Across the Line…

…for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas gathering.

For Christmas 2018, Terry and Lovella hosted us at their warm and inviting bungalow.

The birch tree candle holders were made by Lovella’s beloved after their beautiful birch tree was felled in a storm this year.

Everyone contributed to the meal. Judy and Marg brought and assembled the Charcuterie Board.

Once I sat down at the table my photographing went out the window so I don’t have photos of the delicious Potato Leek Soup that Julie made and brought. The fresh citrusy pomegranate salad was brought and plated with care by Kathy. Bev baked fresh buns. Lovella prepared a stuffed Pork Loin that Terry barbecued to perfection along with sides of noodles, gravy, and broccoli salad.

Before we sat down at the table and while we were enjoying our appetizers the “girls” had their gift exchange. This year we were instructed to bring something that was consumable or used up by Christmas. There were a few varieties of fresh baked cookies, the promise of a hazelnut sponge roll to be delivered, coffee beans, candles, and my choice was a fresh baked razzleberry pie all wrapped up beautifully by Judy.

Two of our husbands were missing, Dear and Kathy’s husband Scot.

Anneliese brought the desserts.

We all got up from the table before dessert and it was the perfect time for me to head back across the line to the U.S.A. before my coach turned back into a pumpkin. At the border crossing I declared my pie and continued south to our kids’ home in Bothell making it there, safe and sound by 10pm. We enjoyed Judy’s pie the next evening for Laura’s birthday dessert and all 6 of us declared it perfect with no soggy bottom!

Hope all is progressing well toward Christmas at your house. We will go out back on our property and find a tree that will work for our Christmas tree this year. We think we spied something that will work well. We were going to get a permit to cut one down on National Forest property but opted for the easier route.

Backyard Birds

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

We are spending a long weekend on the western side of the Cascade mountain range. We drove over the pass on Saturday with mostly clear roads for the 365 miles. We are staying with our oldest son and our dear daughter-in-law. While here we are celebrating her birthday.

On Sunday I traveled north to Canada for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas party/dinner. Dear was supposed to go with me but alas we realized we both forgot to bring our passports with us across the mountains. Oye. I have an enhanced license so I’m able to travel across the Canadian/U.S. border with that. It was a very sad realization that Dear would miss out on this event. I made the 2+ hour drive each way by my lonesome enjoying my new Lauren Daigle CD. Dinner and time with the “girls” was rich and wonderful. Lovella and her beloved created a beautiful setting for us all to enjoy. Everyone contributed to the meal and it was over the top delicious from the Charcuterie board appetizer, Potato Leek soup, plated salad, stuffed pork loin with noodles and gravy, roasted carrots, broccoli salad, fresh rolls and a beautiful layered cake dessert.

While I was in Canada Dear had dinner with our Western Washington Kids (WWK). For Monday we will meet up with dear friends for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant on this side and be able to hug our favorite waitress! This evening we will gather together with our WWK to celebrate Laura’s birthday. My take away gift from the MGCC party last night was a beautiful home made pie that Judy baked and we’ll enjoy that as Laura’s birthday “cake” after dinner. Photos to follow sometime soon….

Quotes of the Week 6

My quotes this week are taken from the writings of George MacDonald and a current quote from a blog.

George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish Victorian novelist, began his adult life as a clergyman and always considered himself a poet first of all. His unorthodox views resulted in a very short career in the pulpit, after which he turned to writing in earnest. He initially attracted notice for poetry and his adult fantasy, Phantastes, but once he turned to the writing of realistic novels in the early 1860s, his name became widely known throughout Great Britain and the U.S.  You can read more about him in this article I’m quoting, here.

Here are some quotes from some of his books or from him…

The things that can be shaken, said Andrew, as if thinking with himself “may last for a time. But they will at length be shaken to pieces, so that the things which cannot be shaken may emerge as what they truly are. Whatever we call religion will vanish when we see God face to face.”

From The Landlady’s Master ~ George MacDonald

The Curate of Glaston, by George MacDonald

“But perhaps even then you had more knowledge which, they say, only life can give.”

“I have it now in any case. But of that everyone has enough who lives his life. Those who gain no experience are those who shirk the King’s highway for fear of encountering the Deity seated by the roadside.”

From Lilith by MacDonald, a book I had trouble understanding. This quote, however, I understood and stand convicted by it…

“I sighed – and regarded with wonder my past self, which preferred the company of book or pen to that of man or woman, which, if the author of a tale I was enjoying appeared, would wish him away that I might return to his story. I had chosen the dead rather than the living, the thing thought rather than the thing thinking! “Any man,” I said now, “is more than the greatest of books!” I had not cared for my live brothers and sisters and now I was left without even the dead to comfort me!”

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.  ~George MacDonald

I definitely related better to his more realistic novels but I’m no C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien. 🙂

A quote from the author’s of the blog Take Them a Meal about our Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations:

A beautiful cookbook for your coffee table as well as a practical resource for real life events. The cookbook includes devotional reflections, personal stories and recipes divided into sections to celebrate life’s events. A few of my favorite sections are recipes for celebrating birth, milestones, hospitality and a life well lived. Author royalties go to nourish children around the world.

Shared from the book, ‘When we face illness in the family, find ourselves housebound, or lose a loved one, there’s nothing more appreciated than a meal prepared with love and delivered to our door.’

This was fun to see on this popular blog called Take Them a Meal. Our cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, is one of their 7 favorite gifts for 2018!

Wednesday Medley

Joining Terri, Your Friend From Florida, for Wednesday Medley. She provides questions for us to answer on our blogs and then we can visit other blogs that answered the same questions.

Here are the questions for this Wednesday:

What is your claim to fame?

My claim to fame is that I am one of the ten Mennonite Girls Can Cook. We met because of Lovella’s blog and eventually Lovella started a recipe blog called Mennonite Girls Can Cook. She invited me and other gals to join the blog and provide recipes. The contributors were capped at the ten of us current gals and the rest is history. We’ve co-authored three books, had a play named after us, and provided cooking demonstrations/classes and a few of our gals even made it onto Global TV. All of our royalty money has been contributed to helping children, orphans and widows. I am the one American in the group and I’m also the one non-Mennonite. They adopted me because of my Russian heritage and our similar cooking heritage.

What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

I like to hold and read a book and turn the pages.

What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?

Haha, there are a lot of things I’ve grown out of, like all my clothes from a decade ago. Oye. Something I haven’t grown out of and would like to is being concerned about what other people think of me. I’m less concerned then in my youth but it still nags at me.

What is the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?

I gave a ride to two criminals to get them away from my house and was able to drive into a driveway down the hill from us where a sheriff vehicle had pulled in looking for them. I jumped out of the car ran over to the policeman and said the guys you are looking for are in my car. He was dumbfounded and within a minute about 6 other police vehicles pulled up. They all told me I shouldn’t have done that. No duh! My husband was really upset with me for doing it, too. The two young thugs were, as the police detective put it, really bad guys. I had to go to a disposition hearing but did not have to go to trial. The two thugs had robbed a couple houses down the hill from us. I knew they didn’t belong on our hill and they cornered me in our driveway asking for a ride. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get into our house with them right there and our daughter was in the house so I chose to give them a ride away from our house. I talked to them the whole time they were in my car letting them know I had to get home quickly because my sons would be coming home from school, etc. I even asked them if they were a couple of bad boys and they said, “no maam, no maam, as they slid down in their seats when they saw the police vehicle ahead of us on the road. The two thugs were shocked that I did that and were stuck to their seats instead of jumping out of the car and trying to get away. My angel was on overtime!!

If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

Hmm…I’m going to choose Grace because I’m grateful for God’s amazing grace in my life.

What is something random you can tell us about this week?

It’s getting colder and colder here in our northeast corner of Washington State. I’m going to have to consider my wardrobe and add some cold weather items.

Ten Glorious Years

The Mennonite Girls Can Cook have some announcements. We started our journey together when I was still covering my grey roots and now I’m letting my grey shine. On 6/8/2018, Lovella posted one of the first recipes that appeared on our blog in June of 2008. Here’s that post with our first announcement, Zwieback. Judy posted our last Bread for the Journey on Sunday. On Monday June 11, 2018, Lovella posted Ten Years of Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

I’m putting this post together to help me remember much of what went on with the “girls” the last 10 years with links to some memorable posts from the other “girls”. This will be an ongoing post as I search and find posts to add links to.

When I first met the girls in person in April of 2010. (Lovella)

The Book Arrives (Judy)

Our First Cookbook. (Lovella)

Book Launch (Judy)

A Tribute (Anneliese)

Cooking Classes(Judy)

 

West Coast Women’s show kitchen stage.

Marg and Judy’s epic birthday celebration at Harrison Hot Springs.

Mennonite West Coast event in Fresno, California, where plans begin for our next cookbook.

To Fresno and Back (Judy)

Mini book tour in Bellingham and Vancouver.

Celebrations Book Launch in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

Winnipeg book signings.

West Coast Women’s Show

Some of the girls traveled by train to spend the day in the Seattle area ending at my home.

Visiting Ellen (Anneliese)

Lepp Farm Market Paska Cooking Class

Lepp Farm Market Christmas Cookie Class

Bread for the Journey Book launch

Indiana and Ohio for the openings of the play using our name.

Post by Anneliese

 

Christmas gatherings over the years.

At Our House seen through Anneliese’s Eyes.

 

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Some of us were able to gather on Monday June 11th in British Columbia to celebrate the end of this chapter in the Mennonite Girls Can Cook’s lives. Thank you to Lovella and her beloved for a wonderful evening reminiscing and doing what we do best, sharing the food we have cooked.

It’s been a great 10 years and I thank my God always when I think of these girls and all I’ve been privileged to experience because of our growing friendship filled with encouragement, laughter, conversation and prayer. This Tenship will continue with my everyday friends.

Anneliese’s Thoughts

 

Announcements, Announcements, Announcements!

The Mennonite Girls Can Cook have some announcements. We started our journey together when I was still covering my grey roots and had a “Bob”. Now I’m letting my grey shine with a shorter more layered cut. I also started this journey 30 pounds lighter. Last Friday, Lovella posted one of the first recipes that appeared on our blog in June of 2008. Here’s that post with our first announcement, Zwieback. Judy posted our last Bread for the Journey on Sunday. On Monday June 11, 2018, Lovella posted Ten Years of Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

I’m working on my own 10 year post which will be full of photos of our memorable events. This is mostly for my benefit so I have everything in chronological order. Last night we had a casual impromptu dinner at Lovella’s home in British Columbia. Seven of the 10 could be there with our husbands. So much to be thankful for. Dear and I stayed the night at an Oxford Suites hotel in Bellingham just across the border from Lovella’s home. We are really pleased with this chain. We’ll head home today with a couple stops along the way.

Reflecting Back On May

British Columbia, Canada May 2018

The Seattle Japanese Garden 2017

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San Antonio River Walk 2016

Chewelah, Washington May 2015

Bellefontaine 142Bellefontaine Cemetery St. Louis, Missouri May 2014

British Columbia, Canada, May 2013

I’m still working through cleaning up my blog because of the Photobucket change of policy which resulted with them replacing 8 years of photos with ugly black and grey boxes asking for money to release my photos. I’ve made it to 2010 and have miles to go before I delete all those boxes. In the meantime I have these highlights from past posts in May. So much to be thankful for over the years.

We are in a warm weather pattern right now with just one wet day predicted this week. Right now a high of 75 degrees expected for Mother’s Day! We had a nice mostly quiet weekend here. The highlights of the weekend: time with Josh and Laura on our deck after the Sounder’s game, church on Sunday morning, and an afternoon meal on Sunday with friends in Kirkland. Hope you all had a good weekend.