Category Archives: Food

Update: From the Land of Snow, Ice Cream, Lattes, and More

We are finally emerging from the “Great Holiday Silence” to say, “Hi!”

img_4042We have been back in the States for seven weeks now. We survived the busyness of Christmas as we traveled to and fro between MN and WI. But the “busyness” consisted of seeing family and friends, eating delicious food, sipping lattes, discovering the strange concept of “winter,” playing with new toys and old pianos, loading up on ice cream and Christmas cookies, driving on wonderful roads, and more. So, in other words, we haven’t been roughing it.

Since Christmas, we have spent some time resting and seeing more wonderful people, including a quick trip to see our former director in Zambia and his family, Tim and Andrea Hilty. Our “tour” of visiting supporting churches kicked off last weekend in Janesville, WI, and now this coming weekend will find us in Marshfield, WI. Thanks to my parents for watching Charlie and Sam, so we can actually interact with people at these churches! Apart from the churches, we have been able to speak at a small group from our church in Minneapolis (Bethlehem), and tonight we speak on “ministering among the poor” at a missions fellowship through Bethlehem.

And next week, we head to California to see friends, former teammates, and supporters, who we have not seen for a very long time! It has been so great to connect with so many people in the short time that we have been back.

A couple prayer requests:

-While back, we are trying to raise money to buy a second vehicle. As most missionaries have discovered in Zambia, it’s really hard to live as a family, where roads are rough and transportation is poor, with just one vehicle. The truck we are purchasing is not as expensive as our other vehicle, but we are still hoping to raise about $6,000 for that. Click here to donate and put “truck” in the “Comments About This Donation” box. Thanks!

-Also, God has been so gracious to raise and sustain our monthly support over the last six years of being in Zambia – we praise him for that! But circumstances change for people, and prices change in Zambia, and we are finding ourselves a little short monthly. Would you pray that God would raise that through new ministry partners? Click here to donate.

-Lastly, pray that God would give us all the rest that we need while we are back. Charlie is homesick for Zambia, his dog, his aunties and uncles, and the sun. We want to help our little “third culture kid” to enjoy his time in America well and find joy wherever we are.

Thank you!!! We hope to see many of you in the next couple months before we return to Zambia!

Can You Smell It?

Spring is in the air. Maybe one day technology will offer the ability to transfer smells through the internet. But let’s just pretend for now that you can smell this blog (assuming that you have the capability of smelling in the first place…sorry, Jenni!).

Isn’t that smell just glorious? The first load of sheets/clothes hanging on the line this spring – aaaahhhhhh. 80 degrees outside with a perfect breeze blowing and not a cloud in the sky. When I think of spring and summer, this is what I think of.


(And one secret that I discovered to bring a touch of midwestern summer to a cold winter is taking that last chance to hang sheets on the line and then storing them away for a couple months. Right around the first or second week of January, beat those winter blues by using these sheets. It really is amazing how such a small thing boosts one’s morale!)

There are a couple other fragrant things I think of at this time of year – and you definitely want to smell these! (Unfortunately, no pics). Basil burgers* sizzling on the grill and then going inside to the smell of hot biscuits for strawberry shortcake.

*Basil Burgers*

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: Mix all ingredients together and form into 3/4″ patties. Grill for preferred doneness. And if you like, throw a couple slices of Farmer cheese (or some other white mild cheese) on each burger a couple minutes before removing from grill. Warning: you’ll never go back to regular burgers after trying these babies!

CreamyLingonKukenKaka (AKA Lingonberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast – Swedish Style)

Some friends of mine have {graciously} been rocking my Swedish world and showing me that not all foods are Swedish just because a Swede cooked it. The most difficult one to accept was Panakuken (Swedish…I mean, Dutch, oven pancake). Apparently, Swedes are good stealers and just like to take credit for other people’s recipes – we’re convincing though, by just adding a “kuken” or a “kaka.”

The other day, I was attempting to recreate a wonderful delicacy that Derek and I had at a B&B – cream cheese stuffed French Toast. Conveniently, the only preserves we had on hand to mix with the cream cheese were lingonberries! So, our breakfast ended up becoming Swedish after all – Swedish French Toast! It was pretty putsy, but it was worth it. Derek said, “It’s like having cheesecake for breakfast.” Mmmmm…

Foods That Make Me Praise God

-Cilantro
-Fresh Basil
-Garlic
-Shallots
-Freshly squeezed orange juice or lemonade
-Fresh Basil
-Anything on the grill
-Kenya AA Blue Mountain coffee
-Did I mention Fresh Basil???
-Anything from my garden (tomatoes, peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, herbs)
-Snow peas

There are definitely more, but these especially make my heart burst with praise for God’s good gifts! And I’m convinced that Farmer’s Markets will be in heaven, so if I’m not in front of God’s throne, look for me in the Farmer’s Market section. 🙂 Everything will be free – of course.