February 6, 2011

Corn Chowder

The first Sunday of each month my husband and I have our parents and siblings over for "Family Lunch." We are so blessed that our families love one another and desire to fellowship with one another. Today was February's "Family Lunch." A friend was gracious enough to share a recipe for Corn Chowder that is so very simple, yet so delicious! (Thanks, Jillian!) The recipe may be tweaked to your preference. I left out the celery and substituted celery salt and also left out the carrots. If you like a creamy and hearty soup, this one is for you! Serving it with a side of cornbread can't be beat!

Corn Chowder
1/2 pound bacon - sliced in small pieces
2 stalks celery - chopped (optional - may substitute celery salt)
2 small onions - diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
4 cups chicken broth (2 14.5oz cans)
2 cups milk
6 small potatoes - peeled and cubed
2 carrots - chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in bottom of soup pot until almost done.

Add onions and celery and saute until lightly browned.
Add cream-style corn, kernel corn, butter and broth. Add carrots and potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes.

Mix together flour and a little broth from pot to form a paste.
Add milk and flour paste. (You may add more flour paste to suit how thick you prefer.)

Simmer for 30 minutes or until you are ready to eat. Add salt and pepper to taste.


February 5, 2011

Keeping A Nest (No Matter Where Life Has You)

nest (n): a snug retreat or refuge, a resting place, a home.

Your nest is your home. Your nest may consist of  you, you and your spouse, you, your spouse and children, you and a roommate, you and extended family members...oh, the options are really endless. It matters not who dwells there, what matters is how you keep it and seek to serve one another in the place each person has chosen to call their haven.

My father-in-love has always held to the rule that for his wife and children, their home is their haven. No matter what problems the world throws at them, no matter who is against them, they know that they can come in, shut the door behind them, and rest in the love and security that is found inside the home that has been made for them. It is a place where they can put down their guard, talk freely, love freely and enjoy being a family with no worries of ulterior motives surrounding conversations. For me, it is a perfect definition of a nest. It is a retreat, refuge and resting place.

Keeping a nest is not about keeping a spotless home, keeping a nest is not about cooking a fancy 4-course meal for the neighborhood, keeping a nest is not about remodeling or decorating to today's standards and keeping up with those infamous Joneses. Keeping a nest is about creating a place that you feel is the most condusive to serving your family and others in your community as needs may arise. Keeping your nest is about being willing to throw random leftovers in the oven and have a "spontaneous potluck" all because it means that you get a special unexpected meal with your family and friends to share with one another what life is for you at this point. Keeping a nest is about much more than bricks and mortar. It's about relationships and serving one another. We are called to serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13) Let us strive toward this goal together, because no matter what path life has us going down, service is always in season.

I do hope you'll follow me on my journey as I learn how to better "keep our nest" and strive to serve others in love as our Father in Heaven loves us.