Oklahoma Rocks

Oklahoma rocks.

But oh, how she rolls.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prepares for the worst.  Hopes for the best.

Has faith in the forecast but trusts the sky.

Digs in.  Digs out.

Shakes off the dust and stares at what once was…

Then looks down the street and lends a hand.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oklahoma has faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Written in tribute to those whose lives were changed by the tornadoes of 2011…

 

The Prodigal Daughter Returns With Butter

Hi!  Sorry I’ve been out of the loop for awhile, but we just got back from Minnesota.  I’d forgotten how unpredicatable my home state can be in the Spring — it snowed on May 1st, there were windchills in the 20’s on May 2nd, and my car frosted over on May 3rd…

Don’t get me wrong — Minnesota is a beautiful place to live!  It’s just that this Okie export isn’t used to “unseasonably cold weather” (even for Minnesotans) in May.  But, I came home with a heart-full of warm memories and that’s all that matters.

I also came home with a pound of butter…

My Mom likes to surprise me with “culinary gifts” — jars of roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes, ramekin sets, unique kitchen utensils, cookbooks and the like, along with hugs and an enthusiasm for “my cooking” that makes me feel special and loved.   (Thank you, Mom.)  I’m one blessed daughter!

But when Mom pulls out the Hope Creamery Butter, I swoon.  (She knows I love it so…)  Hand-packed and creamy, it elevates every recipe to “something special.”  (Just like Mom!)  Hmmmm… what shall I make?

First up on the list was a long overdue batch of chocolate chip cookies for the hubby.  “God blesses us so that we can bless others…”

Then it was my turn…  I wanted something simple and sublime.  My thoughts turned to Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli’s amazing recipes (who, aptly enough, works at a restaurant named Butter.)  I settled on her Seared Porterhouse With Oozing Maitre d’ Butter — oozing is good.

While a Porterhouse wasn’t in the budget after our road trip, I did have a pretty nice chuck steak ready to throw on the grill (even though her recipe called for stovetop searing — next time I get my hands on a Porterhouse, I will!)  With Maitre d’ Butter oozing all over, it was everything I’d hoped it would be, and more.

By the way, that glob of pistachio green on the plate isn’t “jello,” it’s Asparagus Pesto  — another trial recipe.  Although it doesn’t have anything to do with butter yet, here’s how you make it…

Asparagus Pesto

1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1″ sections (remove woody ends before slicing)

3 fresh basil leaves (or dash of dried basil)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup toasted pecans

1 small clove garlic

1/4 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed to reach pesto consistency)

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.  (Mine turned out a little “chunky” but it was marvelous!)

Credit:  Adapted from a recipe attached to the fresh asparagus spears (no author given.)  They suggested serving it over pasta, which I’m making tonight.  But instead of tossing it with olive oil (per the recipe), I’m using butter.  Lots and lots of butter.  It’s Mother’s Day weekend, right?

Enjoying life one pat of butter at a time (except this weekend…)

~Kim

P.S.  Happy Mother’s Day!

A Tribute To Trees

Allow me to introduce you to our trees…

This Twin Tree shades our deck, provides a home for our songbirds, and reminds me of the way that The Man Of Few Words and I live — side by side, independently together, separate-but-one.  There’s a lot of love in that tree.

The Gnarled Roots Tree clings to the corner of our yard — a contrast in vulnerability and strength.  Exposing your roots takes courage.  There’s a lot of trust in that tree.

Near the bluff is the Enduring Tree.  Branded by the elements from a lifetime of living on the edge, it bares its soul and proclaims, “I’m still here.”  It also has the best view on the lake.  There’s a lot of me in that tree.

Then there’s our Driftwood Tree.  (On this particular day, it hosted a standoff between “Old Boy” and the buzzards.)  Once a stalwart sentinel on dry ground, it now stands in 30 feet of water, thanks to the Lake Eufaula Dam and “progress.”  But it still stands.  There’s a lot of faith in that tree.

On the way back to our house, I admire the Bent Tree.  It looks like it leaned into life and refused to give up.  There’s a lesson in that, and a lot of hope in that tree.

I mustn’t forget the Lightning Tree.  Struck down in its prime before we moved here, it’s a marvelous contrast to the shoreline and the occasional incredible cloud.  In spite of it’s shattered visage, there’s a lot of beauty left in that tree.

Finally, there’s the Sunset Tree…  trees, actually.

They’re natural-born story tellers and they graciously invite you to share your own…

I hope you do.

Enjoying trees and thanking the Creator for their beauty,

~Kim

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Do You Not Perceive It?

This past week was busy to the point of distraction — I started a new job, we had weekend guests, and my Dad’s been battling pneumonia in a nursing home four states away.  To say the least, it’s been trying.  But… HOPE is in the air as Spring reveals itself, slowly but surely.

Isaiah 43:19 says: “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  During times of tumultuous transition, there’s JOY in the simple things when you perceive them:  Flowers in bloom.  Cardinals and bluebirds vying for pecking order on the lawn.  Warmer breezes.  Asparagus.

Somehow, the sight of asparagus spears nestled on a pretty plate assures me that all is well with the world.  It’s a back-to-the-basics vegetable, at least in my book.  “A” is for asparagus!  Try this simple recipe to get a jump start on Spring…

Sauteed Asparagus

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. butter

Fresh asparagus spears, washed and “snapped” (remove woody ends by snapping the spears at the point where they break)

1 garlic clove, sliced (optional)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add asparagus spears and garlic (if using.)  Stir occasionally until asparagus is tender-crisp.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(Recipe credit goes to my friend, Theresa.)

Life — and asparagus — don’t get much simpler than that.

Wishing you calm amidst the chaos,

Kim

P.S.  Daffodil update…