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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What To Do With A LOT of Carrots When One Isn't Especially Excited about Carrots...

My housemate and I restarted the habit of receiving a weekly box of local and seasonal produce a couple of months ago. This was a brilliant decision on her our part, and overall, it has been wonderful to be challenged again to have to figure out how to use everything we receive, even if we would not have chosen it on our own. As I wrote here a couple of years ago, eating seasonally has taught me more about how to receive what God has created for us, rather than stand with my arms crossed, insisting on eating what I want when I want to eat it! Such discipline in the small, daily things like meals has developed my spiritual muscles a bit more in learning how to receive the circumstances I experience on a larger and deeper level.

However... when one receives 3 large bunches of carrots in the space of two weeks (and should I mention I hate raw or cooked carrots with a violent passion?) it can be a teensy-weensy more than demanding to stick with my nice little idealistic plan about eating seasonally. I pondered making a "love offering" to B.U.N.S. (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter, I kid you not) and then realized I was being ridiculous.

So I decided to buckle down and figure out what to do with all those sturdy carrots in my crisper, and thankfully, came upon an old recipe from Bon Appetit. I made this tonight and not only does it not taste like carrots (at all?) but it also makes your home smell wonderful! It would be good hot or cold.

6-8 servings


1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Plain yogurt (for garnish)


Grind coriander and mustard seeds in spice mill or mortar and pestle to fine powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add ginger; stir 1 minute. Add next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 5 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before serving.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with yogurt and serve.

Monday, August 10, 2015

So Many Resources, So Little Time 8-10-15

I am in deep denial that summer is nearly over... So as I start closing out summer projects and prepping for the school year, I still have one eye out for berries on sale, beautiful sunsets and opportunities to enjoy balmy nights. So as I share these resources that have helped me this summer, know that I hope you are also squeezing the life out of these closing days of summer. Enjoy!

If You Want People to Listen, Stop Talking.  One of the most frequent reasons I am invited to consult with churches, non-profits and now for-profit companies is to assist them in working through their staff development and supervision. Organizations that are on the cutting edge of technology or confronting major societal ills still often struggle in helping their employees to simply get along! So much of what I work on with leadership is to establish systems of training, support, feedback and evaluation that are effective and encouraging. This article speaks to some of that, as well as this one (The Key to Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback.) Sadly, amidst the crush of deadlines, projects and unanswered emails, it is surprisingly easy to overlook the fundamentals. Check these articles out to evaluate how your employee support is doing.

Ministering to Changing Families. Having worked with youth and their families for 30 years, you'd think I'd seen it all. Yet I am surprised that I am still able to be surprised by some of the issues that bubble up in my conversations with those who work with and shepherd families. This article provides some healthy and sensitive reminders. And here's another one that speaks to working with parents: 4 Ways to Promote Intentionally Spiritual Parenting.

6 Tips for New Graduates That You Won't Read on Buzzfeed. More and more, my work is focusing on current and freshly graduated college students. In the past 5 years I have had trained and released over 50 interns into the world, and interviewed at least four times that many in order to recruit the interns in the first place. Coupled with teaching and speaking on college campuses, that adds up to a lot of conversations about future, employment, purpose, direction, calling, budgets, debt, fear, you name it. I find that everyone has advice for this group of young adults, and there are far too many articles out there that rehash the same material over and over. I will say that this one feels different to me. Tell me what you think.

This American Life: The Problem We All Live With, Part One. Yes, it is tempting to put our heads under our pillows and just GROAN over all the unrest and confusion coming from Ferguson, Charleston, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia... the list goes on and on. Rather than shut down and give up, I choose to keep trying to pay attention, pray and learn. This podcast rocked my world. Download it and set aside an hour to go on a walk or a drive and listen well. There are moments I had to pause it and gather myself, especially when listening to the fears of parents during a town meeting. But it is time well spent, and it will help you to gain more understanding of the complexities at work in our country when it comes to public education and racial tensions. Lord, have mercy.

Psalm 30
I prayed this psalm earlier in the week upon reflection of his great healing and love in my own life. May we pray it on behalf of our world, in desperate need to hope and renewal.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
    his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)