From Pollen to Perfection

The Perfect Food That Never Runs Out


Consider the lilies… They don’t toil, but God grows them and clothes them in beauty.

In considering that God’s creation is behind every cycle of life, I often think on these scriptures, written in RED, meaning Jesus spoke them.

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27 (KJV)

In considering the lilies, we have to go deeper than their perfection. What else does the lily have? Smell? Yes. The pleasure of their beauty? Yes. Do they have something greater…pollen?

red lil

Homestead lily

Jesus said for us to consider the lily. It neither toils nor spins, and yet God provides the lily a season: the right conditions to grow, good soil, water, and sunshine. Happily it shoots its green blades up and out. Next, the stem bolts up, and the bud forms on top. Lastly, in the cup of their blooming splendor, perfection, lies the crumbly purity of yellowish pollen. The wind swirls down into that cup of beauty, pollen moves up and out into the air. The bees dive into its cup for perfect pollen, collect it, and take it to their hives, their homes, and turn it into perfect food, honey, a perfect food that does not go bad.

Wow! Let us consider the lilies more deeply now, and parallel it with the fact that without pollen food can’t grow. So, pollen is auspiciously linked to our food and the bees’ food; plus, food for the rest of life here on earth.

Consider the lilies… Jesus is telling us to think about the lilies, how they grow and are much more than beautiful characters in their environment. Think on how they interact with that environment. Lilies are not just perfectly beautiful and unworried, but they serve a much greater purpose. They freely, with an open cup, serve up pollen for their environment. Pollen is life from within. A necessary ingredient for perfection.

In considering the lilies….from pollen to perfection, which is honey, I am reminded of another perfect food: manna, the pure food of the Bible, and what it too stands for…life. What is that one perfect ingredient for life? Read More


Heartbreak on the Homestead

It was a true tragedy….

Homie and I mourned the loss…

It was our dream life, me and Homie. We wanted our own farm. Both of us had grown up in farming communities, not just our farming families. When my daddy died, he left me some acres. So, we took the kids and moved back to my home farm. We had jobs, so we had no desire to farm, per se. What we did want to do was garden. So, it started out as sweet fun: chickens, 4 Chihuahuas, and the 4-Square Farm! (At this point, three of my sisters jointly owned the farm with me.) After my mom died, we divided it up and I named my share, The Jake & Jewel Homestead, after my hardworking parents who took a piece of land with nothing on it and built it into a sustainable farm where they raised seven children. Since then, I’ve shared, off and on, pics of the Chihuahuas, chickens, the homestead, flowers, plants, and of course HadPoo, our granddaughter after she came into the picture. 

However, sadly, last year, heartbreak happened on the homestead.

For you to understand, I have to introduce our four furry friends. Opie, our blond, male Chihuahua we rescued from a lady who was sick with brain cancer and wanted a good home for him, a new puppy she had received from well meaning family. Then Shea, our tawny and black gal, whom we also rescued from a friend whose children could not take care of her due to their sad circumstances.

 

Opie and Shea had their first litter of four. We fell in love. Homie and I kept two, Diamond Pistol Pete, a black and white firecracker, and Pretty Girl Pearl, a long haired gray, black, and white beauty.  Our daughter took one, Topaz Bella, a beautiful copper colored little girl. And our son and his wife took the smut black and brown boy, Onyx, shortened to Onnie, the sweet one.

 

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We had no had no want for more puppies, but life happens. Mysteriously–tongue in cheek here–at this time, both Pearl and Shea came up pregnant at the same time. And both fled the safety of our home and had their babies under one storage building. We waited for the babies to get big enough to come out, because, you see, the building was too low for any human to crawl beneath.

So we waited, never having seen even one puppy, only heard them mewing.

That day, the day of heartbreak, we didn’t know what was happening. About midday Shea began to bring puppies through the doggy door of our back door. One at the time, she frantically rolled them out from beneath the shed and lugged the fat babies in. We placed a sheet down for her. It took her a few hours as we watched her, even helping a few times. Soon we realized she was not only bringing her pups, which were a week younger than Pearl’s, but she was also bringing in Pearl’s pups as well. When she had brought all six pups in, she nestled in with them.

We went looking for Pearl, couldn’t find her. Later, she came up, and then fell over, wounded. Our Pearl Girl was attacked by something—what we’re not sure—but thought, at the time, it was someone in the neighborhood’s bigger dog who came into our yard. (We have seen them on the loose.) Pearl, the good, protective mommy that she was, probably rushed out barking, in her high-pitched bark—one that could almost break glass—to defend her pups, as she was ever the first responder/guard dog for the place. Sadly, she passed over the great divide and into that green meadow under the watchful eye of the Lord.

Now this precious little face, with those bright eyes and smile, will no longer romp around the homestead. She will no longer want to be the first to get a snack, jump into our laps, and keep scooting her head up to be able to give us a wet doggy kisses.
We all miss her so much, our little Squirrel-ly Pearly…

We were all heartbroken…

But that’s not the end of the story!! Read More


Author Della’s Blog

Cup of Morning Love

 

Fellow Christians, is the Bible Your Friend? Do You Read It?

As a believer, is Satan, (named by God to be “Adversary”) attacking you? misleading you? tempting you?

Is it important you read the Bible every chance you get?

Jesus thought so, and gave us the perfect example as to why when he faced our Adversary, Satan.

Listen…or read it yourself… Matthew 4:1-11. When he was in the wilderness praying, fasting, and after 40 days Satan came to him to tempt him. Now, don’t think Jesus didn’t already have power over Satan, because he did.

Read Matthew 28:18 KJV, And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Jesus allowed this temptation for our sake, for a witness unto us to show what we can do through him and the written word. During each test, temptation, Jesus said to Satan, “It is written…”

It is written: wrote down to read. Jesus used the “written” word to win each temptation, and commanded Satan to leave him with it.

GOOD NEWS! We can use the written word to do the same. It is our weapon, as we, the church. We need to pick the Bible up, read it, and learn how to use what is written in it too. Just as you would learn how to use a sword to defend yourself from an enemy attacking your physical life in the natural. But this sword is SUPERNATURAL and used from the spirit via our tongues. Read More


Stalking Your Fresh Okra Row

You smile and shout, “Okra for supper!”

The children go screaming away from the table, “I hate slimy, alien pods!”

So you, standing there, holding your hard work in your hands, a beautiful dish of cooked okra, ready to place it on the table for you and your family, think, Why should I go to all this trouble for this weird vegetable my family won’t even try eating?  I’ve stalked that okra row every other day now, and this is the thanks I get.

In your mind’s eye you see, with a winsome smile, yourself “stalking” okra, knowing how very tricky to pick it is, because it’s all so very, very many shades of green. You see yourself, while picking, looking back behind you over the row and sighing. I missed so many pods. How did I do that? I was staring right at those leafy stalks! If I don’t pick them, they’ll get hard and I’ll lose part of my precious crop.

So you back up, crouch down, and begin to step very softly searching for those smaller, tender pods among those leaves, at various heights, and among those beautiful, yellow, insect buzzing blossoms. It’s hot, and the sunshine is blistering. Then you start laughing at yourself, because you remind yourself of a crouched lion, on the hot Serengeti plain, stalking its prey. Take one slow step, let your gaze search carefully through those big, green leafs, the same color as the pods. You see your prey, reach in, snap it off, and triumphantly throw it in your bucket! When you think you’ve got them all, only, a few days later, when you go to pick okra again, you immediately see several pods you missed. Dang it! And you begin to stalk that row again!

Now, why go to all this trouble if some of your family doesn’t like okra? Let me count for you, all the wonderful ways of this special food, and then we’ll talk about growing it and cooking it. And I will tell you why, after all your years of hard work, later in life, your children may learn to love it!

First, let’s take a look inside that green, strange, seedy pod and what it brings to the table for the nutritional life of your body. Health to the body is health to the mind. Now the good book says, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” For the love of our sound mind, we all want to be healthy, whole, and happy. Okra’s benefits helps with the following:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Boost immune system
  • Lowers risk of colon cancer
  • Helps prevent anemia
  • Helps your eyes to have clear vision and helps prevent cataract & glaucoma
  • Cleanse your liver
  • Treats constipation
  • Helps asthma
  • Helps with sun stroke
  • Strengthens bones
  • Helps to prevent obesity
  • Can help with type 1 & 2 diabetes

This cute little okra alien pod is packed with:

  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin A (beta carotene)
  • Luetin, Xanthin
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin B6
  • Minerals
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Potassium
  • Calcium

And yes, I looked all this up. In doing so, I learned more about okra than ever! I’ve eaten it most of my life and never knew how wonderful it was for my body!

And I tell you the truth, growing okra is not that hard. It’s a hardy crop and very drought tolerant, once you get it established. Over the years, Homie and I have planted different varieties, different ways, and different places in our garden. We found that reverting back to the “good old days,” the way our parents did it, was doing it best. Okra loves sunshine, the right amount of fertilizer, water, and to be “sowed.”

Our parents and grandparents on the family farm, took a hoe, a normal farm tool, dug a shallow furrow in their mounded row, and then sowed the seeds uniformly and somewhat thick. It made a thick row that could start bearing as early as knee high. When it starts to bloom and bear, it will continue to bloom and bear those tasty, enriched with vitamins, okra alien pods until the first hard, killing frost. When picking okra, it does have a tendency to make you itch. TIPS HERE: Wearing gloves, or washing your hands and forearms with soap immediately after you pick it, solves this problem. Also you can use a sharp knife to cut your nutritious okra. And when you stalk your okra row, go down one side, and then back up the other for a more thorough stalking and gathering experience.

You might say, “That seems like a lot of hard work for a vegetable for only a few meals.” Oh! Contraire! Okra is for breakfast, dinner, and supper! (We live in the south, so we eat these three meals. Smile.)

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Okra for breakfast? Yuk! No yuks, please, until you try our “Okra and eggs, sausage, and butter-fried toast”  recipe on my Homestead Recipes page. It’s a nutritional, power packed meal for starting any great day.

As for your children, watching you eat it will have a great impact on them. When they get older, they may revisit the nutritional value of the “alien okra pod.” Repetition with foods creates a normalcy in their minds. Statistics inform us that children may need to try a food six or seven times before they begin to like it. The keys are exposure and persistence by the parents. My children never liked okra either. But today, they love it cooked several ways. Neither Homie or I ate okra much when we were growing up, but today, it is one of our main super food crops, along with the super foods mustard greens, kale, cabbage, broccoli, lettuces, and collard greens.

At the homestead we grow okra every summer. We grow it, stalk it, fry it, saute it, boil it, pickle it, and freeze it for the fall, winter, and spring months, until we get to grow it again. So I hope I’ve helped you fall in love with a great super food, the okra alien pod, like I have! 

As always, I encourage you to check out all my books on my page Shop-For-Love

So happy okra growing, staking, eating, and preserving!

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating,

With love, from Romance & The Homestead,

Della.


Romance & The Homestead

Thanks for joining me on the Homestead!

Welcome, and picture this in your mind:

…a rural, sunshine-splashed, extra large neighborhood with small towns surrounded by communities of side-by-side small farms, strung together by tree-limb-shading dirt roads dissecting forests and open fields. Wedged among those farms, there was a special farm I called “home”  where I spent many days lying on a homemade, patchwork quilt, in a shade dappled yard, creating my own small world to read about far away places and people that arrested my imagination about…love.

I look back fondly, and gratefully, I might add, on those days as they were the foundation of me.

roseHi, I’m Della: author, wife, mother, grandmother, and fresh food lover, who is living her dream life. After I married and moved from the farm, my heart never stopped yearning to own my own farm. So, through perseverance, and never giving up on my farm-dream, or becoming a published author, I’ve brought both together. (I had more than one dream, as I’m sure you do. Learn more about me on my About page.)

So here on Romance & The Homestead, the main ingredient I’d like to share with you is…love! All my books and blogs are about love. My life on my homestead, I fondly call The Jake & Jewel Homestead, I named for my parents, is all about love: family, faith, food, and friendship. grapevineSo, I hope you’ll follow me into my life here and the lives of my characters in my books as they find romance and learn to love!

Here, I’d like to begin to share with you my recipes for family, wholesome food, and bringing together, through hard work, faith, and perseverance, into one place, a dream life to love.

DSC00711Feel free to stay, look around, read, shop, leave a message and fill out my popup ‘follow’ button. Go to my Contact page and email me your thoughts, ideas, and any good recipe you would like to share. Like and share on social media.

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