Fresh Cranberries | For A Village

Try This Lovely Cranberry Crumble Recipe – Not For Dinner – but for Dessert! | Gimme Some Oven

Travel around Christmas-time isn’t easy for missionaries.

The holidays are the time of year – when everyone else travels.

For human-rights workers –  the budget rule is usually to hunker down where you are – be it abroad – or stateside,

-as the cost of plane tickets skyrockets, doubles-and-triples – and potential passengers from around the world compete for seats – on planes, trains, and auto-mobiles,

-rick-shaws,  bicycles, and cruise ships.

Cranberries are a special holiday flavor – in the midst of the hustle and bustle – because they are one of the special foods that the Algonquian people shared with the malnourished English settlers on the original day of Thanksgiving.

Try This Super-Easy Cranberry Baked Brie Tarts Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Fresh cranberries are a crisp favorite seasonal pleasure for many – however, due to the vastly wet and cool growing conditions – which are best-suited for countries of the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of a few high altitude mountainous regions beneath the global poverty line –

– fresh cranberries are not easy to cultivate in dry villages,which means, these little holiday berries have to travel, too. 

Fresh cranberries can be sauteéd down into sweet syrups, sauces, packaged in cans, powders, bottled juices, jams and food dehydrators,  and other processing, the same cranberryd flavor can be brought to the ends of the earth – in the same spirit as frankincense and mhyrr.

Try This 3-Ingredient Cranberry Bourbon Fizz (Sweet Holiday Version!) Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

During our first few village Christmas seasons, we could not afford gifts for the little children in the village – instead, they had beautiful traditions of dancing together on Christmas Day.

It wasn’t until about four seasons in that we were able to put up our first Christmas tree – made possible by the kindness of a donor.

Another year, we added in the tradition of holiday music – and added piano lessons until all of the children could play Jingle Bells.

Every year we challenge the village children to make paper projects, that have grown increasingly more beautiful as years have passed by.

Cranberries offer great nutrition for children, and help fight off and prevent UTI infections.  For children who are HIV+, any kind of healthy food that offers anti-bacterial benefits are a blessing.

(Picture Borrowed From Wikipedia) Before Child Labor Laws In Brooklyn – Children Were Hired To Work On Cranberry Farms – This Photo Is Credited To Arthur_Rothstein_(American,_1915-1985)._Child_Labor,_Cranberry_Bog,_1939 (Click Here For The Link)

Raw cranberries have a bitter taste, but when cooked with sugar form very nice syrups and flavor – another example of a popular bitter flavor being a lemon – or a lime – and add a special holiday flare to some of your favorite seasonal dishes.

Child laborers in the early years of America found work on cranberries in the 1930’s – and lived in similar conditions as many of the child laborers of today.  Child right’s activists know that good legislation helps to protect society in many different ways.

The idea of activism, and nonprofits for our free nation was actually an idea born of Harvard University – which was the first establishment of learning and higher education in the newly-developed America.  Harvard University was and is located near a cranberry bog –  which became a local source of identity and color that has served the university and the world with authentic crimson, defined as an ‘arterial red’.

Try This Cranberry Bliss Cookie Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Activists from early Harvard, and around the world wrestled with the ideas of how to build a nation that respects human rights – and to encourage through education, legislation and rules to where the children of a society are entitled to schooling, free from labor, and to have rights to medical care, food, resources, safe labor – and housing – is something that we’ve struggled as a nation towards – but have not yet fully arrived.

Offshore slaves hope and wish for the day that many of those same amenities can be made available for them.  That’s why – around the holidays especially, it is important to incorporate giving into your holiday budget.

A Good Way To Remember Children’s Rights Around The World – Try This Cranberry-Orange Holiday Cheesecake Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Help another child go to school.  Encourage another law for the protection of children in your own community be put into writing.  Sign another letter – supporting those who are out there fighting and working for human rights issues.  Hire somebody for a simple task that you don’t want to do to give them a bit of financial support or freedom.

As you enjoy your cranberries this Thanksgiving and Christmas season – let the appearance of this bright ‘arterial red’ fruit be a reminder to you of the blessings of indian cultures – and your visual cue to actively participate in the need for child rights – and human rights – and donations & gift-giving, all around the world.

It’s not necessary to travel to the ends of the earth during the holiday seasons in order to send a gift that matters:

World Vision Catalogue – Pick out a short-term project to sponsor for an international child this holiday season, or sign up for Christian sponsorship.

(World Vision’s holiday catalogue is not a joke – I’ve done a lot of work in small villages – and have seen the goats!  I’ve watched the village children learn to take care of them – they become like dogs or cats but love to eat the gardens!)

 Sponsor A Child Through Children International –  For $32 a month you can provide a child with life-changing benefits, like medical care, educational support, life skills and job training before graduation.  Children International is humanitarian sponsorship – as many of the children in need cannot be sponsored by religious organizations.  Children International began in the 1930’s with Christian Sponsorship, but adjusted their model over the years to make the same sponsorship benefits to children in poverty-stricken areas – of different religious identities.

(I have visited my own sponsored child abroad – many, many times through Children International and am always proud of their work.)

International Justice Mission – Support Justice & Sponsor the Rescue & Legal Defense of a Child From Modern-Day Slavery 

Check out this story, about a child-slave rescued by a Missouri Mom:

The Deep Place from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

(I have visited a rescue center in another nation, and have so much respect for the legal work and advocacy that this group does to extend the rights of children to all nations.)

Mail In Your Donations Written Out To ‘Pinteresting Against Poverty’ – To ‘P.O. Box 26074, Overland Park, KS 66225’ – where we are collecting donations to give a local nonprofit that does good work in our village.  Donations are tax-deductible if you file your return in the USA. Please notify us electronically of any returned mail.)

Click Here To Support The Needs Of An Orphanage This Holiday Season:
Make a difference for an orphanage this #GivingTuesday. Sponsor a child or a project through Pinteresting Against Poverty.

Try This Beautiful Crimson Cranberry-Orange Holiday Cheesecake Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

I have worked in villages with or near each of these nonprofits – and am proud of the work they do.    Have you ever sponsored a child?  Have you visited your sponsored child?  Have you ever been on a mission trip?  Share your stories – or your questions with us, here:


Fresh Artichoke | Around The World

Try This Favorite Artichoke Salad w/Hearts | Gimme Some Oven

So much of the world is explained between the function and fluency of different langages.

It’s a little bit funny,

– to describe how I learned about artichokes.

I didn’t learn about artichokes in a grocery store – not on a health food channel, nor from any gardening experience – until we found the seeds for the village.

I learned about artichokes in highschool – in an advanced Spanish class.

Our teacher – a woman as knowledgable as she is kind – had decided to teach us – not only about the language –

-but the music, and the culture of other worlds – and words – and their meaning.

Try This Steamy Artichoke Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

She wanted us to understand the human stories that existed between the newspaper articles, and differences.

“In order to understand a language,”  she explained carefully-prounounced español, “You have to be able to understand expressions.”

She took in a breath to let that sink in before continuing, “Not everything that we say and express – makes sense – in the way that you expect it to – and it’s important to be aware of that when you are learning a new language.

We listened.

“So for example, we have the phrase – “Okie-Dokie, Arti-chokie…”

We all nodded, understanding.  I had heard the phrase, I just had yet to discover the vegetable.

“If you listen as a new language speaker to only the words – you will be confused.”

Try This Yummy Spinach & Artichoke Dip Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

“…but if you listen to the heart, you will understand.” 

She kept our attention.

“So you have to learn – to listen for the meaning behind the words.  How do they intend for you to feel when they are communicating?  Do they want you to smile back?  Do they want you to go get lunch?  Are they trying to tell you a truth that is beyond the words that you have to interpret?”

She continued. “When they say this phrase, we don’t mean, ‘let’s go get an artichoke.’  We’re not saying that ‘artichokes are okay’.  We are not even saying that we like them.”

“What we are saying – has absolutely nothing to do with artichokes – and everything to do with the rhythm of speech and comfortable conversation.”

“-all people understand better in rhymes, which are easier to memorize.”

Our Spanish teacher then explained that because all human beings like pleasant sounds,  we also say the words that we think sound pleasant.

She pulled out a tape-player, and a tape.

Easy Spinach Artichoke Quiche | Gimme Some Oven

“I made this for you.”  She said.

And she turned on the music.

It was popular music – in Spanish – in the style that we listened to in those years.

“At first, I was thinking that I would have you read more poetry – but then, I realized that songs were also poetry.  So I thought I would share some songs with you.”

Everyone in the room was genuinely amazed at the sounds of the artists, and the songs were catchy, and we went through several weeks singing the lyrics and getting them stuck in our heads. Everything from traditional songs to popular songs to Christmas carols.

“If you like the songs, and memorize them, you will understand how to use your verb tenses well.

And so – we did.

That’s my artichoke story.  

It turns out, artichokes are not just expressions, green succulent-looking veggies-

-artichokes are a form of thistle – a flower – with a heart. 

It is easy to look at an artichoke, and come up with words that sound pokey – starry and somehow full-circle and okie.  

Try This Beautiful Stuffed Artichoke (Roasted) Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

An artichoke can grow both in the wild, and be cultivated – so it’s an easy-going kind of veggie.

Artichoke flowers are flavorful, and not only used as a veggie, but also crushed for teas, and liqueur around the world.

One of the best parts about the artichoke – is the heart. 

It takes a lot of layers to reach the tender heart of the thistle.

Just like the meaning of the words are one thing, this star-of-Bethleham shining plant that is believed to have originated in the mediterranean area – has one of the most flavorful center – and taste best when warmed.

Artichokes are high in magnesium, and vitamins, and are thought to have other positive properties as well.

Artichoke hearts are a lovely addition to salads, and can be canned, roasted, powdered, dried and frozen – but are always best when warm.

I hope you enjoy some of these artichoke recipes.

It’s nice to think of favorite warm meals and salads with family, with the flavor of hearts and comforting expressions, shared around the table.

We’d like to share them with the village someday.

Thus far, we have identified the seeds, but have not understood fully the growing conditions.

“Lord… our heart is restless, till it rest in Thee.” ~Augustine

Here’s a guide to help you get started with your hearts today:

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty! Watch this short video to learn more about how you can support our work:

Questions? Comments?  Love Artichoke?  Love Spanish Expressions?  Is artichoke your family favorite? Share with us, here:

Eggs | In A Village

So you are stuck in a village.

— and you have brown eggs, no easter egg coloring, and a bunch of hungry kids — that won’t eat eggs.

Small ears have been told by the spritely old — that eggs ruin your ability to have children.

“If you eat those round little white orbs, you won’t have any joy.”  They say.  Aged eyes look at me — as if I prove their point.

I’ve had a bit of a problem proving them wrong, as a girl in her twenties with no biological children, yet.

I beg them for eggs, instead of caterpillars, for dinner.

I explain the merits of protein, and lutein, and iron, vitamins and minerals.  

I fail to mention how nice it is to eat something that doesn’t involve eyeballs, hair, or bones.

They shake their heads.  Every egg, to them, is a potential chicken.  They love meat.

Plop!  Goes a brown egg into the morning tea water, boiling over the fire.  

Red Easter Eggs Colored By Village Children | Pinteresting Against Poverty

Plop!  Goes another one into the tea pot for supper.

With considerable distress, I realize that nutrition by example has not dispelled the myth.  

Feeling pressured, I attempted egg drop soup.   Maybe they would enjoy this.

Hungry little children shake their heads.  “No, not me.”

Until — 

Christ — He is Risen.

We can change the color of the egg.  Watch this.  

Now a crowd of interested children gather to see the brown eggs changing color in the food dye. 

Next, with these mysterious colorful orbs, I pull out a recipe for deviled eggs — making sure to leave out the word ‘devil’ — or we would run into a fear of witchcraft that was going to take more ingenuity to get over.   

The children are mesmerized by the wonderful, strange taste of — mayonaise.  

— and a little bit pumped about the fun of finding their treats.  

The young forget what the old have taught them.  

The younger generation slowly begins a new tradition, that will feed them.

Oh, with great thanks to Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, and the Eastern Orthodox tradition of symbolizing new life, and new beginnings, though something so wonderful and crafty as a rainbow brite basket of Easter Eggs.

Easter Projecting With Kids That Won’t Eat Eggs? Try This 4-Ingredient Easter Egg (Golden) Oreo Truffle Recipe | Gimme Some Oven