Friday, August 3, 2018

[suffering is something we all have in common. the earth is groaning, the effects of sin both deep and wide, and all of us have felt the aches of the fall. there were and still are days when it feels as if the darkness will not lift. we are all truly desert dwellers, wandering in the wilderness, often feeling that help is the last thing we want to ask for just in case we come off weak or needy. the daily hill is so steep.]

alexiana fry, Help & Wait,
My Giving of Thanks 


all my children 
on me like a fur coat 
trailing behind me 
around me
the large cart between us
tossing in things we need 
and things we don't need
my hair pulled back 
a thick band attempting to cover 
the 3 day sheen
masking nothing.
in goes razors and toothpaste
band aids and a two pack of deodorant 
my brain working hard 
to pull up the list of must haves
but in the meantime 
in goes blood red nail polish 
in goes a family size of 
olive's legs dangle from the 
front of the metal wheels
her little fingers sifting 
through my purse 
hoping to find a jolly rancher
koko lags behind
stopping to look at 
a shirt with little pink flowers on it
she pulls it off the rack,
holds hit up to her tiny frame 
and grins at me
i smile a no 
and we keep walking
my oldest son has two grasshopper legs walking 
next to the cart
and the other half of his body 
slewn haphazardly 
in the cart 
hovering over his baby brother.
unashamedly cooing
 using his 
ridiculous fluffy bunny voice 
strictly reserved for the baby 
and for the moment 
it doesn't bother me 
because at least 
he is keeping the baby entertained 
with tenderness 
and not obnoxiousness 
which i have a harder time accepting.
we somehow make it through 
the rest of our shopping
my body is tight with alertness 
waiting for a bomb to go off 
at any point in time
we roll up to the checkout 
and of course i am stared at 
who wouldn't stare at a single woman with 
4 kids swarming around her 
a cart full junk 
either she is brave or she 
is mad.
i don't know which of those i am. 
the young cashier starts beeping each item across 
the red eye
and placing them in plastic bags
i ask norah to receive each 
bagged item
and find a spot for them..
back in the cart from 
whence it came
the teenage boy asks to see my id
because of course some alcohol is 
going in the cart 
[essentials people]
so i hand it over and he looks me up and 
down and says 
"you don't look old enough to be born 
in 1985. you don't even look 
old enough to have 4 kids."
i laughed awkwardly 
but his words warm me 
and though i think he is generally just blurting out 
before thinking, 
at least he is not insulting me.
we continue to fall into our pattern,
pushing things along the belt,
there goes my bobby pins and rubber bands, 
there goes a Goonies shirt Ben spotted 
for dad,
4 roma tomatoes-beep beep,
teenage sweetheart says one more time,
"i just can't believe you were born in 
1985! you look more like you are 20 years old."
whoa there sweetie! you buttering this 
granny up?
i give the boy a soft smile, 
he won't ever know how jazzed he made 
over extended frazzled raggedy-crackety
mom feel, 
but i tucked the words in a bag
and put them in the cart along with the rest. 
the kids and i made our way to the van
the sun shining and no one 
lost it, 
no one got lost,
nothing came out of the store that wasn't paid for,
and none of us were crying. 
on top of that i was gifted with some 
free words of kindness.
i'd call that shopping trip 
a success..
now i need a nap. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

[It is not what 
a man does 
that determines 
whether his work 
is sacred 
but why 
he does it.]

-A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

[when i speak to you of love
i do not speak as i am
but as i am in love with you
which is better than i am, better
than i can hope to be.]

-wendell berry, sabbath songs 5.29.16

**discovered first on a. fry's blog, 
My Giving of Thanks

Salsa Verde

My family and I love chips and salsa. i mean, is there a more perfect pair? I feel as though chips and salsa is one of those meals i could eat every day for the rest of my life, that is how much i love it. and if you are an avid salsa eater like me, you know that all salsa is not the same. of course it isn't. you could sit at a restaurant or eat a homemade batch, and no two bowls are exactly the same. salsa is like finger prints. they all come tasting uniquely flavorful and delicious. we love restaurant style salsa. the kind you find in tiny authentic hole in the wall spots, the kind of salsa that is perfectly blended and little too spicy and heavy with lime and garlic. there are a few spots that i feel like make the best salsa, but a few summers ago and up to the present, i've been trying to make my own at home. it saves a ton of money, comprises of very simple, yet quality ingredients, and you get a lot more than just one small bowl. for the most part, i have only tampered with red salsa. but not today.

today, i went over to the green side. after eating it at too many restaurants to count, i decided it was time for me to  make my own salsa verde. for one, it is my favorite color, and two, it is so refreshing and vibrant tasting, something about it is smokey and heady, it is perfectly citrus and is just perfect on the chip. what took me so long? i should have not been surprised that it was just as simple to make as red salsa, but i was surprised. and delighted that it turned out so well my first time making it! if you know me, there are certain little milestones in my cooking and creating in the kitchen that make me feel as though I've moved up a tiny notch in my kitchen skills, accurate or not, i felt like i moved up the rung in my capabilities as a little cook. i don't know why, but the salsa verde did that for me today.

may i share the recipe? this is simple and straight forward, only a few steps to follow and you will be diving those tortilla chips in your very own salsa verde. if you listen closely, you might even hear cantina music..

enjoy mi amigas y mi amigos.

you'll need:

3-4 green tomatillos, husks removed
4-6 cloves of garlic, [leave the skin on during 
browning to prevent it from becoming bitter]
1 white onion, chopped into 4 chunks
2 jalepeno peppers
2 limes
salt to taste
a generous amount of chopped cilantro 
[i added about 1/3-1/2 cup]

heat up your oven ahead of time, placing it at the closest level to broil or directly dialed on broil. i also placed the wrack on the highest shelf.

place tomatillos, garlic, onion, and jalepenos on a baking sheet covered in foil. place under broiler from about 8-10 minutes. you want that charred texture to form as this will give you amazing added flavor. as well as those pretty black specks you'll later see stirred into your salsa.

once charred, remove from oven. place ingredients in cuisinart or what ever finely chopper machine you have on hand [i actually used my immersion blender and that worked perfectly fine] blitz to your preferred consistenty. add cilantro, squeeze of two limes, and salt. blitz some more.

you are finished and can now pour the salsa in a bowl and go to town! i made my own fresh corn tortilla chips but you can use any kind of store bought or home made tortilla chips you want! this salsa is very light so any chip can hold it.

i sincerely hope you love it as much as we did!