. It was so quick and my supply is renewed. It is hotter too. Love it.

It was so simple. I did not use any recipe for the hot sauce. Glad it worked out.

Walk With Me Back To Basics

I have been listening to Christian teachers and pastors. I have been listening to those who have many questions about the belief system they grew up with. I have been listening to non-believers and all of this brought me to a realization. We have focused so much on prosperity that we have forgotten some basics. We have confused onlookers because our behavior shows little difference to that of Wall Street financiers or street thugs. It’s about the money or the bling. Before you get it twisted, I believe God wants to bless us financially but my problem is not with the wealth but our attitude and behavior.

I decided to go back to basics. I decided to study the gospel writers, Matthew, Mark and John who walked with Y’shua; who recorded from different perspectives His teachings. I mean who else can give us insight on what He taught better than Himself.

I began with searching for the answer of a few questions I had.

  1. Exactly how did He get the name Jesus? I knew it wasn’t His given name. He was Israeli after all.
  2. Why did Isaiah prophesy that He would be called Immanuel and then was named something else?
  3. What was His authority that I should listen to Him?

Now I know someone is going to be shocked by that last one. I have no doubt that He has authority but I want to reaffirm from the Word the basis for my belief. That is for you real holy people who don’t need to be introspective sometimes. I am not perfect so I have to check myself.

Over the coming months I will share my findings, especially Y’shua’s teachings for that is my true objective for this study. I know there is more than what we limit ourselves to in the knowledge of our God-designed power, authority and behavior. I invite you to

Walk With Me!