Sort of Like a Fire Breathing Dragon!

“The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” – Psalm 85:12

Jason and I both delight in gardening.  We just plain like to grow stuff.  We have grown all sorts of fruits and vegetables and squash over the years.  Some have been wonderful successes and others have been abysmal failures. 

Jason is still incredibly and deeply bitter about my little pattypan plant experiment.  In my defense pattypan squash are stinking cute.  How was I supposed to know the plants were evil soul sucking destroyers of all that is good in this world for multiple growing seasons?  It soooo did not say that on the little label that comes with the plants at the nursery!  I am quite certain I would have noticed that.

This is one of Jason’s Scotch Bonnet plants.

We grow a variety of things – but we specialize in growing tomatoes and peppers.  And as far as the peppers go – in Jason’s opinion the hotter the pepper the better.  Seriously –  HOT like an August afternoon in Louisville with no air conditioning!!!

Jason likes peppers so hot that they melt your face off and set your hair on fire.  Peppers that turn you into a fire breathing dragon are right up my beloved’s alley.  Jason likes food that is so hot it just might give him the hiccups!  Jason likes peppers that give him atomic breath like Godzilla.  (That metaphor was Will’s suggestion.  We are still watching the Godzilla movies in order at our house!  Jealous?!?  I bet that you are.  Tonight is Godzilla versus Hedorah.)

A bowl of pain and suffering (that is just my opinion of course!)

This year has yielded bumper crops of both tomatoes and peppers from the McFarland garden.  This is gloriously wonderful news – because I love canning even more than I love gardening.  When I was a little girl I so totally wanted to be a pioneer when I grew up.  Few things in this life delight me more than the prospect of laying in provisions for the long winter ahead.

Saturday morning Jason and I harvested and then we got to work turning our harvest into tomato sauce and 2 kinds of hot pepper sauce. 

Together Jason and I turned dozens and dozens of Scotch Bonnet and Habanero Peppers into sauces that were so hot the steam literally made me cough!  I was more than happy to help as long as I NEVER – EVER – EVER had to taste a single drop of the hot sauce.  I do not like spicy food at all.

Habanero and Scotch Bonnet chilis are very hot.  Both are rated between 100,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale.  For comparison, most jalapeño peppers have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale.  CRAZY – I tell you – absolutely CRAZY CAKES!

All ready for roasting.

We picked.  We peeled clove after clove after clove of garlic.  We sliced and diced and roasted.  We pulverized and strained and simmered.  We coughed.  Seriously – that was some strong steam!  We made a great – big glorious mess of our kitchen!  Then I canned the sauces and got to hear that delightful “pop” as jar after jar of sauce sealed.

This is just one of the ways I am trying to savor the closing weeks of summer.  I am making sure I take lots of time to stop and smell the roses and the lavender and the marigolds.  I am watching the grass as well as the boys grow!  I am taking a moment to delight in the blue of the summer sky and the radiating heat of the sun.  I am giving God thanks for this my very favorite of seasons.

This summer has been tough for so many reasons – but it has held many blessings from our Lord too.  Blessings for which I give thanks.  Blessings I hope I will remember not just for an afternoon or a season – but for many years to come.  Blessings like a day spent in the kitchen laughing – chatting – and making insanely hot – hot sauce that I will never eat with the love of my life – just because he asked.  I will savor the everyday moments of my life also – because there are so many of those and they can be pretty amazing too!

How are you celebrating and giving thanks for God’s blessings to you?  How are you giving thanks for those every day moments and blessings that can mean so much?  Not every blessing from God has to be a “Big” moment.  God’s blessings truly come in all shapes and sizes.  Try keeping your heart and your eyes open . . .

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

“The Lord makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth.”  Psalm 104:14

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