Zucchini relish anyone?

There’s only one thing to do with zucchinis gone wild – make zucchini relish. I checked them one day and it seemed like the next they had turned into monsters. My mom used to make relish with the ones that got away – it’s similar to pickle relish and is very easy to make. Just grate the squash and soak in salt water overnight. Drain, add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, salt, pepper and a little cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, can in a water bath and enjoy. My daughter says no one needs as much relish as I made, but I plan to enjoy the fruit of my labors for a long time. It’s great on sandwiches!

A canning good time

What do you do with a bumper crop of tomatoes? You can of course. I remember helping my mom can various fruits and veggies – standing in a hot kitchen, preparing the jars and what went in them – but I had never done it myself until this month. Our tomato plants went crazy so we ate some, gave some away and still there were more. So I bought some jars and a canning pot and went to work.

First I did plain tomatoes for soup and other recipes. Then a friend mentioned his mother used to make tomato preserves – interesting, never heard of that. So I looked it up on allrecipes.com and found this recipe. I tweaked it a little because to me, recipes are just guidelines. You can read my tweaks in the review I wrote under the recipe. It turned out to be incredibly delicious. So far we’ve just eaten it on fresh bread, but now that I have 10 pints, we can look forward to experimenting with it all winter.

Oh, did I mention we also have a few zucchini? I’ll post a photo of what I did with them next time.


Attitude is everything

I’m a tennis fan, so when the big tournaments come around, I try to make time to watch some of the matches. I’m looking forward to the U.S. Open in New York this month. Just as in most sports, attitude can make all the difference. It’s easy to tell when players give up, especially if they’re competing against the top seeds. You can see their shoulders sag and their facial expressions change from hope to defeat. Some players don’t give up so easily and fight it out until the last point is over.

Attitude is important in everything – in fact, it is everything. No matter what we do, no matter the trials or triumphs, a positive attitude can make all the difference. An attitude filled with hope, gratitude and grace toward others will help us run this race with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1) and ultimately win the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24). We can run complaining all the way, or run with the hope of heaven in our hearts and a smile on our faces.

Like Yogi Berra said, “Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.” In tennis as in life, attitude makes a difference in everything we do and can help us run with hope all the way to the finish line.

The value of life

Kidnapping is a subject frequently addressed in movies.  There’s usually a ransom note with the demand for a large amount of money. The family of the victim is more than willing to pay whatever it takes to get their loved one back. The amount demanded prompts the question, how much is life worth?

Some religious and philosopher types believe human life isn’t worth much and some argue about when life begins, believing life isn’t worth protecting until birth. Some equate humans with animals, believing we are all equal. So what is the value of human life?

God the Father has such a high view of human life he sent his son as the ransom for the whole world. He was willing to pay the ultimate price for us. He values and loves us so much the one who was God, was with God and created everything (John 1) gave us his own invaluable life to give us life with him. Praise God he values us as much as he does his Son!