Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Think I Can...Tomatoes

In my last post I told you that day 1 of my 7 journey brought the making of what I deem the secret to the best chili and spaghetti you'll ever have eat...or inhale, if you use this ingredient.

(Side note: there are a lot of numbers going on here. I'm sorry about that. I really am, because I understand. There is a reason I majored in public relations.)

My mom has been a canning machine all summer long, let me tell you. Pickles, squash pickles (she gets to enjoy those by herself), green beans, blackberry jam...our pantry is stocked full. And I love it. I love it because I think that canning has become a lost art, something that people don't want to mess with anymore because it takes time. Imagine that...having to wait on something and be patient. Yes, it's 2012 and I believe that those are lost arts as well.

But not for Britt! So on day 1, she conquered tomatoes:

This was a continuation of her summer canning projects, yes, but it was also a way to help preserve produce for our first month of 7. (If you are still completely lost as to why I keep dropping the number 7, read my last post.)
I give my mom 100% of the credit for all of the cans we ended up with, but I DID peel the skins off of some of the tomatoes after they had been submerged in scalding hot water. And then I ate them. I ate hot, limp tomato skins. I must have been starving?...But I swear they were good.




I know it looks like a weird process--and it is--but listen to me. These canned tomatoes are magical. Put them in your chili this winter (or this summer, if you're insane); put them in your pot of spaghetti and you might even decide that you don't need noodles. 
That's a lie. Spaghetti must have heaping piles of noodles.
It must also have a spoonful of grape jelly in the meat and tomato sauce. Know that I LOVE YOU because that is a secret family ingredient.
Not a secret anymore. 

I promise I can keep secrets!

So we continue our 7 journey loving vegetables and loving the time we get to spend together canning them. Because that's part of the journey, simplifying life and enjoying more of Jesus in the simplicity. 
For me, it's also discovering new foods that God gave us that I haven't made time to cook and love. One of my principles is to find seven healthy foods that I have never cooked and...well, cook them. Take advantage of the options that God has so generously provided. 
Because he could have just given us iceberg lettuce and called it a day. But He didn't, because He loves us and wants us to have things like...rainbow chard! 


I have had it before but never bought and fixed it for myself, so here was an opportunity. Rainbow chard (stems included--there the vitamins lay), mushrooms, garlic, red pepper flakes...
YUM. Thank you Jesus for rainbow chard!





7

If you are a woman (of any age, really) from or living in Habersham County, then you probably knew what this post was going to be about the minute you saw the title.

7. It's a book. It's a journey. It's a semi-temporary lifestyle--one that I hope to continue even after the journey officially ends.

About a month ago God spoke to a woman named Heather Cody--really, truly, so seriously a woman of God--through "7" and inspired her to create Group 7. The book, written by a rockstar of a woman named Jen Hatmaker, follows the author's family's journey in identifying seven areas of excess in their lives and the seven choices made to fight back against them.

Food.
Clothes.
Spending.
Media.
Possessions.
Waste.
Stress.

Thirty days are spent on each topic--thus, the seven-month journey. Each month follows a rule of seven: only seven foods are eaten, seven articles of clothing worn, spend money in seven places...you get where this goes.
Honestly, I can't possibly explain the enormity and depth of this journey on my own; any effort to do so would be inadequate. See for yourself: http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/12/26/an-experimental-mutiny-against-excess.

So after Heather's prompting on Facebook to become a part of this revolution, responses poured in. I think people are weighed down by the excess our culture encourages, suffocated by lifestyles that make life increasingly complicated and competitive; I know I am. So onto the bandwagon I hop! I do this alongside women in my community that I so respect and admire, alongside my sister and best friend, and alongside my mom and dad--praise JESUS for a family that is making this journey together!

NOW...I am doing a modified version of 7. When I say modified, I mean that I am not choosing seven single foods to eat for a month but will base my eating choices around seven principles that were made to make less of me and more of the sweet Jesus that I'm counting on to get me through this month. Seriously, He has to show up, because I can.not. do this alone. I could literally feel my jaw clenching as my mom and I wrote down our seven principles the other night.

"Mom. After I write this, it's done. It's done. This thing might as well have been written in blood! I can't go back after it's written. (Dramatic wail follows)"

So please ignore me when I come complaining about how I haven't gotten to eat Yoforia "oneeeeeee singleeeeeeeee stinking time" in two weeks; I'm just being dramatic, and Jesus is not amused.

I feel like I'm leaving this blog unfinished somehow, because there is SO much more to all of this than I have made known. But that's what I'm dedicating this blog to sharing over the next few weeks--shoot, the next seven months!--as I experience a journey that will simplify life and amplify Christ.

The journey technically started yesterday, so I'll share a bit of what day 1 held in a later blog post (hint: it makes for the best crock pot of chili or bowl of spaghetti you'll ever have, promise. Cross my heart, hope to DIE in a pot of said spaghetti!).

Soooooo here we go! Jesus be near and please, for the love of all things sweet, keep Grit cake away! Satan would have a field day with that one...