I love having access to fresh fruit. Ever since I moved to Florida, I’ve tried to take advantage of the wonderful fresh produce available everywhere—in the stores, at roadside stands—it is wonderful!
However, a single gal can only consume so much produce in a day, and around here it often comes in large units. (The nearby citrus vendor is very fond of selling a bushel bucket of navel oranges for $2 or $3. Do you know how long it takes a single woman to eat a bushel of oranges??) Anyway, whatever the reason, it seems I often end up with a little bit of it (or sometimes a lot of it) sitting in the fridge and going bad.
Last fall I had some apples that needed to be used. I didn’t have a pie crust, so I threw together an apple crisp. Then strawberries came into season the last week of December (this still makes my Midwest mind do a happy dance) and I found myself with leftover strawberries. Again, a makeshift crisp was my solution, and a recipe started to form. Blueberries came into season with the strawberries…. you see where this is going. I’ve even mixed in fresh pineapple with blackberries and strawberries.
Sometimes there’s just a small amount of fruit left over. When that happens, I add frozen fruit. (The best combination I’ve come up with so far was fresh strawberries and blueberries mixed with frozen dark sweet cherries. It was absolutely incredible.)
So here it is—a recipe that will help you use up that fruit to keep it from wasting. It’s an excellent substitute for pie and it’s super-easy to make. This recipe is high in fiber, low in processed sugar, and it can be made gluten free. (I’m also working on a dairy free version.) Best of all, cooking that fruit gives it an extended shelf life.
1-2 cups fruit—fresh, frozen or a combination
1 Tbsp corn starch (if you aren’t going gluten free, you can use flour)
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 stick melted butter (not margarine, because that stuff will kill you)
1 rounded cup of oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are great)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Grease a 9-inch (or larger) pie plate. Fully cover the bottom of the plate with the fresh fruit you need to use up, filling in any holes with frozen fruit. (I keep frozen berries and cherries in the freezer for just such an occasion. They mix well with anything—even apples.)
Sprinkle corn starch (or flour) over all of the fruit. Do the same with the white sugar. (The sugar will help the fruit to juice up, and the corn starch will thicken the juice.)
In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together. Spoon mixture on top of fruit, covering it evenly. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serve warm. Store covered in refrigerator.
This is honestly a lovely way to get your fruit and fiber in, and yet still feel like you are getting dessert. It can also be a fairly dressy desert for company. Of course, if you have a bigger family to feed or a whole lot of fruit to use, you can use a 9x13 in pan. (You may want to add an extra 1/2 cup of oats.)
I hope you have a chance to make this sometime and get creative with your fruit combinations. I’m going to try it with mangoes next! Let me know if you tried it and what you think. As Julia Childs would say, “Bon appetite!”
Note: Picture shown here is a crisp made from fresh strawberries, fresh blackberries, and fresh pineapple.
Explore some fibromyalgia myths and learn the facts that counter them.
One final myth-debunking article
Explore some fibromyalgia myths and learn the facts that counter them.
One way to create awareness is to debunk the myths and learn the facts!
Chronic fatigue syndrome myths abound. Get the facts about this misunderstood illness.
Another great article on debunking the myths that surround CFS
NOTE: Someone, somewhere decided a while back that purple is the color for Fibromyalgia (FMS) Awareness. National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12th…but anyone with FMS is aware of it every day.
Today, I wear purple. I wear it in honor of those, like me, who suffer from an invisible illness. Fibromyalgia Syndrome is called an “invisible” disease because its effects are not visible to the naked eye. Those who have it are not immediately distinguished from the general population, but believe me, they often feel alone when placed in a crowd of healthy, “normal” people.
So, today I wear purple for awareness. Nearly 10 million people in the US alone have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, yet many Americans have never heard of it. Many ignorantly believe it is “all in your head,” while still others, even doctors, believe that “if you just would get out more, you’d be fine.” Some even dare to say, “I don’t believe in fibromyalgia.” MRI scans have proven that FMS sufferers feel pain almost constantly and in an extremely heightened state. Fibromyalgia is a medically recognized disability. Yet the average fibro-fighter deals with ignorance and intolerance on a daily basis.
Today I wear purple for hope. Hope that a cure will be found. Hope that research will be devoted to finding out more about this debilitating illness. Hope that I can find just the right medication…or treatment….or exercise program….or doctor…something or someone who can help me to live a normal daily life. Hope that the general public will one day understand what a fibro-fighter really faces. Hope that my friends that I let down will forgive me one more time. Hope that maybe, someday I can say goodbye to this life and embrace the life I used to have. Hope that I will never, ever give in or give up.
Today I wear purple for pain. The pain I feel every waking moment, at a different part of my body every time, with no warning where it will show up next. The pain that wakes me up in the middle of the night. Muscle pain, aches, fire shooting up and down limbs, muscle spasms, swelling, bruising, migraines, nerve endings taking on a life of their own….it’s a very real part of my daily existence. If I’m not careful, the pain will define me.
Today I wear purple for the “good” days. Every fibromyalgic has them, and oh, what a sweet relief they are to the soul! A fibromite’s good day is a normal day to most people. It’s the day you wake up with almost no pain. The day you realize, “Hey, this is how I used to feel all the time!” The day you could clean the house, run the errands, and go out with friends and come home feeling fulfilled and…well, normal. These are the days that we live for! They come unexpectedly and often result in over-doing it, but the satisfaction of a good day is almost always worth what you have to pay for it later. They are few and far between, but there is always hope that tomorrow will be a “good” day.
Today I wear purple for grief. I grieve over the life that I have lost. The “me” that everyone knew, the one who never said no, the person who lived life loudly with long hours and dedication….that “me” is gone. Oh, she’s still there, inside this body, wishing she could do what she used to….but she’s had to accept the reality that she just can’t do what she used to. I grieve over not being able to travel like I used to—oh, the places I planned to go! Will I ever get the chance? And if I did go, would I be able to do anything once I got there? I grieve over this person I used to be, and I wonder if anyone will ever see her again. I grieve over the events I have missed, the relationships I’ve let go, simply because I could not keep up.
Yet, today I wear purple to be strong, to fight. For although I must, at times, acknowledge the reality of this disease, I cannot let it get the better of me! The pain, the fatigue, the insomnia, the migraines, the TMJ, the depression….all the overlapping symptoms daily encourage me to give in, give up, let go. But I must not! If I’m to accomplish anything, if I’m to be anyone I can be proud of, I must—I MUST—get up and carry on. I must fight my tendency to simply pull the cover over my head and wish the day away. I must ignore those who suggest I’m not a fighter (for they only encourage me further to give up), and I must do my very best to accomplish what must be done this day.
Yes, today…today I wear purple to acknowledge reality. Fibromyalgia is not a life chosen. It is not symbolic of a lazy, isolated hypochondriac. It is real. It’s a part of my life. It is the path I’ve been given, the burden I must bear, the road I must travel. Whether you believe in it or not is irrelevant, really. I acknowledge FMS and the toll it has taken on my life. I accept the limitations I must face. But I will not, I cannot, let fibromyalgia define me.
For myself and 10 million just like me…Today, I wear purple.
Dear Praying Friends,
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” III John 4
Last November, I completed 10 years of prison ministry. After 10 years, I’ve dealt with hundreds of women—prayed with them, led them to the Lord, and counseled them for when they get out. I rarely hear from them again. Imagine my joy when I get a call from another ROA missionary saying, “Hey, one of your ladies came to our church today!” What a joy to hear that one of my girls is out and trying to serve the Lord! What a blessing that there are churches who will welcome her and help her as she re-enters society. It’s a tough road, to be sure, so please pray for this young lady.
She heard about this church because she came to the prison revival we held at the Main Unit last December. I took in 22 volunteers and we held services and did some yard visitation as well. It was a great success, especially the first two days. In fact, when we got to the prison on the second night, the officer told us, “I hope you’re ready. We’ve filled every available seat in the chapel, and they’ve been waiting for a half hour for you to get here.” Sure enough, some of our volunteers had to stand because the chapel was so full. In the end, we saw 36 women come to Christ, and many more strengthened in the faith.
I know it has been some time since some of you have heard from me. I have been plagued with extreme fatigue for several months. Most days I spend as much as 16 hours sleeping, which makes it hard to accomplish much of anything, including going to prison or church—or even being safe to drive. I am blessed with a church that is so supportive! They pray for me daily and offer to drive me when I cannot. At a recent doctor appointment, we identified something that we think might help, but the treatment is alternative and costly. Please pray that I will have wisdom and the necessary finances to find the best treatment.
How my heart grieves and yearns to be back in prison with my ladies on a regular basis! I miss them and sharing the Word of God with them. Please, please pray that I will be able to get back to a regular schedule with my ladies soon!! We have another revival in the Annex and the Work Camp next month, May 7-9. Please pray that we will see souls saved, lives changed, and that the Word of God will have free course. Thank you for your love and prayers, dear friends!!
My husband’s blog post about the Gosnell trial and evil.
A glimpse into my mission field: As you check out these photos, notice their eyes. Have you ever seen a greater picture of hopelessness?
There’s a whole world waiting outside of our neat, orderly “churchy” existence. We must reach beyond the shadow of the steeple to these people—the unchurched, the unwashed, the unwanted. These are the people Christ came to save. How can we reach a world we never touch?