Saturday, 20 February 2010

Homemade Crunchy Muesli

Yesterday we ran out of cereal, and being lazy as I am I couldn't be bothered to go to the shop so instead I made some (actually quite a lot...) crunchy muesli. This morning when I woke up I had a lovely bowl of it with rhubarb at our kitchen table. It was so good that I will share the recipe with you!It's very easy to do and it's basically use what you've got in the house approach. I'm not that fond of dried fruit in my muesli so I didn't put any in (I normally put fresh fruit on top instead), but of course feel free to throw in some raisins, dried figs or peaches whatever you fancy or have at hand.


1 cup or nearly 2,5 dl rapeseed/flaxseed oil (or other healthy oil e.g. coconut oil or olive oil - not extra virgin unless you want your muesli to taste like olives...) 
5 generous tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
500g of rolled oats
300g of mixed nuts (I used almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts as that's what I had lying about...)
75g pumpkin seeds
75g sunflower seeds
50g linseeds
50g sesame seeds
75g oatbran
50g wheat germ 
1.Put the oven on 170C.

2.Gently heat the honey and oil with the vanilla in a pan over low heat until the honey is nice and runny and you can stir the mix easily.

3. Mix all your dry ingredients in a BIG bowl and pour over the honey and oil mixture. Stir well until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated.

4. Split the mixture between two large baking trays and spread into an even layer. Bake in the oven for about 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown, remembering to stir and toss it every 5 minutes! I know this sounds like hard work, but if you don't you'll end up with some of it burnt and some of it soggy... Why not use the 20 min in the kitchen to do the dishes? (not that it was what I did...I watched movie trailers on my mac, they very conveniently last around 4 minutes each...). Take out of the oven and leave it in the trays! Continue to stir through the trays every now and then until they are COMPLETELY cool, if not you loose your hard earned crunch.

5. Store in an air tight container and enjoy! (if you do want to add dried, fruit this it the time to do so) It lasts for up to two months...that is if you don't eat it before that.
If you were wondering this recipe give you about 1kg of muesli.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The fruit of my labor

Here is as promised some photos of things I have made so far in January and February. As you can see I have had lots of fun making things for Aline. It will now all be waiting for her in a basket along with some beautifully knitted blankets her Grandma (Stefan's mom) has made. It must also be said while all this has been stitched together(mainly by hand), my dear husband has been reading out loud for us from Robin Hobbs books (which are highly recommended by the way!). I've not posted pictures together before, but you should be able to get a bigger version by clicking on the photo. When the weather is nicer I want to find a branch to make a mobile with the birds I made. For now they are perching in my little tree.

And Yes I have been working on my PhD too! I've written nearly 20000 words so far since Christmas! I've been a very busy bee! Here is a photo to prove it:

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

In Preperation for Glory

Today, as you might know, is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Over Lent I have decided to write down some of the thoughts I have around the texts that are set out in the Lectionary for the Sundays until Easter as part of the way I will be 'doing' Lent this year. So here are my ponderings on the first text from Sunday the 14th of February; Exodus 34:29-34(stay tuned for the next one!)
Moses came down from the mountains having met with God. He was transformed by this encounter - his face shone so brightly that he had to cover it with a veil when speaking to the Israelites so that they would not be afraid. What a glorious encounter that must have been to produce such effects! Moses must have been taken to the very throne room of heaven, surrounded by angles singing 'Holy, Holy, Holy to the Lord God Almighty', felt rapture and bliss...  

Yet when we read of this encounter in chapter 34 it is far from the kind of glorious encounter I imagine it should be. It happens in the clouds and mist. Moses is standing on the rock as he was told to do, squinting into the mist trying to make out his surroundings. He probably looses track of time as he stands there in the early morning chill. Maybe there is a small pile of stones behind him that he accidentally dislodges that causes him to spin around to catch a glimpse of God only to stare into another direction of cloud.

Then suddenly he finds himself in the narrow cleft of the rock. Squashed on every side by cold black stone. The water trickling down the inside of the cleft finds its way down his neck, a jagged rock is poking him in his side but there is no room to move into a more comfortable position. Mist and darkness enshroud his senses. If he had not lost track of time before, he certainly did now. In the darkness of the cleft every second lasted forever. He strained his senses to become aware of God's glory passing by, but God had covered the rock with his hand. 

God was passing by on the outside.

Out there Moses could hear the Lord proclaiming His name: The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation". 

How long would it take for God in his entire glory to pass by? 

When Moses found himself free of the rock, his experiences of God is like the smell of a lingering cologne or the settling of dust after a herd of sheep has passed by and he falls to the ground in worship.             

This is the glorious encounter with God that transformed Moses, one that might have been a wet, dark and confusing encounter for Moses...yet in the midst of cloud Moses gets to know God in a way that lets him go before the Lord unveiled. "Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out."

When in a place of darkness, feeling stuck and uncomfortable, surrounded by cloud and mist and loosing the capacity of one's senses, it not only feels like a light veil covering my face, but like a heavy bag pulled over my head, and there is no awareness of glory in that experience. 

It might be that what is  happening is an unveiling of my heart, a stripping back of the scaffolding that holds my conception of God together and all my pretty answers of how things should and shouldn't be. The God I encounter in the cloud and mist has no boundaries I can grab hold of to shape into a nice comfortable place. Rather the encounter forces me to trust a God I cannot clearly make out, in a situation I cannot control. I am stripped of my layers, unveiled before God, encountering God's glory in a manner I cannot fathom. 


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Fabric fun!

Yesterday I bought these lovely fabrics.
They make me happy!
I'm going to use them to make a quilt/play mat for Aline. I will be sewing today, but I have other projects to finish off first. I can't have too many endeavors floating around the house at once... S has enough dealing with my abandoned teacups...
I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Battered and bruised

This is one of Stefan's treasures - battered, bruised, dented... it has lost its handle and shine and the lid doesn't fit anymore. He found it in an old tattered cardboard box hidden out of sight at an antique market in Oslo several years ago. He took pity on it knowing that no one else would ever buy it, gave the man at the stall 50p and came running over to me to show me his amazing find. I must admit that I could not see the amazingness...I was quietly thinking 'this is why I love you, but I will quietly hide that "treasure" away and out of sight when we come home'. But Stefan loved it, and it wasn't forgotten despite my efforts of packing it away in storage when we where moving from Norway to Oxford. Stefan found it and took it with us. Here in Oxford its been moved (by me) out of sight, found (by Stefan) and placed on the table or in the window sill. Last week Stefan found it (again), lifting it down from the very top of the bookshelf, where it had been carefully hiding behind a speaker, and placed it on our coffee table. So there it was back in my life...

It caught my eye when setting up the blog yesterday, it struck me that Stefan had seen this little mundane, worn, battered and bruised pot NOT for its potential - how it could be renewed, brought back to life, polished up or give some story or charm to an orchestrated display like I tend to do, rather he saw it as it is, and found it beautiful.

I need that.
Making room for the broken and battered, not because it gives more depth or authenticity or any other instrumental value, but because it simply is a part of life. It should not be hidden away, but valued and cared for, even though the thing that is broken or bruised might never transform. In doing so I pray that my eyes will be transformed so that I can recognize the mundane as beautiful and see Him in all things.

May God expand our horizon to include the things, people and events that we write off at first glance or hide away out of sight.

And please do share your thoughts on this! I'd love to hear your stories. What is the quiet whisper in your day so far?

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

My Tuesday morning cup of coffee.

The first entry in my little blog...
my own little exercise in spotting and appreciating the beautiful in everyday life, savoring the moment (even the apparently gray and mundane ones), keeping track of and sharing the things I do and make and most of all it is an act of gratitude towards Him, in whom I move and have my being.God is here bidden or not.