I love to hear my child exclaim “Yay!” when I announce I am making kale chips. As thin and crispy as regular chips, we love to make these in the summer time. Different kale will offer you different texture–needless to say, the thinner the kale, the less like a potato chip it will be. We grow Vates kale and Russian kale for their hardiness, long season, and flavor. They do make a thinner chip, however, which can almost melt in your mouth.
ingredients: raw kale washed and patted dry, olive oil, kosher salt, dehydrator
additional options–garlic salt or garlic powder, Italian or Greek seasoning (sometimes, I use Cavender’s)
In a large bowl, throw in 2-3 large handfuls of kale. Pour olive oil in the cap or a teaspoon then drizzle over the kale. Using tossing spoons or hands, toss the kale to distribute the oil. Take a large pinch of kosher salt and sprinkle on the kale. Toss again.
Place on dehydrator tray without much overlap (use as many trays as needed based on your dehydrator’s size). Dry on vegetable setting for length of time that creates a crisp kale chip. (Temps and times vary based on dehydrators.)
This week, I spent time with my spiritual director. She talks with me about my journey with the Creator and cultivates the relationship we have through sacred listening. Her guidance has nurtured me in a way that supports my daily practices to integrate mind, body, and spirit.
What I embrace about my spiritual director is here ability to hear the word or phrase that may capture the next step forward. After I share for a bit, we will stop and have some moments of quiet, and she’ll say to me, “The word (or picture or feeling) that is coming to me is __________. Does that have any meaning for you?” Sometimes, I say “yes,” sometimes, I say “no,” and sometimes, I have the “aha” moment.
When Katie looked at me and noted, “The word that keeps coming to me is ‘compost.’ Does that mean anything to you,” I looked at her and thought God was playing a joke on me. Seriously.
You see, I was referring back to circumstances from the past and how long it had taken me to work through them and heal. I joyfully shared with her how in the past month, I had the opportunity to use that experience for the good–how that experience provided me the hindsight to create a different outcome this go round.
And all God could call it was “compost?” What about “gold star” or “epiphany” or “growth?”
As we sat there, I started thinking about the analogy a bit more, and we talked our way through it. That’s when the “aha” moment came. What begins to form compost? All the muck and yuck and rotting stuff that we throw away. It gets buggy and wormy before it undergoes the transformation to “black gold”–rich, living organic matter that nourishes plant life.
My director even reminded me that compost isn’t formed in a day. It takes time and a period of deconstruction of the matter before it can be reconstructed as a healthy, life-giving soil supplement.
And there it was. My transformation had been captured in one word. “Compost.” And boy, was God spot on.
Reposting this one as two opportunities for reflection this week reminded me why I cherish the word “gumption.”
This morning on my brief stroll to pick kale for the chickens, I glanced around the veggie beds. How empty everything seems, even with greens and cover crops. I miss the bright red tomatoes and climbing green beans that welcomed me each morning as if to say “Summer IS here!” And while Autumn is my favorite season, she brings with her harvest and homesteading and gently reminds me that Winter is on her way.
I was feeling a bit sentimental until I noticed the mint. Oh yes, the mint. The plant that I refer to as the “bane of my existence” each summer. Well, there she stood perky and vibrant on this chilly fall morning. In spite of chicken feet, dry spells, and Japanese beetles, Mint has survived the dog days of summer and stands proudly in my garden as if to say, “I’m here to stay.”
The girl’s got gumption. Any plant who can survive three chickens and the beetles that infested my yard deserves a bit of reverence and acknowledgement.
I stood there staring at the mint and thinking about all the “weathering” I endured on my life’s journey before I started this little farm–loss of family members, divorce, cancer. And yet, here I stand, in the middle of a place that has healed me, nurtured me, and developed within me a sense of faith and gumption that have carried me through other challenges and trials.
My Faith, she centers me, roots me in a place that helps me feel strong and whole. Gumption, well, she just keeps me going and growing and so thankful not only to be alive but also to feel alive.
So, I’m picking a bit of that mint this morning and adding to my green tea. Can’t hurt to partake of a little gumption now and again.