I’ve been trying to catch my breath. . . so I baked. I baked a Chicken & Cauliflower Rice recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry. I made a Flourless Chocolate Torte – and Lavender-Pumpkin Scones. I found all kinds of pumpkins – and exchanged Summer with Fall.
Then I Fall Cleaned – much like Spring Cleaning. It was a deep thing. Some things discarded had deep roots. But shelves, drawers and filings needed going through – and throwing into our chimenea, burning up the chaff, keeping the wheat. I burned up a book of poems and a journal from over forty-years-ago. Long ago, I’d already vintaged what was worth keeping. It felt good to burn it up, page by page – praising God for where He has brought me.
I’ve had no words, so after my summer reading of Hugo’s Les Miserable, a re-read Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel seemed just right. I swept the porch and wiped its tables. I had mornings with the grandboys – and some afternoons, too. The Daily returning to routine with my Forever Man.
Often, my husband leads our four-year-old-grandson in Aaron’s Blessing, the blessing he’d say before going into surgery and coming out in 2019 – and tried to recite the morning of his stroke – and when he couldn’t recite, he wrote it down on paper in the emergency room:
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” ~ Numbers 6:24-26
Our grandson one morning after Papaw came home followed with his own prayer:
“The Lord Shine on the trees, the grass, the dinosaurs.
The Lord give shine to Muddy and Papaw,
and Mommy and Daddy,
and the firetrucks. Amen.” ~ Henry
It’s been a time of mixing – stepping into every new day, believing, trusting, breathing hope, exhaling peace – and loving intentionally. It’s been a time of new, old recipes, and mixing an idea into reality – a lavender-pumpkin scone recipe. Mostly, it’s been a time of mixing, my blends giving way to God’s blends.
Steeping the daily with God’s aromatic blend of faith that lets the heart rest. Matthew Henry describes it like this: “A rest of grace, and comfort, and holiness, in the gospel state.” (Matthew Henry Commentary of Hebrews 4:2)
No words to write. No ideas to turn over. Just mixing faith in the steps of the daily. Believing, Trusting that God has the “All is Well” Plan (2 Kings 4:26).
Taking thoughts captive, and replacing those thoughts with thankfulness, with praise, with remembering that our Creator, our King, our Beloved Father has worked out the redeeming plan before I am ever aware of challenge, of crisis, of battle. Mixing faith! Believing. Walking out with confidence life in the daily. Faith mixed with what I speak, what I do, where I go, how I do it.
“But those who do not believe, shall never enter into this spiritual rest, either of grace here or glory hereafter. God has always declared man’s rest to be in him, and his love to the be the only real happiness of the soul; and faith in his promises, through his Son, to be the only way of entering that rest.” ~ Matthew Henry Commentary, Hebrews 4:2.
I’m practicing mixing faith – believing when the words don’t come. Believing when answers to challenges don’t come. Believing when everything still feels upside down. Believing means allowing myself to rest, not worry; to let things just sit when He tells me I just need to soak in His grace and comfort. Stopping to catch my lung and soul breath is sometimes the hardest thing to do of all – it’s a mixing-faith-thing, too!
When God’s the author of it, though, it’s a good thing. God’s good things need to be heeded and applied.
Baking, cooking – it’s all about mixing: Mixing flavors, ingredients. Cakes, cupcakes, soups, stews – salad dressings. Spring flavors. Christmas Flavors. Winter flavors. Summer flavors – and Autumn flavors. I’ve been mixing pumpkin bites, lavender, and scones. In each bite, a little yummy pumpkin bursts. Mixing good things for a good result.
Mixing flavors is full of potential to make things better, much like mixing faith:
This week, I’m still practicing mixing faith into the batter of my week, to rest in Him, to Trust – soul food guaranteed to comfort and revive the spirit. Living the Promise, friends, for me takes practice – and mixing!
“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them,
but the word which they heard did not profit them,
not being mixed with faith in those who heard.”
~ Hebrews 4:2
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Aspen Mulling Cider Spice, Original Blend
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Butter, cut up (5.3 tablespoons)- cold
1 Cup Whipping Cream – cold
Zest and Juice of one Orange
1 Generous Cup frozen Pumpkin Pie Bites
2 1/8 inch biscuit cutter
Pumpkin Pie Bites
2 Cups Pureed Pumpkin (homemade or in a can)
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Line a 9X12 casserole dish with non-stick spray and waxed paper. Pour into dish. Heat oven to 425 Degrees F. Bake 16 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35-40 more minutes or an inserted knife comes out clean.
Let cool until room temperature. Cover and put in freezer until hard. When fully frozen, turn upside down and remove the wax paper. Then cut into blueberry or even blackberry-sized pumpkin bites. Set aside a generous 1 cup and freeze the rest for later batches. Freeze until ready to use.
1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree2Tablespoons Half-N-Half
1/2 Teaspoon Aspen Mulling Cider Spice, Original Blend
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla (or bourbon)
1-2 teaspoons Lavender
Combine all ingredients in a bowl , whisking until the consistency of glue. Sometimes I have to go back and forth adding either more powdered sugar or more Half-N-Half.
Make the Pumpkin Bites ahead of time.
Then begin building the Pumpkin Bite Scone. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, Aspen Mulling Cider Spice, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
Add cold butter (not room temperature) with a pastry blender until crumbly.
IMPORTANT to READ BEFORE YOU ADD WHIPPING CREAM: While cakes need a good two minute mixing (you definitely need a mixer for a cake) and muffins need a less thorough mixing (for example, hand mixing works and you still want to see a small bit of white flour), Scones demand even less mixing. Imagine a teenager who keeps saying, “Don’t Touch Me” – and you get the idea.
Make a small indention into the dry mix.
Add 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Using a spatula, turn only until the flower has moistened 1/2 the dry mixture. Then add frozen Pumpkin Pie Bites. Turn onto a floured counter top or pastry mat. The Old Testament Girl in me is usually terrified at this part – because it looks like such a mess. This is where you start gently hugging the dough, gently pressing from the sides into the shape of a circular cake, 3/4 the height of the biscuit cutter. Don’t worry if some fall apart while cutting. Set aside to gently press for a second round of cutting. They will seem very crumbling, but when baked, the cold butter melts, solidifying its shape. You should be able to compare the first round of scones cut with the last scone that has been pressed and handled more and see a difference in the texture after baking.
- Bake at 425° for 5 minutes to get that golden-on-top look, reduce to 375 and cook for 12 more minutes or until golden brown. (Cook time varies for convection ovens and regular ovens. Check after the 12 minute mark and then take out when the top turns lightly golden.)
While cooling, make the Pumpkin Lavender Glaze. A plastic, squeezable bottle, like a restaurant ketchup bottle, is the easiest way to drizzle the glaze when the scone has cooled to room temperature. Then you can easily store any remaining drizzle for the next batch.