What Can You Share?
by Diane Cretin
We live in such a different time than what we are used to or consider "normal". You may be finding it hard to focus or feel like there is no hope. So what are some things you can do to influence how you are feeling? As I mentioned another week, studies show that we feel better when we help others. And I don't think it has to be a big something that you do.
Here are some thoughts:
Have a garden? Share some produce.
Do you have flowers? Drop a bouquet off on a friend's doorstep.
Do you know someone who lives alone? Give them a call.
Have any stationary or even plain paper in your house? Send someone a letter. Receiving a hand written letter, especially in this time of computers, is very special. I believe it shows more caring because of the time it takes to write versus type.
What else can you share? Have you read a good book? Share the title and author, or even loan your book or give it away. Many people are looking for things to do while they are stuck at home. Give them something positive to focus their minds on that doesn't involve electronics.
Do you have favorite Bible verses that help sustain you now? Share them with others.
On a totally different note, do you know any good jokes? Share them! We can all use a good laugh now.
Do you have any extra time? If you are mobile, there are ways to volunteer even during these times. Food banks need help with food distribution. Check with organizations like the Redwood Empire Food Bank.
Can you share a kind word? How about to checkers at the grocery store? Do you ever ask them how they are doing? It can even be as simple as saying something like "I like your shirt"...or your necklace, your earrings, your haircut. There is usually some way to sincerely connect in a short amount of time.
Have a good recipe? Share it. After my post involving zucchini, Leigh Rodriguez shared another recipe with me that her family really likes. We made it this week and have plans to make it again. So this week I am sharing the second recipe that Leigh shared with my family so you can enjoy it as well.
I want to say one other thing. You may feel you don't have anything you are able to share. But know that you can share information in a loving and appropriate way. If you know of someone who needs help, make sure to let Colleen Soldate, the Director of Caring Ministries, know. As a church family, we want to do our very best to see that all who are connected to our church are cared for. I also urge you not to be shy if you need to call Caring Ministries to say that you need help yourself. There is no shame in being truthful and reaching out.
Here is the link to the recipe for Burrito Stuffed Zucchini Boats, which makes 4 servings.
· 2 large zucchini, halved, then halved again lengthwise as shown
· sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon each
· 1 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
· 1 small yellow onion, diced
· 1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef
· 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
· 1/2 tsp chili powder
· 1/2 tsp ground cumin
· 1 tsp paprika
· 1/2 cup organic corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh cut from the cob
· 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
· 1/4 cup cooked crumbled nitrate-free bacon
· 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or cheddar Jack cheese, divided
· freshly chopped cilantro leaves, to garnish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out insides of your zucchini, creating “boats” and reserve it for later.
Place zucchini halves, cut side up, into the bottom of 9”-x-13” baking dish and lightly spray or rub with cooking oil; season with sea salt and pepper, then bake just until zucchini begins to soften, about 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion and sauté for about 4 minutes.
Stir in garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Add in ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, drain most of the grease if necessary, then sprinkle meat with all seasonings and continue to cook until nicely browned.
Take the pan off the stove, then add in your corn, cooked brown rice, bacon, 1/4 cup of cheese, and the remaining zucchini flesh.
Carefully spoon this mixture into zucchini boats then top with remaining cheese.
Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted and bubbly about 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
Here is how making this recipe played out for us.
I had two overgrown zucchini from not checking my plant for two days. We only used the one on the left.
When I cut the zucchini, I originally grabbed a small curated knife. Don't do that. Use one with a straight edge. It curved as I cut instead of going straight down despite my best efforts. So my first two pieces were not anywhere near the same size. We still used them. I did a better job cutting the next two pieces. Also as you can see, I did not hollow them out equally.
I also had to cut off about an inch of the ones on the right to fit them in the pan.
We chose to only add pepper to the empty "boats" (not use the salt). I put the empty zucchini boats in the oven to cook. We cooked the empty zucchini boats longer than the 10-12 minutes they said. Needing to cook them longer may have been due to the size of the zucchini we started with. Just check to see that the zucchini are softened.
My husband cooked the filling and took it from here as I wanted to take part in the Emergency Preparedness Seminar zoom call. Lee cooked the filling in a wok, then stuffed the zucchini boats and cooked them.
We did not have cilantro and did not want to go to the store just for that, so we did not do the garnish.
These were delicious. I look forward to having them again soon.
My prayer for you is that you believe you have something to share and that you share it.