Stuff I've learned from my garden

  1. You can never plant enough garlic.
  2. You cannot kill a zucchini/courgette, despite horrific neglect.
  3. Approximately 60% of your herbs will grow from seed if you just scatter them and chuck some compost on top.
  4. Kiwi trees grow MUCH faster than you expect them to and have no respect for the edge of the trellis.
  5. Compost bins are full of flies, it's part of the circle of life and there is nothing I can do about it.
  6. You don't need as much space as you think.
  7. Strawberries grown at home taste about 400% more potent than shop bought ones.

Taking the Shame

This week at church we had Julian Adams spoke on a passage from the bible that I must have heard preached a thousand times, but highlighted something I'd never noticed before.

Don't you just love it when that happens? Just when you think you know everything there is to know about something, you are blown away with a new detail, like how God had a plan for Saul and David all along or the importance of an apostrophe.

Anyway, the story was of the woman in Luke 7:38-50. I've heard it said a hundred times how Jesus didn't look down on her, although she was most likely a prostitute, and that he had compassion on her etc... but what Julian pointed out, was that Jesus took her shame. Not only does He forgive her sins, but he actively takes the repercussions on Himself.

Think about it; if she turned up at dinner and anointed Him, and He ignored her, everyone would have left saying 'who was that woman and how dare she touch the rabbi?' She would have been gossiped about for a long time. Yet He talks to her, forgives her, touches her; so everyone leaving that dinner is saying 'Why did the Rabbi touch that prostitute?' She is no longer the focus of the gossip and the slander, He is.

I was speaking with a girl from our small group on Monday, and this topic came up. Between us we didn't think we knew anyone else who would do that. Possibly my husband might do it for me, but then my character reflects on him as we are married anyway. To willingly take on the gossip and slander of others for someone you just met is way beyond the compassion of anyone I've encountered. Especially as what they were saying was true!

I never want to lose the wonder of what Christ did for me at the cross, dying for my sins, but knowing that He would deliberately turn my shame into His seems even more personal. I guess because it's new to me. It's inspired me all over again that I want to know Jesus character, in detail. I want to learn what He was like, because He is genuinely unlike anyone else I've ever encountered.

A newly christian friend told me that she understands and has a relationship God the Father, and that she has seen, felt and believes in the Holy spirit, but she doesn't feel like she really knows Jesus; she finds it hard to imagine what He was/is like. I believe a passage like this holds so many gems of information, and only by studying the gospels can we really get to know Christ.

Father's Day

I'm working through the Compassion prayer diary and this week the focus is on Father's day. In developing countries, many father's struggle under extreme pressure to try and find regular income for the families, and to provide them with what we would consider to be the very basics - food, water, shelter and medicines. Child Sponsorship is one way you can ease the burden of these father's. I'd ask you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child, but also to prayer for father's around the world who are doing their best and finding that it's not always enough.

Praise God for being the perfect Father to us.

Pray for father's in developing nations to look to Him as an example of good fatherhood; and pray for children in poverty who have no father figure to look up to.


Friends, it's been a while since we talked pancakes.

What I'm about to share with you is the BEST pancake recipe I've ever used, and it's GAPS friendly.

Often times on GAPS we are trading off - celeriac for potatoes etc... But this is genuinely delicious and genuinely easy. Real, simple, nourishing food.

It's actually a grain-free waffle recipe, but not having a waffle iron I used it to make pancakes. Sweet, creamy, vanilla-ry pancakes. Mmmm.....

2 cups soaked and dried cashew nuts
5 eggs free range and organic
1/4 cup of Home made yoghurt
2 tbsp Home made vanilla
1-2 tbsp honey

Place all the nuts, vanilla and yoghurt in a blender and whizz away until a dough forms. Add the eggs and blend again. Finally drizzle in the honey.

Pour batter into frying pan on a medium heat. When it starts to bubble you can flip it.

Delicious with fresh fruit, or honey, or Ice cream

You're welcome.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Yesterday I posted how to make a grain free thin and crispy pizza base. Today I'm posting how to make my favourite GAPS friendly pizza sauce.
The first thing about this sauce is that we are going to hide a tonne of veggies in it for the kids. If your children are anything like mine they whinge about not liking onions as soon as they see them. Funnily enough they love to eat them in a sauce.

So, firstly we chop and soften over a low heat two onions, three garlic cloves and one courgette.
Once soft, blend together with about 400g of homemade tomato paste (the link says to use an oven, but a dehydrator makes this way easier).

Throw in a few handfuls of basil and oregano and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

That's it! Here are the ingredients again in short form.

  1. 2 onions
  2. 3 garlic cloves
  3. 1 courgette
  4. 400g tomato paste
  5. handful basil
  6. handful oregano
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Thin and crispy

Yesterday my husband ate a takeaway pizza. He did at least have the decency to wait until I was asleep, but he left the box in the kitchen bin to taunt me this morning.

Still, now that I had a pizza craving I decided I best work with it. We've made GAPS friendly pizza before using cauliflower to make the base, and it actually was really delicious. Doughy and thick, and with plenty of oregano it really does taste pizza like.

The problem was that Abel & Cole didn't send me any cauliflowers this week. A quick google search showed me that lots of people make coconut flour bases for their pizza's though, so I started to play.

If you want to bake your pizza in a square tray you can, but I have standards, so I used a cake pan with a push out bottom to shape my pizza.
Don't be put off by how green my pizza base is either. I used fresh herbs from our garden, but if you use the dried stuff it will be normal bread colour.

The ingredients you will need are:
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1/4 coconut flour
  3. 1/4 homemade yoghurt
  4. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. 2 tsp dried onions
  7. handful of fresh basil
  8. handful fresh oregano
  9. pinch of salt
Throw all the ingredients in a blender and whizz away. Line a baking tray (or cake pan) with baking parchment and spread your 'dough' (which looks more like paste) out nice and thin.

Bake it at 210c for about 12 minutes and it should be just starting to brown. At this point flip it onto a new baking parchment and allow to cool, or better yet, place on a tray in your dehydrator on it's lowest setting. This allows all the steam to escape and stops you getting a soggy bottom on your pizza.

Top with your favourite pizza sauce (look out for my homemade recipe which I will be posting tomorrow!) and toppings, smother with cheese and grill until golden and bubbling.


No cricut? No problem!!

I've always secretly (or not so secretly) coveted Cricuts.

For those who don't know what one is, it's a really expensive machine that makes custom vinyl letters to decorate everything and anything.

I fell in love with the idea whilst teaching my son to read as I used to label everything (door, window, cupboard, chair...) in an attempt to immerse him in visual language.

Now my daughters at the same stage and whilst I've tried blu-tacking labels on things, being the type of child she is, she tends to pull them off, eat the blu tack and shred label.

But pinterest to the rescue, I've found a way of labelling that involves no expensive equipment, but still looks completely fantastic.

All you do, is print your word on normal paper (use draft print quality for uber frugality) in any font you like. Blu tack the paper to the object you are painting and trace over the word with a biro.

When you remove the paper, there will be an indent on the item, which you can fill in with paint or in my case a sharpie.

Totally cheap, hand made charm, that can't go wrong.
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