Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yet Another Season

As the scent of the amorous buck wafts through the Land of Goshen, I am aware that another season is at hand.  The leaves are still vividly green, but a slight golden cast can be discerned as autumn settles upon us.  The garden is also still green, but production is slim compared to what it was just a few weeks ago.   For the first time, here in the Land of Goshen, there is no garden place to till for next year.  This will be the year to place emphasis on the herd, in the importance of attempting to follow the Instructions of our Creator.

Already, there are two assignments for this resting year, and plans to complete another couple of things that have "been on a back burner."  I'm a bit sad that it appears I'll be Sukkotin' solo, but I'm reminded regularly, plans that fall through are simply not part of the Plan.  There's been a real urgency in my spirit to help folks get to places of refuge . . . to the point, I've even offered to assist with transportation costs, but YHWH has closed the door on those offers.  He's made it very clear He's called those doors to be closed and I am not to even try to reopen them.  He's opening other doors.  And so . . . we walk by faith.

In all of this feeling of urgency, I find myself becoming introspective.  I don't want to become so introspective that I'm self absorbed, but in these days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur, I want the dross out of my life.  As I feel the urgency of what is coming, and with that, comes the question of what am I doing differently?  I certainly don't want to be one of those who is "sounding the warning" while going about business as usual, because these are not ordinary times!  I've made some changes around here and been led to become quite specific as to how to recognize those who are called to gather here.

The account of Abraham's servant continues to resonate in my spirit.  And he said, O Adonai Elohim of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.  Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.  Genesis 24:12-14

Obviously, the comments will not pertain to watering camels, but I've asked Him for a specific statement from those whom He brings to this community.  He's told me what to listen for, how to respond, and what should follow.  The season of gathering must be getting close. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A New Perspective

All summer long, my attitude has been transforming.  As I can and preserve for winter and the coming Shemitah, a strange new awareness has truly overtaken me.  I can have baked goods, any old time.  Fresh vegetables are a special luxury!  The only reason I've needed bread this summer, is for tomato sandwiches, when I got my little bottle baby and couldn't make as much cottage cheese.  The tomatoes have been so juicy, there's been no need for salad dressing.  Oh, I could go on and on, and so I will . . .

I shared with a friend the other day, our society has everything all backward.  I can go out to the garden, pick a cucumber and tomato and have dinner.  That's fast food!  You'd think, the way I eat, I'd have a perfect body.  Haha!  That is not the case, so it's a good thing I eat like I do.  I may have already written this, but one of my daughters told me, if she ate like I do, she'd weigh 70 pounds.  Considering my propensity and shape, I'm very thankful to have the taste preferences I do.  Back to my transformation in thinking.

The squash was extraordinarily delicious this year.  My eggplant didn't fare so well, but there's a new Italian restaurant that serves wonderful Eggplant Parmesan.  I'll have enough eggplant for "moussaka for one" through Feast of Tabernacles and that will suffice.  I haven't found a way to properly preserve eggplant anyway.  It's interesting this year, in that the produce that preserves well, has been in great abundance.  Just between you, me, and the fence post, it sure wouldn't hurt my feelings if Abba brought forth a volunteer tomato plant next year.  We are called to eat what the land produces in shemitah . . . I've already scouted some pretty nice salad fixins.  If the land should produce a volunteer tomato, I will be obedient!

It's so nice to realize, full figured at 56 years of age, I place more value on a fresh tomato than a piece of chocolate cake!  I find myself already thinking, baked and preserved food is just to help us more appreciate Abba's original plan for man, to tend the garden.

 And YHWH Elohim made a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had made. Torah of Holy Scripture


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hunting Season

Several people have asked me to address the problem of wild game tasting "gamey."  I promised I would do so.  With bow season being just a couple of weeks away, I want to get this posted in time.  Daddy drives nearly 250 miles for me to process his deer.  Although I'm not claiming expertise in this area, I did process deer professionally in the early to mid 80's.

First, upon shooting the deer, bleeding it out is imperative.  Field dressing, (gutting) is not the first step.  The first step is bleeding the kill, so once it's down, slit the throat . . . I recommend digging a shallow hole so the blood can be covered, per Torah instruction.  In the photo above, you see Daddy and I skinning the carcass . . . he had already bled and field dressed the animal at the time he was hunting.

 If you cannot hang it from the hind legs to bleed it out, then at least hike or hoist it's hind end above the head and neck for good drainage.  Do not attempt to field dress before draining blood, or even simultaneously.  Many believe the blood will drain through field dressing, but this is a misnomer.   Field dressing or "gutting" actually interferes with the drainage and impairs the process of the circulatory system.  Do not attempt to field dress the animal until it has been properly bled. After bleeding the animal out, at the throat, then proceed to field dress.  Always hang the carcass, head down.  I've heard of folks using the rack to hang them, but this actually causes the meat to retain the blood, thus the "gamey taste."

The "gamey taste" is primarily the result of the way the animal is processed at death.  I remove the meat from the bones, for easier storage.  It takes much less space in the freezer.  
My aunt cans venison as well, but I'm not really a fan of canned red meat.  For those who keep kosher, the ribs are wonderful!  They are easily removed with a hacksaw, but many hunting supply stores have specific tools for meat processing.  I keep it simple.  Steaks, chops, stew meat, strips for stir fry or jerky, and ground are my choice of cuts.  I do enjoy fresh deer liver, but that isn't always possible.  The only specific tool I have for meat processing besides knives and a steel is a meat grinder.  I have one that is manual, but for now I enjoy an electric one.  After my daughter broke my food processor, grinding meat, I determined a heavy duty meat grinder was worth the investment. 

I truly hope this helps improve the flavor so more folks enjoy the meat.  Although I don't intentionally try to fool people, many guests have enjoyed dinner in my home and never realized they were eating venison.

 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;  And make me savoury meat, such as I love . . . Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, September 7, 2014

To Everything There is a Season

The garden is winding down, the leaves on the trees are still green, but there's a coolness in the morning and evening that wasn't here a week ago.  The air conditioner is off and the windows are open, once again.  As the seasons change I am once again reminded of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.

A Dear Brother asked me how I kept track of the "first of the year" on the Biblical calendar.  We know YHWH was very clear that the first month is in the spring, when the barley is nearly ready for harvest, yet the number of the year changes at Yom Teruah, the 7th month.  Now, this isn't a new doctrine I'm introducing, but rather a question that has been in my spirit for some time now.

It seems many weeks in social media, the Sabbath is celebrated with the time honored debate as to when it actually begins . . . which has become sad and mundane.  It has been through this nearly never ending debate, I've begun to see something different.  By nearly never ending, I am acknowledging when Messiah returns, the debates will indeed end!  HalleluYah!

When Sabbath begins was not an issue until electricity and the invention of engines.  Without engines and electricity, nobody worked after dark, any day of the week.  There was no way to hang lanterns on a mule's ear or oxen yoke.  It simply wasn't an issue.  With modern conveniences, we now have the capability and free time to make an issue of everything, and with technology, we can take our issues global.  So in realizing Abba's time was really revealed in a day consisting of evening and morning, this led me consider the seasons.

We know the first month is relatively early in spring.  That is specifically addressed in Exodus.  We also know until the industrial revolution, most societies were agrarian.  Even the cities of commerce in Bible times were utterly dependent upon farmers, shepherds, and fishermen.  So, perhaps the seventh month is significant in the same way the seventh day is, a time of completion and the winter months compare to the night.  A time of dormancy.  Since the next growing season, the land will rest, I won't do my usual fall plowing, and the frost will put an end to the fresh veggies.  It may be the time between the completion of seventh month and the first month is simply a time of agrarian rest [night, if you will.]

We keep track of the moon through the winter season and we know the months continue to be numbered. The number attached to the year is simply to remind the people of YHWH, when this world was created, and to enable us to keep track of the Sabbath year.

And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.  Numbers 29:1