Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Behind our house is a little creek that empties into the lake. It is filled with cattails.
The girls began to pick them yesterday and they realized that they could strip the cattail off the stem.
And I learned something new! It turns to fluff!! Like cotton batting! I told the girls, "Just think! When God created plants He had this in mind! What a variety of plants we have!" Sophia said "And He just spoke it and it happened!" Yes! What a great Creator we have!
Thousands and thousands of seeds!! Better than a dandelion!
I love this photo. Look at Jill. She is appalled at all the seeds stuck to her black coat!
We may have cattails growing on our lawn in the spring! Of course we would need moisture for that to happen and we are in a drought right now.

I found out that you can EAT cattails!! If you peel the shoot, you can use the cane part to eat! I read that they're like a combination of tender zucchini and cucumbers, adding a refreshing texture and flavor to salads. Added to soup towards the end of cooking, they retain a refreshing crunchiness. They're superb in stir-fry dishes, more than suitable for sandwiches, and excellent in virtually any context. Sliced cattail hearts, sauteed in sesame oil with wild carrots and ginger are good I guess.

The Indians used cattails medicinally: They applied the jelly from between the young leaves to wounds, sores, boils, carbuncles, external inflammations, and boils, to soothe pain.

Besides its medicinal uses, the dried leaves were also twisted into dolls and toy animals for children, much like corn-husk dolls found today. Cattail leaves can be used to thatch roofs, weave beautiful baskets, as seating for the backs of chairs, and to make mats. Archaeologists have excavated cattail mats from Nevada caves.

No longer edible once the pollen is gone, the brown flower heads make good "punks," supporting a slowly-burning flame, with a smoke that drives insects away. The fluffy, white seeds were once used for stuffing blankets, pillows and toys. The Indians put them inside moccasins and around cradles, for additional warmth.

Very interesting. Perhaps I should harvest them to make pillows. But I read that if you do that, you must use thick batting material or you might break out in hives.

Actually, I think I am chicken. I can't see myself trying it in cooking anytime soon. Or making anything out of it. Hannah would probably enjoy doing that though. She loves cooking shows and she loves crafts. But I will probably just enjoy them for their prettiness.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"What's for dinner, Ma?" Kansas restaurants - January

Today is Kansas Day. It is Kansas' 151st birthday.
Happy Birthday, Kansas!!
Last year we decided to take a trip each month to someplace in Kansas that we had never been to before. What a great time we had traveling this beautiful state! We will probably go and see more things that we missed. 12 months was not enough to see it all!
This year what we intend to do monthly is to visit a restaurant we have never been to before. We are creatures of habit and tend to go to the same ones we know we really like! The young marrieds introduced us to Cheddars. They had told us how good it was and inexpensive too. One day while shopping in Wichita, we decided to try out that restaurant but couldn't recall the name. We knew the approximate location and came upon Chester's. Thinking that was the spot, we went in. Well, the price tag on the food is quite substantially different!! Since then, we have gone often to Cheddars and LOVE it!

We contacted some dear old friends; not that they are old - they are our age - but we go way back.

Allen met Dave and Becky at Hutch Juco. We became friends. We went to their wedding - they didn't come to ours though. But I guess we can excuse them because they got married the day before we did and they were on their honeymoon. We both moved to Stauffer Place, the newly married apartments at KU and hung around together those 2 years there.

They moved to Wichita and we followed the following year when Al was doing his residency at Wesley. We both had boys, 4 1/2 months apart.

And girls are just a few weeks apart. We used to get together often!
Then they moved to Derby and we moved to Newton. Not so far apart in distance, but we both got involved in our churches and children's activities. We always kept in touch through Christmas letters and going to our kids' weddings.
Allen and I decided we would invite them to our very first restaurant adventure. We had them pick out the restaurant that we have never been to.

We ordered the Baby Back Combo with seasoned fries and sweet and smoky beans. Oh my goodness!!!
So delicious!! (if you know I am highly allergic to brocolli, you will realize this is not my plate; it was Dave's. Al and I almost always split our dinner and I forgot to get a photo before we did that.)
We spent 5 hours non-stop talking and catching up. We just picked up where we left off years ago. What a delightful evening with dear friends! And very good food - HIGHLY recommend the restaurant! Located on Rock in Derby if you want to know.
Al had fully intended to pick up the tab for us both, but Dave insisted.

We will be looking for another couple to take out in the months to come (you want to pick up the tab too??? Ha ha!!) and other restaurants to try out for the first time!

Kansas restaurants rock!!