Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Farmer Who Nobody Believed

Preface: The idea for this story came to me last night when I most probably should have been focusing on homework, and so I wrote it tonight in much the same fashion. I think it falls somewhere between "Job" and "Jack and the Beanstalk". Hopefully I'll be able to illustrate it and add it to my fairytale book this summer. 

There once was a very poor man who lived in Eameth and struggled every day to feed his wife and children. Though the home they had was sound, it was five miles from the nearest village and ten from the next one over, though they lived by a stream it was often dry in the late summer, and though he owned a great expanse of land, nothing had grown there since the birth of his youngest daughter. He was an honest man, hard-working and loved his family whole heartedly, but no matter what he put his hand to, tinkering, painting, building, he couldn’t seem to make a living off of it—all who saw him shook their heads and sighed, some called him lazy, others called him stupid, and still more prided themselves for their pity, but none offered him work or were kind to his wife and children in passing.
Over time the man was thrown to desperation, and though he spent all his time hunting or scavenging or trying to find work, he had to watch his children grow thinner and thinner, and his wife become weaker and weaker. One day, in the late fall when the stream was swollen with rain, he wandered as far up it as his weary legs would carry him—to a deep spot over his head and with his remaining strength began to tie stones to his ankles with bits and pieces of twine, thinking that without him is wife could remarry and she and their children might have a better chance of surviving.
He had just begin to tie the last stone when the gentle voice of a stranger broke the rhythm of birdsong and caused him to pause. “No trouble is worth losing the greatest of gifts, my son” said the weathered looking old man who he now saw resting beneath a nearby tree. Avid, for that was his name, felt anger somehow revolt in the pit of his stomach. Did the stranger not know the struggle and pain he had gone through that had driven him to this moment? “Have you ever had to watch your children starve?” he asked cynically.
“I have had to see far worse”. The old man reached out his hand to Avid and pressed the palm against the younger man’s forehead. Avid’s vision flared with pain and he saw the suffering of the whole world and he knew in that moment that this was what the old man saw and felt with every breath he took. Then, in a flash of heat he saw his family huddled against a cloud of dust, crying the last of their water into a shallow grave, and he grew deeply ashamed. He watched as they each perished, none the better for his selfish sacrifice. His face grew flushed and he searched for words, but he found none. “You have yours to care for and I have mine,” the old man said “but I have watched you at times and I know that though you have succumbed to fear, it has been despite your most firm efforts. So-- I will give you a chance to change your fate if you promise to trust me”.
Avid felt the air seemed somehow to grow heavier around them and he was aware that whatever he said here, he would be bound to by honor. So he said truthfully “I would do anything to save them. Please, I give you my promise”. His heart plunged forward, pounding against his skin with surprising strength. A different kind of fear filled him, it seemed to build him up, to renew him.
The old man blessed Avid with a quiet smile as he offered him a sullied parcel “in this you will find all that you need. You must plant it and tend to it every day, no matter what, for as long as it takes. If you fail once, it shall never come to fruit, but I give you my word that if you are faithful, it will be the end to a great suffering”. Before Avid could reply and even as he looked at him still, the old man seemed to shift back into the trees, becoming just another part of the forest. In a moment, Avid realized that the air was lighter, full of hope and he ran back to his home and began his work right away.
Over the next few days Avid planted every last grain of the wheat (for that is what the parcel contained), and watered each one diligently. He told his wife and children what he had seen and they helped him to tend to the crop. Over the next few weeks they waited excitedly for something to happen, turning over every stone to see if a blade of wheat might be struggling beneath it. The days began to grow darker, the nights colder, and yet they watered, hoping that something would happen. Nothing did.
They watered the wheat fields every day that winter, and when spring came and the leaves of the forest grew green and fresh, they thought that this, at last, would be the time. But still, nothing happened. As spring wore on, the farmer instructed his wife and children to fill pails and buckets with water and hid them in the cool of the cellar, he built a basin in the dark down there to fill with water so that they should not run out when the summer came in full.
They watered and they watered and they watered. The summer sapped them of their strength and left them in hunger and still they watered, praying with everything that that they were for any small blade to peak up from beneath the surface of the field. And still nothing did.
The autumn came again and Avid’s lands remained barren. His wife was ailing and his children were too hungry even to cry and he felt his heart begin to falter, but he remembered the solemnity of his promise to the old wanderer and so he continued to water the fields. The next year passed much the same way, and so did the one after that. By the fourth year all who knew him thought Avid and his family all insane and nobody would speak to them out of fear that they carried some disease. But still Avid watered. Though he had to crawl on his shriveled knees, though he had the strength barely to lift his head, he continue to water his fields. A fifth year passed.
In the middle of the sixth year, the villagers climbed up to Avid’s home and began shouting at him that he should give up, before they had to drive him and his family away. They told him that from the village below, their home was an eyesore and that if it weren’t for him the town would be prospering far better. They even went so far as to suggest that he do as he had planned so many years before. Through it all Avid but smiled quietly and went about his watering.
At the end of the sixth year his youngest daughter grew ill, and by the following Spring she was so ill that she could not even drink from the stream or eat the few berries that still hung upon the sparse bushes in the forest. She could not follow the others outside to water and Avid and his wife were deeply worried. They tried everything they could to revive her. In the dark hours of the night, her soul left her body. Avid and his wife took her out to the edge of the forest and buried her there among a bed of asters. Avid’s wife, who had been so patient and trusting through all of their pain turned away from him in final disappointment and went to the middle of the largest field and wept. Avid joined here there. The two wept together until the sun broke, pacing through the raw dirt, feeling the hope that they’d had crunch roughly beneath their feet. When they could cry no longer they began once more to water.
Avid lay down that night and held his family close to his heart, fearing the morning and the barrenness of his land. Through the chinks that had grown in his roof, he watched the moon in her course across the blackness and prayed that it would never end. It was with bitterness that he watched the tint of red that grew across the sky, but he rose faithfully and stepped outside with his pail of water. He thought at first that his eyes were lying to him, that his inability to sleep might be causing a mirage, but there across the expanse of his land was a gentle dusting of green. He barely dared to blink, lest the image disappear. He stumbled into the nearest field and felt the cool dewing fronds of green wheat lick his ankles. He fell onto his knees and began again to weep. That morning the field was watered half with his tears and half with the water from the stream, and when his family woke they were breathless with relief. They redoubled their efforts and soon the stalks were as high as their waists, and then nearly up to Avid’s chest. And then it grew to be a color as gold is the evening sun. And just at the right time Avid and his wife and his remaining children cut it all and threshed and cleaned it at took it to the village to sell.
The family was so renewed that the villagers did not even recognize them, and happily bought up all the wheat and only paused occasionally to wonder if they had seen these prosperous farmers before. Avid and his wife decided to say nothing to the villagers about the past, knowing that they would each find out in their own way.
After the harvest that year, Avid’s family lasted quite comfortable through the winter months, and the next spring, the crop had doubled, the spring after it was tenfold, and so it continued to multiply. No more weariness or illness was seen in Avid’s family and they all remained attentive of their gift.

One spring, Avid found his way again to the deep pool up the stream, hoping that the wanderer might be there, but he found only an aster sitting upon the bank. And so he knew that his daughter was taken care of too, that she also, had found her years of plenty. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Struggle and the Individual Demon

My dear friends,
The topic which I am about to discuss has taken up a prominent position in my thoughts for a while now, and I've decided that today is the time to share it. It might get a little bit ramble-y, so bear with me.
I want you to keep in mind throughout this post this thought, which is the reason I'm writing it: There is no person in this world who does not struggle in some way. And in fact, it is unlikely that you will ever find a person who struggles only in one way, or yet in ten. I am using myself as an example, only because that is the only example I know from the inside out. If you want just the conclusion (and I won't be offended), skip to the * towards the end.

I have grown up in a position that many people might only wish for-- well-loved, well-educated, and well-provided for. You might think that a person in this position would be hard pressed to find cause for feeling out of place, unloved, or afraid. Yet despite those things, despite all of the care and tenderness of a close and whole family, I have struggled deeply for as long as I can remember. Although there is no one and nothing to blame for it, although I was blessed in my family and always given support and love, I cannot recall a single time in my childhood when I was actually happy. From a very young age I felt very fully my fallenness and my incompleteness. This is a dark and heavy burden for a child, but a burden I think many children bear without feeling they are able to talk about it. I am not saying that I don't have "happy memories", there were times, of course when the burden was farther from my mind or days when it was a little lighter, it does not mean that I am not grateful for my childhood and the family I was born into, in fact I believe that it is because of the struggles he knew I would have that God chose to put me where I am. What it actually means will become clearer as you read farther.
The older I grew, the darker and heaver my shadow got. I constantly measured myself against the images of my siblings and people I knew. The more I worried about it the bigger my failures became. I was too fat, too stupid, too silly, too lazy, too mean, too sensitive. I was a hypochondriac and a liar. I was sinful, a hyppocrite, prideful, and worst of all: useless. These were titles I gave myself. I was not bullied or taunted. I was loved! I was loved and I knew I didn't deserve it, and it tore me apart. So I chose not to believe it. Chidren do think about these things! when I was very little I thought I could out talk it, I would talk to anyone who would or wouldn't listen about anything at all and yet feel always that I was an outsider. I would tell stories about myself that weren't true because I felt they explained the person I found inside me better than the truth. But then I would hate myself for telling them. I would lie awake at night feeling everything that I knew to be bad about myself blacken my insides. God was a far away and very disappointed in me. Jesus died for me and I was wasting his grace.
The physical symptoms, of which I constantly complained, I know now were signs of depression. those dark nights when I lay awake in bed and my body felt like it was freezing regardless of how many hats and blankets I wore (which I simultaneously thought were sure-fire signs I was dying and also thought I was making up so I could feel sorry for myself ), the days I ached all over without cause and thought myself one day a martyr, the next day an imbecile, these were the thumbprint of my personal struggle.
There were a lot of faces to it that I will not bore you with, because they are not the point of this writing.
Throughout my teens and until quite recently I deeply questioned the reality of the God I wanted so badly to believe in and to honor. I tried so hard not to do the things that I felt other adolescents are constantly being looked down on because of, and that, in a sense, was probably the only thing that saved me from serious self-harm. I could not stand to disappoint people and yet I was constantly doing exactly that. I worked hard to try and keep my outside image clean, afraid that someone would see the sinfulness of my heart, afraid that someone would know that I was unsure of my own faith. I began to wonder if the only reason I continued to hold on Christianity was the cowardice to lose the support of my family. Every time I thought or did something I knew to be wrong I would slap my face or verbally abuse myself. I think in someway I felt that since nobody else seemed to be punishing me, I'd better do it myself. I was in a constant state of tearing myself down. College hit and so did the mainstream fascination with mental illness and 'empathy'. I continued to find new ways to feel sorry for myself. It was hip to be sick, either physically or mentally. If you weren't sick, you had it too easy and you weren't allowed to admit that your life could be difficult without a diagnosed illness or some state of minority to your credit. I was surrounded by people who spoke of "empowerment" but lived in ever-growing decay, the less sleep you got, to more anxiety you dealt with, the worse of an eating disorder you have, the more worthy you were. For someone like me this was a treasure-trove of self-diagnosed and instantly accepted reasons for being human. Among these people if you say you are ill, you are a hero. But of course, everyone has it worse than everyone else, and they'll be sure to tell you all about it!
I have been writing in the past tense, but you have to understand that this is a current struggle. In the last year or so I've continued to dwell deeply on the spiritual aspect of this, my demon. Working, and re-working my thoughts, my fears, the things that I think I know. On New Year's day of this year (not because of the day, but because I couldn't take it alone any more) I shared with someone for the first time that I didn't know whether I really did believe in God. That I wanted to believe, but that I didn't know if I honestly did. And sharing the thing that I've been hiding for so long has begun to help me solve it. Of course, the struggle is still very deep. This is the first time that I've told all of this part of my story, and I probably will not be able to press the publish button, but there are other parts that I don't think I shall ever tell because they are for me and God.There are, of course, days when I still cannot quite make myself love me as I know that God does, but the point is that I know he does. The point is that my struggle, and the struggles of the people who are around me, are not made empty by being less obvious or less open than the struggles of those around us.
*We are not more or less strong or weak than each other, we are strong and weak in different ways and while some people may have already learned their strengths and their weaknesses, there may be people who struggle most when they are young and people who struggle most when they are at another age. There are people who will struggle physically, people who will struggle mentally, people who will struggle spiritually. We might struggle with circumstances or with our own hearts. We are each suited to a different struggle or variety of struggles in the same way as we are suited to different colors or a different pare of shoes, some do not bother us but may bother our friend and some bother us a great deal though nobody else would notice. You don't even have to share your struggle with other people! It can be helpful of course, but it will not be helpful unless your soul is ready for it. The only person you must share you struggle with, the only person who can handle it, is God. Maybe right now you don't even believe he exists.
wherever you are with your struggle, whether right now your burden is the heaviest it has ever been, or whether you might call this a time of respite, know that you are not less of a person for it. You are human, and as human you are also fallen, but as one who has fallen you have been given the choice of letting yourself be saved. As C. S. Lewis once said (and I paraphrase):
It is exactly because we have fallen that Christ has given his life to safe us. If we had not been fallen, if we were worthy, there would be no point in the saving.
You are loved, whether you like it or not. You can dwell on your own brokenness, you can let the blackness overwhelm your heart, you can blame yourself for everything wrong in the world and it will not save you. It will not make you a better person. You cannot be made a better human being because there is no such thing. But you can be made free of the weight of knowing it. God's love is not about taking away our humanity, God's love is about loving us through our humanity, about trying as hard as you can to be a better person every moment you're alive and yet knowing that when you fail at it (as you will inevitably do each and every day), there is someone to pick you up. Someone warm your freezing blood in the late nights when you feel your own mortality, someone to sooth the ache in your heart when you remember that you are not worthy.
Your personal demon does not have to be bigger or badder than everybody else's. It might be a little bit of envy, or it might be a mental illness for which you have no choice but to take drugs. The variety of your burdens are covered completely and judged equally. Be loved.

Monday, January 30, 2017

What Am I Holding Onto?

This week both pastor Jerry and pastor Rob spoke on willingness. Specifically the need in believers to cast aside whatever plans we think we have figured out, or boxes we've found to put our faith in and entrust our every action to God. As an attendee of two church services in order to keep tradition with two sets of dearly loved people, there is always a sense of urgency comes when both of my pastors end up sermoning on the same topic. Maybe because it doesn't often happen, and perhaps more because the separate churches stand about an hour's drive apart from each other, I feel that God is speaking directly to me something that I desperately need to hear.

Proverbs 16:03 "Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established".

These things are so, so difficult for me. I've always thought that I was something of a free spirit, not being able to sit down and make a five-year plan for my life was something I saw a failure on my part, something I struggled hard against. But here I sit, realizing that (despite my supposed long-term flexibility) there must be something I'm holding on desperately to in my version of what following should look like that I shouldn't be holding on to and I can't seem to figure out exactly what it is. A very dangerous place to be. As in so many cases, I can easily see the flaws in others and judge them for it, but even with what seems to be an arrow pointing directly at it, I can't seem to glimpse my own disfigurement. Until I find it, I will be learning to pray as Elijah did that out of great discomfort will come realization and change, even if I may not like the method.

Happy Monday,

Monday, January 2, 2017

Peace Like Snow

Apologies for the two-year absence.

As a dusting of January snow falls to grace the frozen ground here on my mountain, my thoughts replicate its numerous and drifting qualities. But one overlying theme seems to speak to me over the quiet hush that is more inspiring that the proverbial clean slate that the New Year seems to offer or the bubbling joviality that has characterized the Christmas season over the last several weeks. The theme is peace. Not peace on earth, the grownup Christmas wish (though I would readily accept it were the offer there), nor even the peaceful rest of a break from hard work. It is not the peace of a quiet household with sleeping children, or the eventual ceasing of the joyous din that is family celebration. No not a visible peace like any of these things. The peace that I am thinking of is peace in God, in love, and in self.
If the last year or two of your life has been anything like mine or my family's there are things that have happened that would seem very difficult to find peace with. We have all been blessed by God with enormous hearts which have the capacity to love as His Son does if we are willing to learn it. Sometimes, however, those hearts have an incredibly troublesome time letting go of things we have grown to love dearly. Change is deeply painful. We miss those who we must for a time lose here on earth, we ache for the days which we didn't seem to appreciate when they were had, and we fear, intensely, things which have not yet happened or that we don't understand. All these things are normal, and beautifully so. but change has also been found to be wonderfully good; just when we are at our worst we might find a piece of ourselves that has always been absent-- a kindred spirit to love wholly or a passion for something we never knew existed. It is part of being God's creation, humanity, to feel strongly and to express those feelings.
This last year in particular has been full of heart-wrenching emotions for nearly all of us. We have seen so much of the change I just spoke of. We have feared much, and angered much, and loved perhaps not as much as we should have-- the same could be said about any day in earth's past. But this year feels different doesn't it?
Of all the things about this year that have reared their dangerous heads up out of our cavernous society, the hate has been the strongest. Hate enough to kill, hate of those who do the killing, hate of ourselves and of each other, hate of who we think each other have become. Hate coupled with fear has, in the last few months, taken over our capacity for love. And before any of us get self righteous (including myself) because clearly we haven't done anything to perpetuate the hate, please take a moment to recall your reactionary thoughts to each of our most turbulent moments in the last year, review your posts on social media about "the other side", and question the integrity of them.
You may be wondering how I started a post about peace and have somehow wound up talking about hate, but the point is drawing closer. The thing about hate, and unrighteous anger, is that it doesn't get us anywhere new. It is merely another of Satan's tools to draw us further and further apart. I'm not saying that we can't react to the horrible things that we see, or even gently correct each other if we find it necessary, if you'll recall, only a couple paragraphs ago I mentioned how our ability to feel is a good gift. We are made in God's image, and God is not on suppressants. What I am suggesting is that we return to hating only the sin and never each other. And when I say never, I mean it. Never. No buts. Never.
That peace I mentioned earlier is not going to come if we don't look to God's word in order to check the feelings that we have against the purest of standards. If we want peace that alters our perception of our own lives and allows us to improve the lives of those around us, we need to stop trying to do the job of judgement which belongs only to God. We will never get it right, surely we have learned by now that it will only bring us deeper pain. We can only bring God's peace to the world by finding it ourselves.
My prayer for this coming year is that, like the snow that hides the impurities of a half-finished patio from my hillside, we can begin to allow God's peace to mend the brokenness that we were all born with.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not A Goodbye Note

To miss Adeline,
The most kindred of kindred spirits, a sister from the Tribe of Joseph if ever any one was, it has been delightful.

To call you "sweet" would be a gross oversight, because you are the very definition of the word "fabulous", in fact, I'm not entirely certain any such word was in existence until you walked into this world shining from the very roots of your hair. I don't need to wonder where you are now, because I know as an absolute certainty that you are in the very front of God's choir singing Christmas carols the very loudest of any angel around, your face lit with joy and projecting to the back of that cathedral like nobody's business. You are not wearing any old boring white robe, but a bright purple, sequined, puffed sleeved gown, you also don't need a halo because your face is framed by your hair and in your hair are a multitude of glittering sparkles that only the most heavenly of hairdressers could ever have styled. Yes, these things I am certain of.

As for us down here, aside from basking in the beauty of your song, we are doing our very best to keep every memory alive and well. Since the first day I met you, you have been both an inspiration and the greatest encouragement anyone could ever ask for. I yearn to be back in your classroom, discussing the frustrations of felt story-boards and the many joys of all things glittery and shiny. I remember the very first thing I ever made for you; it was a little paper house filled with a little tissue-paper family, most of them made out of the color purple. I remember that when I gave it to you, you were 100% genuinely pleased and that made me feel like the queen of miniature-making. It encouraged me to continue. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am, if it were not for you. The last time I saw you, you were as full as spunk as any sassy girl of eight, purple sparkles, purple suit, purple shoes. You greeted me the same as every week "My special girl! How has your week been?" you asked me, as you always do, if I've written a book yet, your candle-bright eyes keen to tease out my plot-line.

Throughout the years, you have taught me that the most lady-like thing in the world is to do the things you are gifted with as much as you possibly can and in the best way you possibly can, you have shown me that the height of sophistication is in being your absolute only self without apology, because no apology is needed, and most importantly you have taught me that God wants every thing we can give him without discrimination- he wants every doodle, every scribble, every silly tune that doesn't make any sense at all. In the entire time I've known you, I've never heard a cross word fall from your lips. When you walk into a room, your joyful spirit lights every little corner with grace and love. Everyone will always smile when they think of you because even when there is nothing in particular to smile about, that's exactly what you are doing.

I want you to know that every time I make things, I can't wait to tell you about them on Sunday mornings. I want you to know that, every time I wear purple I think of your incredible, fantastic, purple wardrobe. I want you t know that sparkles will forever be the most fashionable accessory a woman could ever wear. And I want you to know that I'm finishing my book. I didn't know it before, but you're in it, and you're my favorite character. I'm going to bind you a copy and you'll get it the next time I see you. Save a seat for me in the soprano section.

With all of my love,

Your girl,

Friday, August 2, 2013

Waltz of the Wild Flowers

One, two, three, dance, two three,
There is a scent on the west wind you see.
White, two, three, gold, two three,
Bobbing and darting and ssssssh! two, three.
A rustle of leaves (the columbine’s cape),
And all of the grasses look down towards the lake.

Dip, two, three, turn, two, three,
Something is caught in the current’s harsh spree.
Bob, spin, dive, dunk, two, three,
Why, yes it’s the dandy and just look at his glee!
He leaps to the shore, with nary a scrape,
And grabs hold of Queen Anne, for fear he’ll be late.

One, two, three, bow, two, three,
The lace bends down low to the ground, two, three.
Leap, two, three, tug, two, three,
The mane of a lion set free, two, three,
And then through the trees, a much harsher gale,
Stirs up all the petals – Goodbye! (two, three).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Potato Roses

First off, I apologize that after such a long gap in posting I'm putting up another recipe. This is not a food blog, I promise!

Alright, on to the recipe:

Potato Roses
Serves: 5 (2 roses per serving)

What you will need:
3 large potatoes
1/2 lb of bacon (or any other meat)
1/2 cup broccoli steamed and finely cut (optional)
8 eggs
dried basil flakes
garlic powder

cooking spray
butcher knife
pairing knife
Vegetable peeler (optional)
medium sized frying pan
mediem sized mixing bowl
vegetable steamer
2 LARGE muffin tins


Alright, now that you've assembled all of your materials we're ready to get started.
Don't forget to wash your hands!

1: Cut your half lb of bacon (or, you know, what ever meat you chose!) into very small pieces and fry them over medium heat until they are done, but not too crunchy (this will ensure that they won't burn when you put the roses in the oven)

2: While you're frying your meat, cut 1/2 cup of broccoli into small pieces, and try not to include too much of the stem, as it doesn't ever get very soft. Fill the bottom of your steamer with about 1 1/2 inches of water and put it over medium heat, placed the broccoli in the top half, sprinkle on a little but of salt, place the lid on and you're free to forget about it for at least a little while.

Don't forget to stir your bacon!

3: Your bacon shouldn't have taken too long to fry, so once you've checked that it is cooked how you want it, take it off the heat and you can now forget about it too. Just don't forget it too well or your quiche filling won't be as satisfying as it should be.

Spray ten of the cups in your muffin tins with lots (and I mean LOTS) of cooking spray. No, you don't have enough yet. Now, my tins have six cups on each, so if you forgot that you only needed ten sprayed and you sprayed all twelve, just but a little bit of water in the extra two, and it will keep the oil from baking on.

4: Now, you do have 3 large potatoes, don't you? (Just thought I'd ask because I didn't and I wished I had). Good. Scrub them down under warm water and cut the ends off.

You can remember your broccoli now. Is it soft enough? If it is, turn off the heat. If it isn't, forget about it again and go back to your potatoes, but not before you set your oven to 350

5: Alright, now were going to peel or pair very thin slices of potato. You can either go half way across or the whole way across, but I find the first way easiest. These have to be very thin! As you peel, place the slices inside the muffin cups. You want them overlapped, so that the edge with the skin is the edge that's touching the pan and about a quarter of each slice bends onto the bottom. It will be much easier to get them out this way. Have you gone all the way around the edges of your first cup? If your broccoli isn't done by now, you probably want to check that you actually turned your stove on. Alright, this next slice doesn't need to be quite so thin, and you definitely want the whole circle, just plop that thing in the center of you muffin cup and repeat nine more times.

6: Go ahead and put your meat at the bottom of your muffin cups.

7: Crack your eight eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk to your hearts content. Add some milk. I'm sorry that I apologize for never measuring the amount of milk I put it, but 1 cup should do it.

8: Stir in your steamed broccoli.

9: A pinch salt, a little vanilla, a dash of pepper. I don't measure those either, but you don't need very much.

10: Stir it all together and then using a measuring cup, pour the batter into you muffin tins.

Bake on convection for 25-30 min... you did set your oven to heat, didn't you?


11: Take them out of the oven, sprinkle on your garlic and basil, serve them onto a platter and take them to the dinner table.

12: Now you can eat, of course, since you've put so much time into them, you may not really want to eat your roses, but since it's dinner time you should eat them anyway.

I'm sorry, but you will have to wash the dishes.

P.S. I promise that I'll put up step-by step pictures for this before TOO long.