Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Notes. . .

  Today's market booty.
My favorite Romano green beans--I love them with an enduring passion.
The makings for gazpacho.
Berries, basil, broccoli, bell peppers, tiny cobs of corn.
Greens for great big salads.
Sungold cherry tomatoes--so sweet and delicious!

I awoke early this morning, not necessarily with the sun because it was hiding itself behind a grey blanket, but I was up and ready for a good long day of puttering around home, doing some work, being out and about, taking a slow-paced walk through the park, and enjoying myself. I opened blinds and pattered around to freshen up the house, and then I went back to my bedroom to get my Bible for morning quiet time. The Bible was still sitting on my bed from last night, so I crawled across the bed to grab it, and it felt so cozy that I propped myself up with pillows to have my quiet time right there. Next thing I knew it was just after 9:00. 9:00! I had fallen back to sleep, and I never do that. Ah, well. I got up feeling like the day was half over and swore never to crawl back into bed for my devotions again.

I had soaked whole wheat flour overnight in yogurt and water as a starter for Saturday morning waffles (and to make freezer waffles to toast for future breakfasts), but I needed to get to the market, so I decided to make the waffles for lunch or dinner instead (the flour can soak and ferment for up to 24 hours, so no problem there). I blended myself a smoothie for breakfast, and just as I was about to head to the shower, Aimee called, which, of course, was a nice Saturday morning treat. We had a nice hour-long chat, and then I showered and went to the farmers’ market.

By the time I was ambling around the farmers’ market with my basket slung on my arm, the sun was shining and it was a pleasant, pretty day. I made my purchases, came back home, and decided it was waffle time. And it turned out to be a good thing that I got up late and put off waffle-making because now I had fresh, sweet berries to eat on my waffles.

I mixed some yogurt with maple syrup and sliced the strawberries, then I set to work on the waffle batter. I added the remaining ingredients to the soaked flour, adjusting the recipe I was looking at so that it would be much simpler to make and would taste more waffly (more butter was needed in the batter to add some crispness and I adjusted the number of eggs so that I didn’t have to go to the trouble to beat extra egg whites).

The waffles were delicious with the toppings. You could totally serve this for dessert! I felt like I had found some kind of healthy eating loophole (not that I don't already love the taste of good, fresh, healthy food).

Recipe: Soak 2 1/2 c. whole grain flour in 2 c. yogurt overnight (I used 1 c. yogurt and 1 c. water; you can use 2 c. water and the juice of half a lemon instead). In the morning (or afternoon!), add 4 T. melted butter, 2 T. maple syrup, 3 eggs (lightly beaten), and 1 t. salt. This is a batter for a very standard, plainish waffle that takes to toppings really nicely.  I use a round, non-stick Cuisinart waffle-maker, and it really never sticks. I love this little waffle-maker. If your waffles do stick, rather than oiling the waffle-maker, add more fat to your batter.

* * * *  *

Two of the very best, closest friends I have—Laurie and Laura (who don’t know each other)--sort of intersected the other day. Well, at least that’s how it seems to me. My friend Laura in New York, who will soon be Laura in Italy, posted a link on her blog to a talk by Elizabeth Elliot on something she (Elizabeth) used to say and discuss all the time: “Do the next thing.” This is an old saying (Scottish, I believe—“Do ye the next thynge” or something like that) that might sound simplistic, but it is deeply wise.

The reason I say my friends intersected is because Laurie, who lives on the Oregon coast and has been my best friend for more than two decades, introduced me to Elizabeth Elliot’s radio program, and we both used to listen to it every day. Many times, Laurie has shared the wisdom of Elizabeth Elliot with me on various topics we have discussed, and a common refrain from Laurie has been: “Do the next thing.”

It’s something my other best friend, Laura in NY, focuses on, too. Her post and the link she put up is a good reminder to carry on calmly and steadily. To do so is an act of faith. Sometimes we are at a point in our life when we are watching and waiting. Nothing seems to be happening. And rather than becoming anxious or distraught, we need to carry on calmly and patiently, trusting that God is at work. We simply need to do the next thing. And then the next thing. And then the next.

I ran across this passage by the old Scottish pastor, George MacDonald the other day. It’s about doing the next thing, too, so now Laurie, Laura, and George have intersected. This passage is item #39 in an anthology of George MacDonald’s writings put together by C.S. Lewis (who called MacDonald his mentor):

“Troubled soul, thou are not bound to feel but thou art bound to arise. God loves thee whether thou feelest or not. Thou canst not love when thou wilt, but thou art bound to fight the hatred in thee to the last. Try not to feel good when thou art not good, but cry to Him who is good. He changes not because thou changest. Nay, He has an especial tenderness of love toward thee for that thou art in the dark and hast no light, and His heart is glad when thou doest arise and say, ‘I will go to my Father.” . . . Fold the arms of thy faith, and wait in the quietness until light goes up in the darkness. For the arms of the Faith, I say, but not of thy Action: bethink thee of something that thou oughtest to do, and go to do it, if it be but the sweeping of a room, or the preparing of a meal, or a visit to a friend. Heed not they feeling: Do thy work.”

Okay. That’s what I’m going to do now. Do my work. Do the next thing.

Have a lovely rest of the day.


  1. Elisabeth Elliot. How I love that woman. She has mentored me through her books, her radio program Gateway to Joy (an elderly friend used to tape it for me since I was teaching a classroom full of first graders when it came on), her newsletter, and the joy of hearing her speak in person at chapel when I was a student at Wheaton College (her alma mater too) and at Urbana, a student missionary conference. She was so Godly and so sensible. I plan to paint the words "Doe the nexte thinge" on the soffit above my sink one day. :D

    Your waffles look delicious--I'll have to try them. And your photo of your fresh market produce is beautiful art. "Praise the Saviour, ye who know Him," who created such beauty and wonderful variety for us!


  2. It must have been a pancake/waffle day.:-) My daughter made pancakes with the Bob's Red Mill gluten-free mix, eggs from my friend, goat milk from my neighbor's mom, raspberries from a friend, and blackberries from our porch! They were so delicious! I made your sugared raspberry recipe and I have two gallons in the fridge to enjoy this winter! My 7 year old daughter told me tonight she thought it would be good with a crust and chocolate on top!:-) Thank you for the school posts as well. I am dealing with the same thing as on of the people who commented. I have a 13 year old son who loves to read, and be outside, but also loves video games and now facebook....I know technology is important, but it's hard to know where the balance for all of that stimulation is and living with less "noise." Lisa

  3. What type of flour do you use? Do you grind your own? The waffles look so delightful. I will be making them this week. My guys will be so happy!

  4. The waffles look fantastic! I have six acres of ripe blueberries, and a few raspberries and strawberries left. I think I hear some berry topped waffles calling my name!

  5. Thanks, Judi! I'm glad you like that picture. I do, too.

    Lisa, wow, what an impressive batch of sugared raspberries! :-) And what wonderful food comes through your door from your own yard or neighborhood. Lucky you!

    Mary, right now I'm just buying a little bit of bulk flour (in the recipe I used whole wheat pastry flour) at a time because I hardly ever use flour, but in the past, I'd go to a good bakery and buy their flour, fresh-ground. Hope you like them!

    Mrs. Fordyce, I don't know what it is about berries and waffles, but I think they are such a great combination! Enjoy yours. :-)