Friday, 20 November 2015

Spinach and Quinoa Salad

We have attended our first family Christmas dinner and this event is a planned pot luck and we had been tasked with brings a salad.  Wanting a salad that contained protein (an alternative to turkey) we knew that quinoa would be one of the ingredients used.  Recently we enjoyed a spinach and lentil salad at a friends home so we set out to replicate the salad using quinoa instead of lentils.  

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup shredded parsley
  • Dressing
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • finely grated peel of one lemon.

  1. Cook quinoa and cool in refrigerator
  2. Sautee the shallots and celery in coconut oil until shallots until tender
  3. Add cumin and thyme to frying pan and combined with the celery and shallots
  4. Set this mixture in the refrigerator to cool.
  5. Chopped parsley
  6. Clean spinach
  7. Make dressing and set this aside.
  8. Combined all ingredients except the dressing in a large bowl and toss until evenly mixed.
  9. Add dressing and toss again.
  10. Serve immediately

From Our Table to Yours
Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Thursday, 19 November 2015

10 Things To Tell Your (Grand) Children in November

The boundaries of any family are fluid, ever changing with different stories to tell, yet all families will have stories that encompass either loss or victory with cancer.

In November we recognize and make time to remember /fund raise for numerous types of cancer. 

Loss is part of the human experience and too often we underestimate children's ability to process death so we protect them from it and in doing so leave them with unanswered question and emotional painful that is every bite as real as our own.

We each have lost family, significant friends or community members to cancer where the loss profoundly affected the family system.  Telling these stories to our (grand) children builds resilience in them in.  It gives them a starting point, a historical reference of resilience from which to begin the process of resolving their own grief.

Start this conversation with hope

1) Provide your (grand)children a story of hope, a story of recovery from cancer.

2) If you or your partner have had or have cancer in age appropriate terms tell this story and if you are speaking with children over 12 talk about your fears and your hopes.

3) Point out how cancer affected you and the family for example: loss of relationship, employment, driving a loved one for cancer treatment.

As a children we always had our birthday parties at the home of two wonderful great aunts.   Aunt Adela made the most amazing Barbie doll cakes and I looked forward to both the new Barbie doll and cake that was always made from scratch.   Aunt Adela died of cancer and as a young child I was kept away, protected from this event the result being she just disappeared from my life.  This remains an empty hole in my life’s story and almost 50 years later every time I see a Barbie doll cake I think of her and questions charge up to the surface of my consciousness about last days her, her death.

4) Describe how your family has responded/changed as a result of cancer for example: change in life style or diet, remarriage after the death of a partner, stopping smoking etc.

5) Discuss how your family fund-raises or supports cancer research and/or cancer patients today.  Remember that doing nothing is a choice and should be discussed as well.

Use this opportunity to join with your (grand)children in getting involved in an event in support of cancer, building in them a sense of community support.

In November we also stop for a minutes silence on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 am, remembering and honouring those men and women who have and are fighting in wars around the world.

War is unfortunately a part of our reality.  We all have family stories about war.    These stories are often difficult to tell and once again out of a misguided attempt to protect children not told. 

As a Mennonite in my childhood I heard stories of how father’s, uncles, older brothers were sent to take the place of men at war in key industries.  As a Russian Mennonite child I heard stories of my great grandmother’s struggle to bring her children including my grandfather to Canadian religious refugees.

These are stories that require we take time to plan and practice the telling.  Ensuring that at the end of the story we leave our children feeling safe, and able to move forward with their lives.

6) Starting with WWI talk about anyone in your family that went to war as either a combatant, or as part the large infrastructure the traveled with the war.  Take out pictures explain where these people fit into your family system and their war story.

7) Describe the impact on your family’s home and daily life  during that time.

In my grandfather’s home the blackout curtains still hung on the windows and he would talk about that time, young men leaving and never coming home again of the telegrams that needed to be delivered.
We would sit in awed silence at a girlfriends home has her mother talked about sweeping the barn floor for the last of grain to make gruel out of in Holland and the sound of thunder as soldiers march across the wooden bridge by their home.   
And an employer of mine talking about being a child in a prisoner of war camp and how she and her sister survived because they learned to eat bugs for protein.

8) We will be retelling stories that have been told to us, describe who told you, how old you were and what your reaction was.

9) Apply the same questions to all subsequent wars.

10) Discuss with your (grand)children how your family remembers, commemorates those who have been injured physically, psychologically, mentally and who gave the ultimate sacrifice their lives.  Again if this is something your family does not do talk about this as well.

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Monday, 16 November 2015

Be Present This Holiday Season

The consumer engine is all steamed up and ready to pull out of the station with all of us aboard, on what is euphemistically known as the 

If your Christmas planning is anything like ours, there is very little about it that resembles a holiday.  The reality is that so much time is spent planning, deciding what would be that perfect gift, who to invite, what to wear, which party to go to and so on.  That by the time New Year's Day gets here we have a hard time remembering what we did and more importantly how we really felt at the time.

As you enter the 2015 Holiday season, be mindful of how much time is spent in looking forward/ how much time you are trading away for the present now that you are living.

Don't plan, shop and cook away the 2015 Christmas season, unless in doing so you can stay present with yourself and those around you!

Be alive and present this Christmas season.

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Like The Stars

 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24
From Christian pulpits all around the world today, prayers were once again offered up for those who have been touched by terrorism.  Followed by prayers for protection from evil and the freedom to live in peace and love.

While we live here on earth we are vulnerable to all of the evil humans are prepared to visit upon each other, in equal measure to none Christians.  

The lectionary scriptures this week build upon the foundation that through Christ's sacrifice all other sacrifices for our evil ways have become unnecessary - no sacrilegious, for only through Christ's sacrifice will Christians sin be "remember no more.  And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary." Hebrew 10:17-18.

The scriptures then awaken in us the need to help each other in times of evil to not loose hope continuing to interact with each other and all of God's creation through love and good deeds.

Revenge, payback, vengeance, spite, reprisal, etc., are not be how we respond, yet we are human and fear, vulnerability, and grief drive us emotionally in just that direction.  As individuals we lash out against a faceless evil, and knowing this our Father in heaven demands that in just such times as these that we gather together with other Christians "spurring one another on toward love and good deeds."  That is continuing to respond in love we become as star in the night sky, shining through the darkness.

How are you and your Christian community spurring each other on to good deeds in light of the terrorism that is infecting our world?

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls 

Lectionary Scriptures Daniel 12:1-3 Psalm 16 Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25 Mark 13:1-8

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