Sunday, June 6, 2010

Honey, I'm Home! And in the Kitchen...

  And thus I emerge from another planet. Almost four months have flown -and I mean flown- by since my last post. The developments in Haiti have...developed. The house secured there has proved a blessing. It serves as the perfect sending base for supplies and medical aid. For the moment, Father has taken a break from his travels back and forth, but trips are on the horizon! He hopes to concentrate on discipling and training pastors on a personal level as we move into the next, long-term, stage of relief.
   This past week, Father started weekly training sessions with a group of pastors from the Dominican Republic over the wondrous Skype. This is so exciting for the family as it is something we have envisioned him doing for some time. Walking into Father's office that night to hand him his coffee, and looking into the computer screen to see a room in another country full of men eager to learn from the Word was definitely a happy moment. As always, prayers for this new step in ministry are greatly appreciated.
   In other news, these last few months have brought some hefty academic changes. The school year ended and, with it, classes I had grown to love. But I am so thankful they are done!!! And then, I graduated. That was only by God's grace, for sure. In March, I enrolled in College plus!, an accelerated online program, and began the interesting journey of earning a History/English double major. We shall see where He leads in this case. 

  This brings me to the point of this particular post. With the end of High School comes the beginning of summer -and a wacky schedule. Wacky in the sense of more free. What am I to do with all this time on my hands (alright, perhaps a tad tongue-in-cheek) other than tinker in the kitchen? You know, besides the reading and writing and cleaning and walking and reading. So, tinker I do. Lately, the tinkering has taken place in industrial amounts. Let me explain...
  It started with a bug -a baking bug. This turned into a tart. An innocent, six-serving tomato, basil, and mozzarella tart. It was apparently yummy and definitely fun to bake. What then proceeded is not my fault. See, this graduation was around the corner. We needed to bring food. And I wanted to make it. Hehe. I scavenged online, offline, below line, through line; you name it. But this tart firmly drifted, if there is such an action, in and out of my brain. And so it went. Soon I found myself many? Too many tarts.
  The recipe is simple. A pastry crust with some dried basil thrown in for good measure, getting hands dirty in dough, throwing whatever comes from the haphazard mixing into the fridge for an hour or so, and blind-baking the little crusts in muffin tins. At that point, you can freeze them, fridge them, or use them right away (note: I do not recommend eating them, but whatever you please). Whenever you feel like baking, chop up a bunch of tomatoes, pulse a few handfuls of fresh basil and a few cloves of garlic together, and mix some mayo with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, plus a pinch of pepper. Layer onto the tart the tomato, basil, and cheeses, respectively and pop the unsightly (I mean...creative) work of thy hands into the oven. Remove when cheese is golden-brown looking. That is it. It was fun, like I said, for me as well as for my family, who got to watch me fly about the kitchen from station to station -piling globs of white dairy something here onto aromatic green messes there, and turning red in the face from the scurrying and my ghastly hot oven. One of the best days of me life, I must say. Of course, I hired my brother to take pictures. Below are shots he managed to secure before the camera batteries died.

The boring stuff: flour, salt, baking soda...Oh, and another color! Basil!

Adding butter and clean, I promise, hands.

Whisking eggs, 'cause they are in everything.

These would be my little munchkins...

Pop! There the munchkins go. Hot. Oven. Poor things.

  A hundred plus of these tartlets later and the morning still had not let up. Neither had I! Unfortunately, the camera decided it needed a break, so we have no pictures of the finished product. Oh, well. This was just the start of my first long day in the kitchen, however. More remained to be done. But I am through typing for tonight and I highly doubt anyone wishes to continue reading my baking experiences for the moment. More tomorrow.


  1. So glad you're back Jen!!!

    Haha, tell Josh that since you said that your concoctions for the graduation were tarts, they must be tarts. He'll know what I'm talking about. ;)

    Miss you at Tara next year!!


  2. Why, thank you! I am glad I am back, too.
    Yes...he will eventually see the light of the tart dilemma. I hope ;)
    Actually, you will be seeing me next year in Tara! Hah! I graduated, but I am nuts and want to take a few classes there for fun.

    God bless, Kathryn! Hope you have a GREAT summer.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

  3. Those tarts do sound lovely, Jenn! And I am sure everyone would love to hear more about your baking endeavors! I know I would :) I appreciated the Haiti update and all that is going on with that too.


  4. Oh how wonderful to see you in the kitchen on your blog! I had not seen this for some reason on my blog list. I am glad I found it today! I can't wait to taste one of those tarts someday! See you soon dear and God bless! a lovely post!

    In Christ,
    Rebecca Ann

  5. Jen -

    All the pictures of your cooking makes me hungry! I'm going to pull out the cookbook once I get home tonight.

    Welcome to CollegePlus! It's going to be a fun journey.


    Caitlin Muir
    PR Manager|CollegePlus!


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