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recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com

Ingredients

Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups finely shredded kale
4 (14 ounce) cans organic vegetable broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon honey
4 large carrots, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
1 tablespoon water (optional)

Directions

Combine the cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, curry powder, and salt. This mixture can be made in advance and stored.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the shredded kale and the spice mixture. Cook until kale begins to wilt and spices are fragrant.

Pour in the broth. Stir in the tomatoes, honey, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans, dried apricots, and lentils. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low.

Simmer stew for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender. Season with black pepper to taste.

To thicken, combine optional cornstarch and water. Stir it into the stew and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

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How to Make Scented Pine Cones

1. Collect the cones and clean them of all debris, insects, and sap. If you need to wet them thoroughly, to dry them, place the cones on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 200F for an hour. Allow them to cool before beginning.

Or simply buy packaged cones from a crafts store 🙂

2. Mix equal parts glue and water in a small bowl.

3. In a plastic bag large enough to contain the pine cone, put cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Mix according to your desire. The amount you use will depend on the size of the cone. Go for a light covering of spices rather than a full coating.

4. Quickly paint the flatter surfaces of the pine cone with the glue mixture.

5. Put the pine cone into the plastic bag and shake. Be sure that the mixture touches every part of the cone.

6. Leave the pine cone in the bag to dry overnight. Tap off excess spices as you remove each cone.

7. You’re done! Place the cones around your home for subtle fragrances. Or toss them in the fireplace to burn as the fire brings out the aroma.

GMO n (genetically modified organism) an organism whose genetic material has been altered to include DNA molecules from other sources. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified genes. Also known as GM or GE.

Transgenic organisms are a subset of GMOs. These are organisms inserted with DNA from different species.

Includes animals, food crops, and other foodstuffs.

Currently, the US does not require that these items be labeled.

Organic adj of, relating to, or derived from living matter; food certification includes standards which include:

  • no use of fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, GMOs, irradiation, or the use of solid or semisolid organic material obtained from treated wastewater, often used as a fertilizer or soil amendment;
  • production on land that has been free from prohibited synthetic chemicals for a number of years;
  • detailed written production and sales records;
  • strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products;
  • periodic on-site inspections.

In the US,

products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled “100% organic”;

products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic”;

products containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled “made with organic ingredients”.

These regulations can and are stretched in varying circumstances.

Health and intellect are the two blessings of life. – Menander

Feminine woman, this is your lane.

Pay attention. Protect your health and that of your family.

The greatest wealth is health. – Virgil

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  – World Health Organization, 1948

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.  – Elbert Hubbard

A good hostess is

  1. Comfortable. She sets the mood for the party and so is light-hearted, relaxed, and sociable. Her space is open, welcoming, and festive. Food and drink are located in a way that encourage guests to move throughout the room(s). And there are adequate seating and surfaces to rest glasses and plates.
  2. Ready. She has double checked the details. Every space a guest may visit is spotless and supplied. Extra necessities are tucked neatly away in convenient locations. She is dressed and prepared to receive guests at least an hour early.
  3. Hospitable. Her guests are made to feel special. She greets everyone personally, points out where everything is located, and makes introductions. It is important that each guest is comfortable and engaged.
  4. A member of the party. She does a fine job of replenishing food, drink, etc. and tidying up. She also takes deep breaths, remembers that this is actually fun, and she thoroughly enjoys herself.

I’d best get some ideas!

A hero is a man who is afraid to run away. English proverb

No heroine can create a hero through love of one, but she can give birth to one. – Jean Paul Richter

You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes. – Walter M. Schirra, Sr.