I added these chicken feet to my batch of chicken broth today. Yes, I did! Even though I felt like an old hag hunched over a huge pot of broth, stirring and tending my secret recipe, it was totally worth it - I ended up with the most beautiful batch of gelatinous chicken broth ever!
My dear friend Rose passed away two years ago this very day. At the last minute, we felt inspired to gather a group of her friends together and do a Rose-style potluck meal down along the Conestoga River, complete with china, tablecloths, flowers and candles - exactly the kind of event Rose might have orchestrated and delighted in.
(I think my Dad would have been pleased that we dined on his mother's lovely china....)
What a beautiful, lovely, special evening!
God prepared the way for us by arranging for perfect weather, a lovely available picnic spot, and open schedules for ten of Rose's friends and family members to gather together. He even arranged a perfect assortment of delicious food - we couldn't have come up such a fabulous menu even if we had tried!
The food was simply amazing....
I so wish Rose could have joined us, but we could feel her presence in so many ways;
I finished reading this book several weeks ago and simply can't get it out of my mind. By far one of the most impacting books I've ever read....
I keep asking myself - what gave Louie Zamperini and all those other POW's the mental tenacity to want to survive, first the agonizing 47 days of drifting at sea, then suffering two years of disease, exposure, starvation, and near-daily beatings from guards?
I'm afraid I would have been like McNamara, the other guy in the raft who understandably cracked under the stress and gave up the will to live.
And, how in the world did their physical bodies survive such assaults? Such horrendous circumstances? Such dietary horrors? I can't sleep unless I'm in my own bed with my favorite pillow, and I need my bi-weekly visit to the massage therapist and chiropractor just to maintain a semi-normal life. I'm such a wimp when I consider what they endured....
So often we ask I ask, "Where was God in my dark hour?" "Why did He allow such horror or suffering?" "Why, oh why, didn't He intervene when He certainly has the power to do so?" But, maybe we're asking, maybe I'm asking the wrong questions? Instead, maybe I need to look at what God saved me from. What my life would have looked like had God not intervened.
At the 1949 Los Angeles Billy Graham crusade that would change Louie's life forever, Graham spoke the words, "... God says, 'If you suffer, I'll give you the grace to go forward.'" And He did. Oh how He did!
Louie's "conviction that everything happened for a reason, and would come to good" would serve him well. It allowed him to remain "infectiously, incorrigibly cheerful".
I want to train myself to be like him.
PS - I read this book with the intention of wanting to read the book prior to seeing the movie. However, my understanding is that the climatic final chapters of the book of Louie's conversion and spiritual rescue aren't even included in the movie. If that's missing from the movie, I don't see any need to see it....
OK, I'll admit - this is one of the finer moments of Paleo dining. But, let me be clear - for me, it was only a moment. For numerous health reasons (primarily autoimmune issues, Leaky Gut and a whole host of food sensitivities), I've decided I need to give the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol a try; but, it's been terribly heartbreaking to come to this conclusion. It's been an unsettling, isolating, and extremely expensive experience so far. I am trusting that this is only a temporary approach until my body catches up with what it's supposed to be doing on its own; that's the only reason that I can even consider this perspective.
I'm not even going to share the above recipe, because I don't know if I want to encourage others to go down this trail. I certainly don't feel good about eating pricey imported grapes that were encased in plastic, and I'm not happy about eating expensive hunks of meat, even if it is good quality. And, it drives me nuts to be running to the grocery store or the butcher all the time, or filling up my recycling bin. Why??
I believe with all my heart that the local/in-season/organic approach is the approach.
I believe it's the ideal approach for the masses.
I believe we are called to partner with God and grow as much of our own food as possible, in gratitude for the very fruits and vegetables He created and provided to nourish our bodies.
I believe the creative outlet of cooking from scratch does wonders for our bodies, souls, and minds.
I believe we must teach and model gardening, cooking and grateful eating to anyone who might be watching, especially the younger generations.
I'm determined to get back to this approach. Determined to get back to the stashes of fabulous food waiting for me in my freezer and pantry. But for now, I'm on a detour. A heartbreaking detour. I was so certain that the local/in-season/organic approach would heal my body, but it didn't. And so I need to consider a different approach, at least temporarily.
I've been reading, researching, asking lots of questions. If you feel you must explore this approach as well, I've found this book to be the most helpful. Of course, there is oodles of info available online.
I'm desperately trying to find the good in this. (Of course, there always is a glimmer of good in anything if you look hard enough.) 1), I've discovered bone broth. 2) I've been forced to be even more creative with my own produce (like the rhubarb smoothie I had for breakfast today!). And 3), I've discovered I'm not the only one on this long, winding journey.