A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)Good people do live in my midst!  We’re getting ready for a garage sale later this month and spent a day preparing the garage for the tables, racks, etc.  The worst thing that can happen at a garage sale is when someone wants to buy something that you are not selling.  The solution is to cover everything that you want to keep with a tarp.

We were working in the garage when along comes our neighbor.  He’s a very pleasant man, friendly and hard-working.  He owns a farm just outside Wichita as well as a home in our little community.  He asked if our riding lawn mower was for sale.  My husband told him it was.  They worked out the details and our big -ticket item was sold.

Seems cut and dried, doesn’t it?  We get money and he gets the rider to use out on his farm.

The story’s not finished.  Here’s the cool part.

Yesterday was the open air market at our extension office.  Most of the vendors have stopped coming because summer is over.  We stopped to look around a bit, not expecting to find much.  There was our neighbor with the last of his vegetable crop – and it looked delicious, I must say.

Without saying a word, he bagged up most of what he had left and handed it to us.

He has absolutely NO idea what he did.  We have vegetables to put in our freezer for winter.  Our freezer was empty – now it’s full.  I think I know what the squirrels must feel like – collecting and filling their little homes with food for the winter months.

He told us it was a bonus payment on the mower.  We laughed.  I wanted to cry tears of joy.

But here’s the thing…  my dad had a garden every year and grew all the vegetables our neighbor does.  We’ve been buying vegetables at the market – but let’s face it, they just are not homegrown.  They don’t taste the same.

I’m sitting here now eating fried okra, crying tears of happiness.  It’s like a taste of home, to be honest.  This small gesture touched my heart and took me back home for just a little while.

This journey called life is filled with a little pain and a little sorrow, but once in a while, a neighbor does something that renews your faith in humans.  I could never thank him enough for that – not without crying, anyway.  It’s more than okra – it’s closing my eyes and going back to a late summer / early fall meal with my parents.  How do you thank someone for that?it-is-more-than-just-okra

I know it’s just a simple little story, but isn’t our life here on the planet about paying it forward?  It’s about sharing your bounty with those who are not farmers or gardeners.  Our neighbor would certainly have not had to do that.

I thank him not only for the food, but also for the wonderful memories that food sparked in me.  And as always, I’m so very grateful to God for making it all happen!  🙂

WHEAT MONTH

TL 7-21 JULY IS WHEAT MONTH

July’s Grain of the Month is Wheat. Worldwide, wheat is the third most-produced grain, trailing only corn (maize) and rice. In the United States, wheat accounts for about two-thirds of all grains consumed. However, much of the wheat we eat is refined (missing its nutritious bran and germ) or enriched (refined grain with just five of the dozens of missing or reduced nutrients added back in). If you eat wheat products, make sure they are whole wheat.WHEAT

Wheat fields are so graceful and agile just before harvest.  They wave in the Kansas wind and are probably the most friendly welcoming committee our state has!  Our crops were good this year – yay!  Most of the state got to harvest before all the really heavy rains hit, so that translates into profits.CHILDHOOD PLAYGROUND

I think it’s funny that I live in Kansas – the bread basket of America – and don’t eat wheat products.  Weird, huh?  Well, I’d support the wheat farmers if I could.  I have a disease that won’t let me eat products made with wheat – so I have to make adjustments.  Even though I can’t eat wheat myself, I can still celebrate wheat month!

Here is a low carb bread recipe.  I say low carb, but it’s more than I usually have.  I suppose on a day when I’m just craving bread so much I would make this, but I’d really have to be desperate.

LOW CARB WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Makes 16 slices

19g carbs per slice / 9g protein per slice

INGREDIENTS:

1 C. water

1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 C. medium rye flour

1 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. molasses

2 Tbs. Vital Wheat Gluten

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. yeast

1 Tbs. olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put all ingredients in bread machine on dough cycle.  When that’s complete, shape dough into a log and let rise for one hour.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

It is my goal to have single digit carb count per serving of any food, so 19g carbs for one slice of bread is a bit much for me.  Besides, I haven’t owned a bread maker since 1999.  😉