How To Care For Succulents | Pinteresting Against Poverty

Recently, I purchased about 400 little succulent starters from New Zealand – and I’ve been waiting patiently for them to come in the mail.

From the time that I was a little girl, I was impressed with dessert plants and flowers – my grandmother used to grow them very intentionally – bringing them back to the midwest after her honeymoon in Las Vegas – and her trip to Mexico.

When a friend asked if I would be willing to plant 70 as party favors – I was honored.  I made a special trip to my grandma’s house just to have her teach me well.

“So they don’t like – need a lot of water, right?”  I asked.

“What makes you think they don’t need water?”  She asked back.

I paused.

“They need it just as much as any other plant.  It’s what makes them grow.”

“Okay, Mema.”

I went to the store to buy the right soil to put in the cute little terra-cotta pots my friend and I had picked up on a fun little shopping trip after taking a cooking class together.

Since then, I’ve kept succulents – moving from place to place it’s been hard to keep as many flowers as I’d like – but the succulents have stuck with me in these dessert seasons, always cheery, always reaching.  I dropped one of my favorite prayer bracelets in with the jade and the little green and purple leaves grew around the strings and the saints, and they keep the jewelry suspended, waiting for me to pick it up and wear it again.

(The bracelet was a bracelet that had broken that I loved to wear as spiritual protection when I travelled.  Sad that it had broken I set it aside but woke up one morning and saw my little son had set to fixing it – re-weaving the strands carefully with his fingers – re-tying the knots.) 

When I first planted the succulents, I wasn’t quite sure how to go about this, as they all had very short roots, and it was even difficult to get them to stand up straight in the dryer sandy soil.

Here’s a short video of my first planting experience:

I learned a few tips that can help over the years:

  1. Keep them in the sunlight.  They just like it.

2. Water them only when they are completely dry.  Otherwise they begin to rot.

3. Sometimes it’s better just to water them from the bottom.  In nature, the succulents suck the moisture out of the dessert air that condensates from the temperature drop from the evening to the morning.  However, if the air is not dry during the day they can’t absorb the right level of air.

4. Dirt isn’t just dirt – there is a certain level of nutrition that brings out the best version of your little succulent and coaxes the flowers out of those cacti.  Orange peels are great – if you get a citrus-y soil.  Fresh orange peels can rot your succulent because they are susceptible to the mold that grows from the orange – it’s like dowsing the plant with penicillin.

5.  The succulents grow according to the water and light that you give them.  You can ‘train’ your little plants like vines – if you encourage them to reach for a light source they will become long and skinny – if you place a light source right above them, they will become juicy and plump – remaining flat on the ground like a sunbather.

6.  Environment and conditions matter.  It isn’t easy to tell someone how to care for a succulent until you know how and where they intend to keep them.  If they want to keep them in a window, it still matters – is it a dry window or a bathroom window?  Yet, the key to keeping them well-hydrated is simply to water them two days after the pot shows no watermark once it’s been lifted.   They do best when they get that dry – and then water them just enough to cover the bottom of the plant.

7.  Succulents can go for a long time without water – but if you leave them for too long they shrivel, and once that happens, even as thirsty as they look – it isn’t easy to re-hydrate them – and many times it isn’t possible.  By the time they show signs of distress, there isn’t a lot you can do to save them – so don’t let them get that far.  Be a friend and keep them well.  Water them on good days, and be a bit spontaneous.  If it’s sunnier, they need more water.  If it is cold, they need more sunshine, etc. etc.

8.  There are tons of fun projects that can be done with succulents that I’d like to share with you soon.  I’ve debated about letting them be a project for the children in the village – but I fear that because of the hunger there children might try to eat anything that looks like food, and it might not be good for them.   Yet, they could still be used as fundraisers and IGP’s and thank you’s in developed nations that experience less hunger.

Do you like succulents?  Which are your favorites?  Click here to read a dream and another version of my Grandmother’s conversation.






What Do We Use (To Cook) In The Village? | Pinteresting Against Poverty

What do we use to cook in the village?

The answer has always been – whatever we can find.

We’ve used gas stoves, electric stoves, fires when we are short of electricity and gas, and coals – coals – and more banana coals.

Click Here To See What We’d Like To Be Cooking With | Pinteresting Against Poverty

The coals arrive on the back of blackened, dusty, hard-breathing women who call out their prices from the bundles wrapped in sticks with the string that can be pulled out of the flour meal bags which they pull out carefully – fiber by fiber.

Good cooking ware is hard to come by in a village.  Dishes and plates can be purchased, but are often damaged because of the lack of kitchen appliances and proper counters, etc. Glass plates and dinnerware shatter  – and cheap spoons melt, crack, burn and catch fire – depending on what you have available to cook on or with on any given day.

For those who are used to fresh breads, pies, cakes and cookiescoals bring the same kind of disappointment that you’d expect to be filled in the stocking of a naughty child for Christmas – leaving humanitarian workers breathing in the dust at the ends of the earth trying to understand what in the world these innocent, hungry children have ever done wrong.

Several years ago, our little village project was accepted for a grant for a real kitchen.

We took trips to the capital city to see exactly what it would take to put in even one professional kitchen in the midst of so much poverty.  We dreamed that we could make breads, and rolls that would save the women their need for coals and a few hours of unnecessary labor in the mornings.

Hot banana coals are used to cook many meals in our hungry village – we also use them to iron clothing | PInteresting Against Poverty

As we were making our plans and after being awarded a grant to make our kitchen nice, and pulling electricians out to tell us exactly what kind of improvements it would take to be able to support such a stove in such a remote area – we found out we were going to need an entire second system installed – and the electrician was friends with our landlord – meaning we ran the risk of the rentals rising above the cost of our project.

That wasn’t the worst obstacle though.  As I landed there was a flood that hit the village.  Even a whole SUV was swept off of the road, and caught up in the stream of waters – and forced by the waters to run into a bridge – it took out the bridge stranding many people.

As we went into the city, knowing the needs I had stopped at a small general store and purchased a small oven – wanting to avoid the coals with as little electricity as possible when it was available.

As we were trying to make it into the village through mud and stranded vehicles and stranded people – it was clear we were not going to find a way to get a real stove out for six months at least.  The anger of neighbors over the loss of their possessions also endangered anyone who tried to bring any improvements to our area during that time.

What we’d like to be baking these with in the village. | Pinteresting Against Poverty

As we were driving in, we passed by the morgue – which was overflowing with bodies.  There were too many dead to keep them contained, and I covered my nose praying that I wouldn’t smell the rot as we splashed slowly by.

That was the last time I thought about the stove during that trip.  The prices of everything were going up due to the shortage of other supplies and our opportunities for improvements dwindled and the responsibility for so many vulnerable people remained.

One of the things that really did impress me though, was the strength of that little confection oven.  It was about a $100 piece of equipment that plugged into the wall on the days that we had electricity – and worked for nearly three years – outliving even the other smaller real stove that we had donated – and was more dependable and more cost efficient on the voltage as well.

That’s why we want an Instant Pot.

It is not safe for the children to try to cook over coals, but so many are able to find or borrow a plug in for a few hours – villagers walk for miles and miles searching to charge their cell phones for hours – and because of that, on about the same voltage with one plug – families could also find a place to run an Instant Pot, too.

– with a lid, and it’s ability to cook breads and more – and be completely portable and provide sealed storage – plus with a version that can plug directly into the European outlets with the right voltage – no adapters needed – we are hoping and praying to earn an Instant Pot for the women and older girls of the village to be able to cook – for example, chicken right alongside their readers in other more developed nations.

Right now the children and women are working over hot coals, and the dangers are to little feet and boiling water presents to them – especially when boiling over coals always happens so near to the ground.

Why Do We Wear Shoes? Avoiding Mud. | Pinteresting Against Poverty

We’ve seen many burns on young children in the village and we’d love to try to prevent those, as well as keep their environments cleaner, and their food prepared safer in sealed containers.  Rats often get into food stores, and bring along the threat of cholera and other infectious diseases.  Never underestimate the power of hot water and safe cooking gear to keep a struggling family healthy.

At the same time that we are working on projects and recipes – we are also trying to learn how to help the women and children earn an income from blogging and telling their stories on a world stage.

Our goal for this month is to ‘earn an Instant Pot’ via our affiliate Amazon.

We can do this in two ways – and you can help.

  1.  Cook alongside us with your own.  Purchase an Instant Pot today – and the children will receive a 10% commission from Amazon to help support our projects in the village.
  2. Purchase an Instant Pot as a gift and ship it to the village:  Email us and we will provide more instructions.  We have many, many people to feed so we could use quite a few of them.  (This benefits us twice, from the purchase to the gift.)
  3. Share any post from our blog daily this month , so that we can get more readers, subscriptions, and more clicks.
  4. Donate towards projects, meals – and the cost of electricity and more by making an online donation here.

Our little home was excited, ready to build with a big professional industrial stove, but perhaps our experiences with The Little Oven That Could taught us that it wasn’t easy to keep one big oven centralized, especially when there was always a risk that that oven could fail no matter how many depended on it – but it’s clear how many could benefit right where they were found from the use of a  simple device – such as an Instant Pot.

A few hours of electricity costs less than a bag of coals, and it still leaves all of the mothers the options and freedoms they need to make the foods that their families enjoy for themselves.

*This may also be a great idea for help in inner city schools.  Our church has a great program that provides air mattresses for transient children – along with bedding, a book and a teddy bear.  The church also provides backpacks full of food and snack items for children to take home on weekends to consume when school lunches are not available.  The backpack program costs about $300 per year  to sponsor a child.  That said, if an Instant Pot were provided for parents, perhaps the school backpacks could include food items that could feed more people – such as spaghetti, beans, and other foods that could feed whole families for the same annual cost per year – and could give parent’s more freedom over their children’s nutrition – at a lesser price to drive out hunger in families.  Just an idea.  

Click on any recipe on this page to pick up (what I think could be a new Instant Pot-able meal) – and share or follow along as we try to reach our goals for the village.

What are your favorite appliances to cook with?  Do you know how to make fresh breads, rolls, cakes – or pastries with your Instant Pot?  Or – Tell us about your experiences feeding the masses and hungry.  Any fun appliance stories?

Try This Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas Recipe Today! | Gimme Some Oven

Fresh Tomatillos | In A Village

Try this yummy, fresh – hunger-season-flavored Salsa Verde Recipe (w/tomatillos) today! | Gimme Some Oven

When it’s cold outside, I try to remember warm things – like salsa.

Cold isn’t the only hunger season that is known by the villages around the world – drought is another form of uninhabitable weather conditions which leaves many people wherever the season finds them – calorically lacking.

In hunger-endemic areas – green foods are known by many cultures around the world as the kind of sour bumper-crops that sustain life between harvests and more plentiful seasons – such as green limes – and  green tomatoes – also known as ‘tomatillos’.

There are technically two different types of tomatillos.  One is a wild tomato berry that is a complete different genus than the other so-called tomatillo – which is simply just the unripe version of an actual tomato.

For both to thrive from seedlings to edible fruit, the seedbed must be warm and decently sunny – and although they can withstand many desert-like conditions, they produce more edible fruits when cared for with proper amounts of water and intentional intervention.

Tomatillo flowers come in a variety of colors before changing into fruits – white, yellow and sometimes even violet flowers are present before the transformation – and variety and company is needed as a tomatillo plant can rarely achieve reproduction itself without the proximity of other varieties.

Try this fresh Roasted Salsa Verde recipe (w/tomatillos y serranos) | Gimme Some Oven

To quote Wikipedia: “Tomatillo plants are highly self-incompatible, and two or more plants are needed for proper pollination. Thus, isolated tomatillo plants rarely set fruit.[23]

Due to the fact that the tomatillo loves to pollinate with slightly-different varieties – there is a wide range of flavors and distinctions – although all could be described as very fresh and slightly-sour-tasting.  Hunger makes the distinct taste – beautiful.

The taste of winter and drought pairs well with beans and dry peppers – which are easy to preserve and store – and that’s where we get one of our favorite Mexican Indian meals of chili.

Before refrigeration reached the Americas, the Indians would preserve their foods with spices and herbs – which prevented the spoilage of the meats and veggies that they were making.  For example, if you add a decent amount of – for example – a chicken and lentil soup – the soup may be good for an entire week without ever being inside of a cool freezer.

Tomatillos are a delightful flavor representing the hunger seasons of the Americas – and either the inability of the inhabitants to wait long enough to allow the fruit to mature on the vine, – or the collection of a wild and rarely cultivated often transformative variety of plant that is a completely different genus – but produces a comparative fruit.

Try this yummy fresh ‘winter-season flavored chili – with tomatillos’! The BEST Black Bean Chili | Gimme Some Oven

Just like tomatillos need varieties around them in order to produce healthy fruit – so does the world need races, and international relationships and friendships, and families to bless the world’s cities and villages.

Curl up around a warm dinner-table and share your hopes and dreams for the next year – with a warm fresh bowl of winter tomatillo chili.

Remember these quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. :

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

-and remember that humanity is a lot like tomatillos – we need each other – each variety and difference is a gift  from God, and that in each season – even the sour fruits bring forth some of the most distinct and creative flavors that are distinct and desirable.

A brilliant little artist rendered a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King | Pinteresting Against Poverty Thanks for your hard work on this blog!

What are you doing this Dr. Martin Luther King Day?  Do you know of anyone who has been specifically disadvantaged in regards to civil rights?  How are you going to be an advocate for the vulnerable this year of 2018?  Best wishes for warmth and friendship – and varieties of tomatillo companionship this New Year.  We are looking at how to grow different bean varieties in the village.

Warm up from your winter cold – or dry season – today by cooking up some of this yummy Black Bean Chili.  Try it with an Instant Pot today!

Try This Easy, Quick Instant Pot ‘BEST’ Black Bean Chili Recipe Today! | Gimme Some Oven
Try This ‘BEST’ Black Bean Chili Recipe (w/tomatillo salsa verde) Today! | Gimme Some Oven

Fresh Greek Yogurt | Around The World

Enjoy some fresh international flavors in this easy Healthy Curry Chicken Salad Recipe (made with Greek yogurt) today! | Gimme Some Oven

You can’t travel far enough to get away from the influences of fresh yogurt cultures.

From Middle Eastern nations to the capital cities of Latin America and even the African continent all contain many varieties of fresh yogurts and flavors.

Greek yogurt deserves a category of it’s very own in your recipe folders – as the flavorful, healthy ingredient substitute that often hides within the titles – yet is widely searched for and enjoyed by many people around the world, of many backgrounds, cultures – and religions.

Often, yogurt can be delightfully and synergystically paired with fresh fruits of many kinds. It’s easy to find yogurt clinging to strawberries, cranberries, grapes, almonds and raisens – sweetening and protein-ifying not only the bodies that consume it, but also fortilizing the intestinal flora and fauna of the major bodily organs of the consumer.

In many villages,  local people know how to culture their own yogurt bacteria, which I learned after the fact upsets many stateside officials who forbid the practice, claiming it dangerous for the formally untrained to manage bacteria.

“Do you have any fresh fruits or seeds, live cultures, flora or fauna?”  Demanded an airport security guard of me as I rolled my suitcase respectfully past the inspection counter.

“No.”  I answered.  “But I do have a tub of dried chilied mangoes that I bought directly from Costco.”

“Those are fine.”

My trip was less stressful than the woman’s behind me – who wanted to bring her homemade yogurt cultures for her family.

Yogurt is an easy addition to mixes like fresh chicken salad, and provides a lot of the calcium needed to strengthen the bones of those in food cultures that don’t consume a lot of fresh milk or cheeses.

Yogurt can be formed into icecream, or used as a delightful and healthy substitute for sour cream, and also tastes good in soups.

Try some fresh yogurt in your next meal, and know that you are consuming a food that is known throughout many corners of the world – and is not far from most of the world’s villages.

Hoping for world peace?

Try inviting over a crowd – and fill your table with simple treats everyone recognizes, from apples, and caramel, heart-healthy portions of wine for the age-appropriate, all the way to – to yogurt.  

Love yogurt?  Cold?  Doesn’t it look like snow?  Do you enjoy yogurt frozen, or as a topping for a nice warm tropical salad?  Tell us about it here:

Fresh Chicken Dinners | In A Village

Try This Easy, Healthy Chicken Curry Salad Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Fresh chickens… are an important protein source in the village. 🍗

The fresh kind that still go ¡cuckoo! in the morning.  The feather-y ones with claws and beaks still walking around at breakfast time.

One of my favorite feeding experiences – was to give a fried chicken leg to a hungry little child.

He was covered in sores and his hair had turned pale at the drop in nutrition after the loss of his mommy.  He’d had a tough day – especially for a four-year-old.

Brought to one of our international centers for help – we had carefully bathed him, and dressed him in new clothes before setting him down carefully at our picnic table for a nice meal.

We placed a plate in front of him, which was empty but he raised his little nose to the smell of goods coming in on the air from the kitchen.

He stared forward seated and was slightly in shock, and did not move.

We moved carefully around him and filled his plate, as he continued to sit stock still – as if in some kind of unbelievable trance.

This happens often with rescue babies.

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul | Jack Canfield $3.98 While Supplies Last – FREE SHIPPING

“Do you think that he knows that this food is for him?”  Asked a volunteer, and she carelessly reached over his shoulder and grabbed the chicken leg from his plate to wave it around –”

Immediately, a shriek filled the air.  The little boy screamed bloody murder, holding that note and looking directly at me.


“I think he does.”  I smiled.  “I’d suggest you put that chicken leg back down on his plate.”

The volunteer dropped the chicken leg in her shock.

I nodded to his constant gaze as he grabbed up his portion – and he began to eat slowly with his fingers.

As I crossed the room, celebrating the goodness of this healthy meal with him, he dropped his shoulder and continued to follow me with his eyes across the room – and snapped a picture of pure starving-toddler gratitude.

Often, when children are in starvation syndromes, we have to be very careful about how we start their re-feeding therapy.

We are always grateful to see the spark of life in the ones that gobble up their plates.

Chicken provides great nutrition for reversing syndromes of both marasmus and kwashiorkor which are very common in our village.

We love to make good chicken soups, baked chicken and more.

Sharing some of our favorite recipes with you here on Pinteresting Against Poverty – please consider sharing our stories and these recipes with others.

On this page you can click on recipes for chicken curry, skinny orange chicken, fresh ginger chicken stir-fry, classic chicken noodle soup, apple cider baked chicken, fresh lemon pepper chicken, chicken chili, chipotle chicken soup, Peruvian chicken soup, chicken pizza recipes, baked garlic chicken – and more!  Bookmark this page to save the story and links to the recipes.

What we’d like to be cooking with this year – An Instant Pot.  Click Here To View.

Consider sponsoring a chicken dinner for an orphanage in the village today – for $45.  or –click here to see what’s on our wishlist for this year – yet unfulfilled.

Read our other post about chickens.

I usually wouldn’t post so long of an excerpt on our blog – except for that I feel like this is good information.  Here’s a brief history of chicken as food from Wikipedia, click on the link to learn more:

Click Here For Chicken Nutrition Facts – Information and Chart | Wikipedia

The modern chicken is a descendant of red junglefowl hybrids along with the grey junglefowl first raised thousands of years ago in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent.[2]

Chicken as a meat has been depicted in Babylonian carvings from around 600 BC.[3] Chicken was one of the most common meats available in the Middle Ages.[citation needed] It was eaten over most of the Eastern hemisphere and a number of different kinds of chicken such as caponspullets and hens were eaten. It was one of the basic ingredients in blancmange, a stew usually consisting of chicken and fried onions cooked in milk and seasoned with spices and sugar.[citation needed]

In the United States in the 1800s, chicken was more expensive than other meats and it was “sought by the rich because [it is] so costly as to be an uncommon dish”.[4]Chicken consumption in the U.S. increased during World War II due to a shortage of beef and pork.[5] In Europe, consumption of chicken overtook that of beef and veal in 1996, linked to consumer awareness of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).[6]
Chicken is a very important component of the diet of village children.
Try this Healthy Curry Chicken Salad Recipe | Gimme Some Oven
 Click on the picture to pick up this yummy Healthy Chicken Curry Recipe from














Love children?  Love feeding little ones healthy dinners?  Looking for a recipe most kids would enjoy… tell us here:

Twelve Of Our Most Popular Posts | 2017

Earlier this year, we set out towards our goal of projecting together.🌹

More than 100 village videos later – here are 12 of our Top Posts from 2017 – plus a few more that we thought you’d enjoy.

Thanks for a great first year of blogging together at Pinteresting Against Poverty.

It takes more than a village.

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty.

(*We synergized a bit while choosing the top posts – from those posts that were most clicked on, to the ones that were most read.)

Like our work?  Want to see a specific article?  Want to work with us?  Have an idea?  Share with us today:

Is This A Joke? | Struggling w/ Affiliate Marketing @ Pinteresting Against Poverty


This is a nightmare for us – an empty molcajete – so to speak.

All through December we rushed and rushed…

Trying to figure out how to use projects to help a village.

In the meantime, hungry children are crying out daily for food, landlords pop into rescue facilities threatening to kick them out, and together we brainstorm a way to help us out of this frundraising rut.

We found the shining example or so we thought – affiliate marketing.  Right?

Let’s just say that so far – we haven’t earned – what we thought we were capable of.

In an effort to make things work to keep this blog – and our projects – functioning –

-we are making a few new efforts around our pages.

That said, maybe there is a better way to do this…

Do you know of a better way to do this?

Fundraising links are not performing the way they have in the past – yet we have received successful donations.

We don’t seem to be getting very many clicks on product referrals.  (How in the world does one earn on referral links – like via Amazon?)

We have no idea why some links work – and some don’t – but are creatively trying to figure out how to bridge that gap and earn a check.

That’s what I’m up to today at Pinteresting Against Poverty.

Looking for some trusting/trustworthy blogger help to get these opportunities rolling for those who really need them.

Yep.  (Lots of things I could say but I’m just going to choose to pray the right ideas will come.)


Ideas?  Directions?  Instructions?  Suggestions?  More?


Slave-Free Tomatoes | Tomatoes In A Village

“So, help me to understand…”  I   asked, continuing a conversation with a widow from a village hesitantly –  

“you mainly eat corn, onions, tomatoes and dark leafy greens.”

“Yes.”  Said the widow.

And you drink tea.

“So, am I understanding you correctly…”  I asked, continuing gently –

“that you mainly eat corn, onions, tomatoes and dark leafy greens.”

“Yes.”  Said the widow.

And you drink tea.

“Yes.”  She said.

“You know how to grow the corn, and the onions yourselves.”

“Yes.”  She said sternly.

“Do you know how to grow the tomatoes?”


Read This Post About Tomatoes, Peppers & Onions | Pinteresting Against Poverty

“Where do the tomatoes come from?”

“I don’t know where they come from.”

“How do they get to the market?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you allowed to grow tomatoes?”  I asked finally, trying to make sense of this situation.  

The widow shuffled.  And hesitated.  “There are many things which we have not been taught to do properly.  They do get angry at those who grow different things from time to time.”I knew from my food biology class that tomatoes were needed to fill the nutritional gap from the glucose in the corn.  The children would become quickly malnourished without the vitamins and nutrition present in a plant they were not able to produce for themselves.

Meaning — they had to have money in order to be healthy.

“Do you know what the seed to a tomato looks like?”  I asked.

“Of course.”

There had to be at least twenty seeds in every tomato we purchased.

Pin This! Share Our Stories & Rainbow Garden on Pinterest.

Twenty seeds that could produce 20 tomato plants.

Twenty tomato plants, that could yield about 15 pounds of food per plant.

Why were these people afraid to grow what it would take to keep their children from dying of hunger?

“Okay.  We are going to have to figure out how to grow tomatoes in pots.”

The people agreed.

-Check back in with us soon, we may have more posts and pictures of our tomato project, which is currently in progress:

Click here to read about Slave Free Tomatoes — rights for immigrant workers, and pick up some great tomato recipes!

We had to practice several seasons to learn how to produce good tomatoes in the village.  In fact, we are still learning and will hopefully post about some of our efforts with epson salts and modifications to the soil and environmental conditions.  For those of your planting tomatoes – or cherry tomatoes – in the United States, please take heed of these instructions:

Click Here To Try This Easy, Delicious Rainbow Salsa Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Click here for the Rainbow Salsa Recipe (pictured above).




Fresh Maize | Around The World

The executive from the farming community stepped out of the taxi into the dirt of the road.

“Wow.”  He said.  “Just wow.”

A few barefoot dusty little children looked up at him, questioningly.

“This was not what we thought it would be like – at all.”

Little ears stayed tuned as I followed the executive around in his exploration of our projects.

“Look at this.”  He said, genuinely surprised.  “Can you take my picture in front of the corn?”

“Sure.”  We took hold of the camera to do so.

“This corn is twice as tall as I am.”  He exclaimed.

The children gathered around to listen.

“Even in agricultural studies – we have this village down as being some kind of ‘no man’s land’.  We thought it was barren – and just dust.”

He looked at me for some kind of answer.

“Does it always grow like this?” he asked.

“Yes – this is about the usual for this season.  Of course, we don’t have enough room to grow everything that they need – but the maize helps.”

“Do you use any special kind of fertilizer?”

“There is no garbage system, no way to throw anything away – so most trash gets re-absorbed by the ground – but other than that, I’ve heard that when gardens are lovingly tended, they seem to produce more fruit – for example, these trees…”

He looked amazed and strangely happy.

“One of the major exports of this nation is cattle and beef.  How could they export beef if they couldn’t feed the cattle?”  I continued – trying to be careful with the information I knew to try to address the human right’s issues.

He shrugged.  “Then why are so many of the children so hungry?  It seems like this would be a reasonably easy situation to fix.”

“Yes, within a few growing seasons, for sure.  We’ve tested most of the basic foods and the children themselves do well with them.”

“So what is the reason for the hunger and the poverty?”  He wanted to know.

“Discrimination – and human rights.  Lack of justice, lack of schools, the spreading of endemic diseases, and violence.”  I responded.  Looking back over the same plot.

“The truth is, the people do not have the right to grow where they want to.”

I hoped this would be a beginning of more civil rights for the village.

Part One of Blog Post on Fresh Maize.  More to come. 😉


Fresh Raspberries | For A Village

How To Make Quick 10-Minute Stove-top Berry Jams | Gimme Some Oven

We have never been able to find real raspberries up ’til now in the village.

The closest we have been able to find are blackberries.

Sweet berries can often be sour when they are picked before they are mature, and while they may be colorful, and likewise – for a mix-minded minority of their very own – raspberries mean something other than the tart fruit of brilliant complicated reds.

Some people use ‘code’ words to try to convey certain messages – which have about the same effect as a too-early-picked-berry,  and use the words without  being directly responsible for the ideas and definitions that they are referring to.

Raspberries to me – are healthy little fruit berries.  That’s how I’d like to keep them, in spite of many of the unpublished comments we are getting on our blog these days.

Blackberries | In A Village

In reality, raspberries are sweet, bright red berries.

That said, our village children love fresh sweets.  For that reason we are looking for ways to make jellies and preservatives out of fruits that are local in the village –

– in order to add more flavor and vitamins to their teas and breakfast rolls and buns.

Raspberries make great jellies and jams.

How To Make Homemade Berry Chia Seed Jams | Gimme Some Oven

When I was a little girl, one of my great grandmothers would make huge batches of her own homemade plum jelly every spring.

The pretty little glass jars would be used quickly at the breakfast table along with biscuits and butter, and the delicious spread would brighten the color of our plates.

To quote the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire,

“Color is the fruit of life.” and for that reason, fresh jams and jellies look very nice shining at our breakfast tables with the rising sun.

(Also note, all of those seeds in this photo below are purely from the raspberries themselves, although they look like chia!) ∼ Gimme Some Oven

Click Here For This Easy 10-Minute Raspberry Chia Jam | Gimme Some Oven

The purpose for making jellies and preservatives is to keep the taste and vitamins of fruit around once it is not in-season.

We have a very large mango tree outside in the village, and I can think of many benefits of learning how to can, preserve – or jelly the heavy fruit which falls rhythmically from the branches once a year.

Easy 10-Minute Chia Seed Raspberry Jam Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Mangoes are full of vitamins – especially Vitamin A – which helps the children fight the seasonal flu and cold.

Raspberries are closely related to roses, and also grow on a vine.   The production of raspberries is restricted almost exclusively to the USA and Europe – one of the major farming areas being Poland and the more inward European corners of Russia and Serbia – which are all areas that are known to have human rights labor violations.

Nutritionally, raspberries are very high in Vitamin C – like strawberries – and Manganese.

Commercially – many raspberries are sold modified and de-seeded – which restricts the ability to produce the berries without seeking a specialized nursery or store.

Raspberries are full of natural energy.

Click Here For This Quick 10-Minute Raspberry Chia Jam Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Raspberry tea – which is popular brewed out of the leaves of the woody raspberry vine – is known to induce labor in women of their last term of gestation, and therefore are not recommended for pregnant women until the fetus is fully developed.

Someday, it might be fun to make a post of rainbow jellies.  Maybe with mango – and kiwi???🍇🍒🍓🍉🍊🍑🍋🍌🍍🍏🍐+

Enjoy your raspberries!  Clean comments only.  Do you like raspberry tea? Are you a fan of rrrr-asspppberr—yyy jam? How do you keep your blog safe from urban-dictionary-ers?

Fresh Lentils | Around The World

Try This Yummy Lemony Lentil Soup Recipe | By Gimme Some Oven

The first time I heard about the word ‘lentils’ –

-it was in an study of Egypt.

There was a claim that the kings and queens were buried in the pyramids with lentils, – with the idea that they could eat the reconstituted nutrition once their faithful re-awakening.

The second time I learned about lentils – it was experiential.  They became a quick favorite soup with chipotle in Latin America.

Click Here For An Amazing Lentil Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

The third topic I ran across regarding lentils – was an arguement made in a nutritional biology class.

“Lentils are surely legumes, but not beans.”  Lentils are formed in pod-shaped plants – and therefore absent the kidney formation, they cannot be classified as beans, although they are often mistaken as such.

Even then, all the way up to food biology, I had no idea that lentils still grew in rainbow variations.  Wow.  So pretty.

Some of my favorite soups have lentils as a main ingredient.  They are great as a protein source, but also keep your belly full for long.

Lentils are easy to store, and can last as long as what seems like forever.  They don’t come with an expiration date.  Just keep them dry and warm.

Try This Yummy, Healthy Lemony Lentil Soup Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Somehow, lentils are easy to eat for long periods of time.  I rarely get tired of them.  Over the past week, I’ve eaten the same $1.20 plastic bag I picked up at the grocery store to make a chicken broth lentil soup with carrots, a chipotle-flavored chicken lentil soup, a cilantro-flavored lentil soup – and tacos with fresh cheese, peppers, and a basil-pesto-sausage lentil soup – which was surprisingly smooth and flavorful.  

Sometimes, one of my favorite ingredients to add to lentils is butternut – in soup.  It adds an inexplicable flavor dimension which rounds out all of the other smooth-disc-y flying sauceresque charms of one of the world’s most flavorful legumes.

We haven’t learned how to grow lentils yet in the village, but look forward to and hope to someday.

Try This Lemony Lentil Soup For Two – Or For A Crowd! | Gimme Some Oven

Love lentils?  Want to share a good lentil soup – or some flavorful tacos soon???  Visit us anytime at Pinteresting Against Poverty.



Homemade Caramel | In A Village

Click Here To Learn How To Make Your Own Batch Of Homemade Caramel To Share – and Cookies! | Gimme Some Oven

Some flavors are harder to find in the world’s remote villages… some familiar examples being good coffee, and chocolate.

Fortunately – you can find the ingredients for homemade caramel almost anywhere on earth – no need to pack them up or lug them in your suitcase – just visit a grocery store in any capital city and you are good to go.

So — thank God for caramel.

All you need for a good-sized homemade batch of caramel to share – is lemon juice, vanilla, cream, butter, brown sugar, and salt – only 5 simple ingredients.

The rich, gooey substance that makes even the poorest of the poor feel rich and blessed — like kings and queens.

Click Here For A Kingly Gift Basket | from Harry & David

Preparing for my first international trip, more than ten years ago…  I remember reading this suggestion in a traveling guide —

“Bring a few of your favorite flavors with you.  You will miss them.” 

My favorite Starbucks drink at that time — was a Caramel Apple Cider.

A foo-foo drink that sounds like a long shot in a village — right?

Welp.  Not anymore.

Homemade Caramel
Click Here For The Simple Homemade Caramel Recipe We Use In The Village By Gimme Some Oven | Pinteresting Against Poverty

Many of the older children in the village have perfected the melting of sugar into the creation of caramel using this free printable recipe.

The older children and women can do this over a fire and coals, just as well as they can over the stove.  Their cooking talents are impressive.

Over the last ten years, we’ve run across enough good recipes to make a steaming cup of apple-y, caramel-ly goodness possible — just about anywhere – and that’s what we’re sharing with you today.  (Apples are mysteriously available at all times, nearly worldwide.)

How To Make Homemade Caramel | Click Here For the Recipe From Gimme Some Oven

Click on the following link for the microwave-able version of the recipe now used in the village (although the villagers use banana coals and fire, not a microwave) for our readers to try:  How To Make Homemade Caramel 


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Click on the recipe below to learn how to make your own fresh batch of Homemade Apple Cider – or click on any of the caramel desserts for the recipe.

Easy Homemade Apple Cider Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Click on the photo below that includes more wonderful recipes with the same Homemade Caramel Recipe, which is printable on the next page.  This recipe tastes great whether produced over banana coals in a village, or in a microwave anywhere else in the world.  We hope you get a chance to try it.

These cookies were made with is the same caramel recipe used in the village. The caramel produced is just as beatiful. Click on the picture for more Caramel Recipes.

Read about a recent project that the children made: Rose Cupcakes.