In My Kitchen- November


I haven’t done one of these in months and I’m not really sure I’m really prepared to do one now- but I do have an interest in sharing a little of my kitchen activities…. so here goes!

In my kitchen…



I have a fresh supply of

organically grown wonderful

garlic from my cousin’s farm.

I went to the farm with my daughter in law and

grandsons, had a great visit

bought some garlic and my cousin, Marge,

gave me a bottle of dried garlic powder

to try in my mock boursin cheese mix.

In my kitchen…

Boursin cheese herbs

Boursin cheese herbs

I mix together marjoram,basil,dill,

white pepper, oregano,chives,parsley, and lots of garlic to make up an herb mixture to add to soft butter, cream cheese and a little Parmesan or goat cheese to make a cheese similar to Boursin cheese but is more to my personal taste.



Gourmet garlic- what a treat!

Gourmet garlic- what a treat!




So I’ve kind of got garlic on my mind!

What’s in your kitchen>

Go to Celia’s blog to find other kitchens across the world-


I’m just hoping this works!

It’s been so long since I was able to post that I’m not sure I know what I’m doing anymore.  But here goes- I’m back after a long several month hiatus.023

Here is a picture of

the scones I made for

International Scone

Week which was my last post.

April 2014- In my kitchen


Normally, I would like to have at least 4 posts a month.  Last month my only post was an IMK post- so I’ve slipped up big time!  It has been a very cold and snowy month.

So I’m going to start over this month and hopefully it will be a more hopeful and postfull  type of month.

In my kitchen…Meyers Lemons

Meyer’s lemons.  They were the same price as regular lemons so I decided to buy them and make up some recipes I’d been thinking about!

So- in my kitchen…

Lemon and ricotta crepes.

Lemon and raspberry bars.


The first picture is of cardamom and lemon crinkle biscuits’cookies.

If you are interested in any of the recipes, let me know in the comments and I will write them up in the next post.

In my kitchen…

Italian yeasted bread and a sourdough loaf.


BREAD!  I made two loaves  and I think I prefer the sourdough.  It has way more flavor and a softer crumb.

In my kitchen…

A selection of my aluminum platters and bowls.


my aluminum serving pieces.

I didn’t pay more than $5 for any of these pieces- and I enjoy the hammered beauty of aluminum.

So- that is my kitchen this month- go to Celia’s blog,  and see a list of other IMK posts from around the world.

Christmas around the house

I am really not there yet.  In the Christmas spirit.

In fact, I usually don’t arrive until all is over- the shopping, making and wrapping-

the cooking, partying, greetings, cards, and catching up-  my Christmas spirit

comes after New Year’s has quieted down and I’m digesting all that

has happened over the holiday season.

BUT- I do have preparations going on- rituals to follow, recipes to bake-

it certainly looks like Christmas around my house!


Starting off with fruitcake.  I love making it as much as eating it- maybe I

love making it more.


And gingerbread houses- I love to make them with children!


We made three houses this year!


(OK this is not at my house- but these are the houses I was involved in making.)


044See- I’m making the royal icing.

And bread- I’m making many loaves of bread.



And cookies- I made some gluten free shortbread this year that I really like.


They have rice and almond flour- and are better as time goes by!


We finally got the tree up yesterday- it has many more ornaments than I usually put

up- but my grandsons are coming this year so I added a lot of kid themed stuff I usually

by pass.



There are small little signs of Christmas throughout the house- it is starting

to look right ready for the celebrating to begin.

I’m linking this to Jason’s blog Don’t boil the sauce for his At my tradition feature.

Have a wonderful Christmas and don’t forget to catch the spirit!

In My Kitchen- December 2013

This month I had visions of going all Christmas- fruitcake

and cookies and the like.  But it just hasn’t happened yet.

This coming week I will probably be in full Christmas mode-

but really- we just finished Thanksgiving. 

And my husband and my 38th anniversary and his

birthday, yesterday.  So I’m not quite in a holiday


In my kitchen…


there is bread.  I make bread even when I am sick.  I have to- no one will make it for me-

and I hate most store bought bread.

In my kitchen…



there is chicken pot pie.

I love chicken.  Most days there is chicken in my kitchen. 

In my kitchen…


is this aluminum tray.  I have an extensive collection of aluminum ware.  I started

collecting it 20 some years ago when it was really inexpensive and you could pick up a

piece for a couple of dollars.  I think I will do a post on just the aluminum-

this tray is rather large.


It is larger than either of these pieces of oven and freezer proof covers of silpat


In my kitchen…


is bat poop.  I got some from my son for Christmas gifts for a couple of my gardening friends.

Luke went up into the belfry of his church in Long Island and harvested the bat guano which

is very rich in nitrates and sold it at a fund raiser for his ministry for the hungry.

It says- “Fertilizer Created by God, Processed by Bats, and Blessed by a Priest to help your

garden grow.”   I just opened the package at my kitchen table and grabbed the camera to take

a picture.  This is NOT staying in my kitchen. 

In my kitchen…


is turkey/chicken lasagna with spinach.  I needed to use up the turkey left overs and this is one

of my favorite dishes.

In my kitchen…



is a big pot of turkey chicken stock.  I cooked up the carcass of the turkey with veggies-

then used the stock to bring a chicken to boil and turned off the heat and let it sit in

the broth for an hour.  The chicken was perfectly cooked and wonderfully moist.

And I have double broth to use in a soup later this week. I used 5 cups of the broth to

make the sauce for the lasagna and it was rich and delicious. 

In my kitchen…


is birthday cake for my husband’s 64th birthday!


White and chocolate with raspberry filling and chocolate rum icing.  YUM!

And outside my kitchen…


is winter and cold and snow coming down.

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat….”

What’s happening in your kitchen?

Look here at Fig jam and Lime Cordial , Celia’s blog for other IMK posts.

Sharing the adventure… reblogging my son’s post

Lights, Camera and Action: Bringing the Gospel to Life

Posted by Sharon Pearson on November 7th, 2013


by Luke Fodor

I have long admired the movie-making ministry of St. Paul’s, Auckland in New Zealand.  Each year I eagerly await their annual Christmas video.  This year I got tired of waiting so I let my admiration finally prompt me into action, emulating their work in my own parish.  Watching the fun these New Zealand children have acting out these sacred stories, I was convince that I had an easy recipe for success.  I only needed a film crew, an acting coach, special effect/props guy and someone to teach me how to make a movie.

“Ever the optimist, I enthusiastically started talking about this idea with folks in the parish.  These conversations lead me to recruit from our parish a professional videographer and producer (Michael Fairchild), an equity-actress willing to serve as the acting coach (Regina Schneider), and I have become the props and special effects guy.  After a couple of meetings, we devised a game plan to attempt an initial movie. We decided to let our inspiration from the New Zealand videos lead us. We would shoot kids acting out the scenes of the Nativity story, using costumes from the Christmas pageant, and adding narration after the fact.

With sports on the wane and our children’s choirs on break for summer, the perfect window to make the film emerged in June by assuming their Wednesday afternoon rehearsal time.  It became a Vacation Bible School of sorts with a 21st century flavor.  We allotted four 90-minute workshops—one to teach some rudimentary acting skills and learn the Christmas story and three to shoot the video and record the narration.  The script for the narration was drafted with the children’s input based on the scenes that we had filmed.  You can watch a behind-the-scenes making of the movie here, which may give you more insight to the creative process. The end product, the film Christmas in June, was a gift we were able to share with the whole parish at the start of stewardship season.  We plan to share it again during the Christmas season and hope you will share this film with your parish community then, too.

The success of the program has prompted us to create a second film, Performing Parables, which seeks to answer the question, “Who is Jesus?,” by enacting some of the events of his life and parables from his ministry.  With this second film, we have added special effects into the venture.  With the help of our sexton, I constructed an underwater plank to create the illusion of Jesus walking on water.  Building the plank was easy compared to the prospect of convincing the child playing Peter to fall into the chilly waters of the lake on an October morning.

Creating these films has been a lot of work, but it was well worth the time and the effort.  We have given the kids an opportunity to engage the sacred stories in their terms, with their own words. These films allow God to be known to them and to us.  That’s what the story of Christmas is all about, incarnation: God being made present in our human situation. As I watched the kids acting out the story of God’s incarnation, I felt God’s presence in a new way. As the kids embodied the story, laughing and horsing around, I felt God, too, was laughing in and through them.  By acting out these stories from the Bible, the stories enter into the very bodies of the children. They know the stories in a new way.

If you would like to try a similar initiative at your parish, I am more than willing to consult, offer insight and brainstorm with you.  Just shoot me an email ( and we’ll explore the possibilities.  To date, this filmmaking venture has been the most meaningful times of my ministry and probably the most fun too!

The Reverend Luke Fodor is the Assistant Rector of St. John’s Church in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, where he works with children, youth and young families.  Having spent nearly 5 years working at Episcopal Relief & Development, Luke works to empower children and youth for God’s mission in this hurting world. 

Be Sociable, Share!

Luke put this up recently and I wanted to share the excitement of the children and adults that made these videos.  One of the children in the films is my grandson, Aidan.

In My Kitchen-November 2013


A dwindling box of saffron.


A small gathering of bread bears.


A remnant of a delicious Cobb salad.


A slice from our caramel apple BIG cake- spice cake, chocolate-gluten-free frangipane,

French apple cake, and caramel cake topped with cake pop enhancement and covered with

a caramel coating!


It was great!


And on the deck outside my kitchen- pumpkin tin cans being crafted.



And wreaths being made.



So- that is my kitchen this November- what is in your kitchen?

See more offerings at Celia’s blog – It’s a great month to share what you have going in your kitchen !

Vanilla Rich!

I have pretty simple “happy” indicators.

A bowl of lavender, an unread book, a good cup

of tea, a visit from loved ones, and a handful of

vanilla beans-  add them together and I have had

a great month!

Meredith is my vanilla bean supplier.  She knows my

happiness level rises pretty high when I have vanilla

at hand- and last week I got a shipment of beans-  I AM



Tahitian, Madagascar,Ugandan, Indian, Mexican- so many exotic beans!

I decided to make some vanilla right away with the Mexican beans- they

are smoky and spicy with just a hint of cinnamon.


I sealed up the rest of the beans in a glass container- they are vacuum packed-

and still soft in their packages, but vanilla beans dry out quickly, and keep better

in glass jars.  DON’T buy dried out hard beans at a cooking store.  If they aren’t soft

then the beans are pretty useless as the seeds are dried out and can’t be scraped



I had a small bottle of vodka- I like Grey Goose for distilling the

beans- but it is a matter of personal taste.




I removed 5 beans from the package and slit them lengthwise to open

the bean and release the seeds.


Drop them into the vodka and shake gently for a few seconds.


I cut the label from the bean package since I already have a vanilla and

wanted to keep this one with just the Mexican beans.


This is my working vanilla- I used Belvedere vodka and it is pretty smooth-

there are several varieties of beans in this extract- I like it for regular baking.

This is several years old- look how dark it is!


And here is my latest- still not ready to use- but look how dark it got in

just a couple of weeks!  This is just a small bottle and I added a lot of

beans for the amount of vodka.

But I really like making my own extract- it tastes better-there are no artificial

coloring or flavors- and I get to play with vanilla beans! Plus, and this is a big

PLUS, it tastes better!

Sourdough sadness with a happy ending.


I recently went down to the shore with my sister,son and niece.

It was a very happy time- I got to cook in the kitchen down there-

with a 6 gas burner stove top and 2 ovens- one a convection oven.

I like when my appliances all work ( sadly shaking head at the state

of my own stovetop which was in very sad shape over the summer.)

I took my sourdough down with me- and all my extra dried bits of

sourdough because I intended to share it with a friend who was coming

down at the end of our time there- and she is a baker!

Thing two (my favorite everyday sourdough from Celia in Australia) was

in very good shape- working hard and making lots of bubbles!

And bread!015

But when I got home- and it is rather frantic clean up at the end of two weeks-

Thing two was missing.  I hadn’t saved a wet version at home because it would

have gone bad.  Frank is happy to watch people’s dogs when they are gone- but he

has no intentions of ever feeding my starters!

So- I was very sad.  No more Thing two.  I was going to ask Celia for some more- but

felt rather stupid for not taking better precautions at keeping some starter behind.

So I started making just yeast breads.

Which is fine,  because we all like yeast bread.  But I missed that little tang of sourdough-

and that texture and moisture in the bread that sourdough brings.  I missed Thing two.

Then I started a kitchenwide search.  Seriously, I had always kept little bags of starter in

the fridge- I could have missed one when I was packing the cooler for Virginia!

And …TA DA!!!!!


I found a bag in the freezer!  Not much to go with- but worth a try!



And here he is – a resurrected Thing Two!!!

I put him in a large container- added water and bread flour- stirred, fed again and again- And

he is happy and bubbly and ready to go!

I put him into a large Halloween jar- just to be festive and make sure he had a lot of room to




And now I’m going to dry a lot of this starter and then freeze the bags-

so I don’t have to go through sourdough withdrawal again!




What can I say?  Bread makes me happy!

And sourdough bread makes me very happy!