“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Who can really cook? No boxed Mac N Cheese or Stouffer’s lasagna. I know there are several of you that can really cook. I look forward to seeing your surveys. Who can cook real food, not stuff prepackaged or in a box?
HAVE YOU EVER? 1. Made biscuits from scratch? 🤔🤔I do t think so 2. Fried fresh okra? No 3. Made sourdough bread? I’ve made Amish friendship bread, which is a fermented bread. 4. Fried chicken? No, but I’ve fried tofu 5. Made spaghetti sauce from scratch? No 6. Made any kind of yeast bread? Yes 7. Baked a cake from scratch? Yes 8. Made icing from scratch? Yes 9. Cooked a pot roast with all the veggies? No 10. Made chili from scratch? Yes 11. Made a meatloaf? No 12. Made scalloped potatoes? No 13. Made mac/cheese from scratch? Yes 14. Made a jello salad? Yes 15. Made peanut brittle? No but I’ve made toffee 16. Made fudge? Bo 17. Made cookies from scratch? Yes 18. Cooked a pot of beans from dried beans? No 19. Cooked a pot of greens? No 20. Made cornbread from scratch? Yes 21. Make a pie dough from scratch? Yes 22. Cooked a whole turkey? Yes 23. Snapped green beans and cooked them? Yes 24. Made mashed potatoes from scratch? Yes 25. What’s the most people you have prepared a whole meal for? I’ve helped prep a meal for 60+ 26. Poached an egg? No 27. Made pancakes from scratch? Yes 28. Roasted vegetables in the oven instead of boiling them? Yes 29. Made fresh pasta? Yes 30. Made croissants from scratch? No 31. Made tuna salad? Yes 32. Fried fish? No 33. Made baked beans? No 34. Made ice cream from scratch? Yes 35. Made jam or jelly? No 36. Zested an orange or lemon? Yes (and have scars to prove it) 37. Made grits from scratch? No 38. Made an omelet? Yes 39. Lived in a house without a dishwasher? Yes, now 40. Eaten a bowl of cereal for supper? Yes
I would love to see your answers.
Reflection: honestly, a lot of my “no’s” are because I don’t prefer that thing, so I’ve never tried. We also eat more ethnic food than classic American soul food.
I can cook a lot of items that are not on this list. Mexican, japanese, chinese, italian, or french are my go to flavors. Very rarely do I leave the recipe as is, typically I take a recipe and modify it for our preferences.
This list is also quite skimpy on other things that are my skills. A baking list would be much better for me. Donuts, japanese taiyaki, japanese mochi, truffles (including keto fat bombs), shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, brownie cookies, cake mix cookies, brownies from scratch (and terrible diet brownies), hard candies, home made caramels, caramel sauce, and more.
Also I’ve tried making recipes for special diets. I’ve adapted tons recipes for keto, weight watchers, and vegetarian. I’ve used instapots, air fryers, crock pots, deep friers, george foreman grills, cast iron and more.
As we all know, 2020 has not been the best year – and that is an extreme understatement. For Josh and I it was super important to start 2020 getting married. We have to say that was our best decision of the year.
Though we had to postpone our honeymoon for an unknown future date, we have been able to start off our first year of marriage learning how to depend on each other and grow as a couple.
Both of us have explored many hobbies during this year: Meriah has enjoyed sewing, crocheting, baking, painting, rearranging furniture and painting rooms, making wreaths, and decorating for the holidays; with a new hobby of playing video games. Josh has explored many hobbies as well. Some hobbies he explored included home brewing hard cider, mead, and kombucha. Oh, and he made homemade cheese a couple times! That was tasty! The main hobbies being blacksmithing and woodworking, writing, cooking, C# coding, and much more.
We got chickens. Yes, chickens. On a rather spur-of-the-moment trip to Rural King we adopted six baby chickens and Josh built a chicken coop. We later adopted three more. Though they did not stay with us permanently. Shout out to Daniale and DJ for helping us simplify our flock. We also had bunnies for a while, intending to be meat rabbits, but then we also had a short period of time exploring being vegetarians and ethical carnivores. In the end, we are enjoying some beef from my South Dakota family – and trying to make wiser choices with our eating habits by purchasing locally or directly from farmers as much as possible.
For those keeping track we now have five chickens who all lay eggs and are excited to bless others with those eggs. We have five cats. We also have two dogs. We joke that we are somewhere in between a zoo and a farm. We do have dreams of owning a homestead hobby farm one day.. We will see what the future holds.
In the spring and early summer Meriah was predominantly in a digital church format that pushed her creativity and technology capabilities to the limit. Pastoring a church is difficult when you are separated from each other – nor is it easy to make wise choices about keeping people safe when it’s hard to find consistent information. However, our church has been fortunate and so far we have not had devastating cases of COVID-19. One benefit of being part of a rural church is that our exposure is decreased, but it still has made a challenge for worshipping and feeling God move.
For the last couple months, Josh has been working through TEK Systems at SMC in Noblesville. He does tech things that are way over my head but is very much so appreciated for his good hard work by the company. Meriah only ever hears positive things about Josh from his work. He is also continuing to learn more skills in the tech world that could enable him to diversify his job opportunities.
More recently Josh has helped with music at the church and Meriah is extremely grateful. The last two Sundays we have sang together and he played guitar. It has been a beautiful experience. Meriah struggles to express what a blessing it is having him by her side; professionally, personally and in every way.
As we take time to reflect on 2020, the initial thoughts are: “boo this year has been a dumpster fire!” It’s easy to think of the negative things that have happened this year, including: toilet paper shortages, wildfires, killer wasps, and socially distanced worship settings to name a few. All of those things are awful – but when we look back on it, we genuinely see the people who haven’t given up on us. We see people who have continued to enrich our lives in creative ways as we have gone through this weird, hard, growing type of year. We leave it thinking we are blessed and grateful for our family, friends, and the place we live.
Yes, Christmas letters are frequently only about the positive. We don’t expose our dirty laundry. There were definitely hard moments. We both have made mistakes and are working to grow as humans. We both are learning how to communicate and love both each other, our community, and our God better. 2020 hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, but we want to take gratitude into 2021.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year from the Tigner King family. We hope it won’t be too long before we hug you again.
We put another afternoon into our headboard. We’ve continued to adapt our plans as we’ve seen progress.
We adjusted some of the cuts as the tight fit moved things around a little.
We realized we needed some supplies so we made a quick trip to Lowe’s for some Boiled Linseed Oil, sponges, and french cleats. As of right now, we’re considering using the french cleats as our mount to the wall.
We will let this try and then possibly add some pyrography of stars and a moon to the sky. First I’m going to do some test designs on a piece of scrap wood.
When the oil dries completely, we plan to add stains to sky and peaks. Then when that dries we will add the finishes.
As we assembled this project we realized the amount of weight was going to be more than we anticipated. We plan to add a brace to the back and use french cleats for mounting as they distribute the weight of an object evenly across a wall.
I am really excited to see the finished product and get it on our wall. Our current headboard is not comfortable for sitting up, leaning, & reading in bed.
On a whim during lunch Josh and I decided to make a headboard. I have hated our current headboard since day one. It’s metal bars are not great for a lazy afternoon read and my pillows frequently slip through the bars. Yes, I realize #firstworldproblems.
So as we sat at Olive Garden for some delicious carbs, we plotted out our dream headboard.
Conveniently enough, Lowe’s is right next to Olive Garden. We left the restaurant, bellies full, and went shopping for wood!
The plans became real as we walked out of Lowe’s with a truck bed of wood.