This is the first season I have really had time to garden since I moved back to Ohio. The home I bought has a wide variety of plantings, some I recognize and some, not so much. I was weeding a border last week that had been ignored for most of the Spring.
The smaller newer sprouted weeds came up with minimal effort, but those that had taken deep root, and grown a while really required some digging and pulling to get them out. Some of them are still there because I was too weak to get out those deep roots. I will surely need some help for those.
I was reminded that bitterness is just like those weeds. Those weeds spring up easily on their own. They serve no purpose other than to choke out the good plantings and steal the nutrition from the soil. If not rooted out, they can simply take over the beautiful plantings over time.
I purposed early on in my widowhood that I needed to focus on seeds of bitterness springing up and root them out as fast as I could. My daily quiet time with the Lord helps me so much with this. Things I can’t handle or feel overwhelmed about, I lay at Jesus feet. I repeat scripture promises to the Lord as I pray reminding myself of His provision for me. I admit to God when bitterness creeps in because He is the master gardener that can root it out before it takes a strong hold in my life.
I have also found that a spirit of gratitude is a natural bitter weed killer. Bitterness just can’t live in the same place as Gratefulness.
I am trying to bloom where I have been planted, so to speak. I hope you are, too.
When I think of gardens, tomatoes always come to mind. I LOVE fresh tomatoes...and salads with everything but the kitchen sink added to them. :-)
Today's recipe is for Thousand Island dressing. Before the days of Hidden Valley Ranch, Thousand Island reigned supreme. It is the perfect topping for Taco Salad.
THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING1-1/2 c. mayo
2-3 T. pickle relish, drained OR 2-3 sweet pickles, finely chopped
6 T. chili sauce
1 egg, hard-boiled and finely chopped
Mix mayo and chili sauce. Add a little milk if too thick. Add the rest of the ingredients. Yield 2 cups
Note: Homemade tastes so much better than the bottled kind. Don't leave out the egg, it really makes a difference. Chili sauce is found in the ketchup aisle and keeps in fridge indefinitely.
1 loaf french bread 1/3-1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. butter, melted Italian seasoning, to taste
garlic salt, to taste
Cut bread into cubes. Place on cookie sheet in a single layer. Preheat oven to 350°.
Toast bread, stirring every 10 minutes, until bread is firm on all sides. Move bread to a large bowl. Mix butter and seasonings. Pour over the dry bread cubes and stir gently to coat.
Sprinkle with the parmesan. Taste for seasonings. You might need to add more butter/seasoning mixture, season with salt, or cheese. Return croutons to oven
and heat until crisp, about 10-20 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5 minutes or so.
Allow to cool, then store in airtight container. These may also be placed into the freezer for 2-3 months.
Note: These are so good. I have even used leftover garlic bread, cut up and toasted for this recipe with great results. Even the most plain salad is special. You could also sprinkle ranch dressing mix in place of the Italian seasoning for a different flavor.