Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 1

Day 1 is done. The day started off easy. We eat hot cereal many times for breakfast, so that wasn't a hard meal. We came home from church and my Puerto Rico beans were ready for us to eat, thanks to my crockpot keeping them warm while we were gone. About an hour after lunch, I realized I was still hungry. Maybe it was the energy we burned shoveling snow or maybe it was the fact that you burn through carbs faster then protein. I drank some more water and hoped that would hold me over until dinner. We took a nap, which helped eat away some time before dinner-less time to think about eating and how I was hungry. For dinner I decided to try a Haitian recipe I found from an orphanage. (I will post the recipe at the bottom) This meal tasted really good. Maybe it was because I was more hungry, maybe it was the coconut milk, or maybe it was the little chicken and veggies I added to the meal. All I know is that tasted really good. Wayne and I shared an apple after dinner, along with more water! When the weather clears, I need to go to the store and buy some bananas and fruit that can be found in places like Haiti. The girls ate our frozen bananas for snack because I didn't have fresh bananas.

So, after day 1, here are some things that I learned. Although I like rice and beans, it really gets old after just two meals. I discovered that I am so blessed and I didn't even realize just how blessed we are in this country. Sure, I could say that I "know" it, but to eat only twice what many people eat their whole lives and feel like I'm "missing" out shows that I really don't get it...not really. It is my prayer that during this month, God is able to teach me more about how spoiled and blessed I am and how I should never take that for granted. I also pray that I have more compassion for those around the world who are truly experiencing hardships and persecution. My first world issues are really rooted in my selfishness and self-indulgence. We are so blessed to have fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, protein at almost every meal.

I also reflected about how I used water as a way to keep my belly full. Although I am able to turn on my tap and have fresh, clean water, many people in other countries have to walk miles to get dirty water and then clean it. Maybe that is another challenge for the future. Limiting the amount of water we can use in a day. 

As we enter day 2, may God continue to stretch me and teach me things about myself that I have been too blind to see. May I turn to Him as my only source of help and strength. Ironically, I am reading George Muller's autobiography this week. Something that he said struck a chord with me. He said that "it was his greatest hope that his record of God's faithfulness to him would encourage believers to develop faith like his own-the faith without which it is impossible to please God; the faith that works by love and purifies the heart; the faith that removes mountains of obstacles out of our path; the faith that takes hold of God's strength and is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." (Autobiography of George Muller) May God grant me this kind of faith and dependence on Him that the world will see Him through me and in me. John 14:13-14 "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." May my life, may my prayers, may my everything be used to bring glory to God!!

Rice and Beans with Coconut Milk
This is the way most Haitians like it!
§  2 cups of rice
§  1 cup of dried black beans (I doubled the beans)
§  1 can of coconut milk
§  5 cups of water
§  A pinch of garlic powder
§  Salt (if desired)1
§  Maggi (or Seasoning) - I didn't have this, so I used some adobo & Sazon goya
§  Diced green peepper-I didn't use these because I didn't have them.
§  2 tablespoons of oil
Directions for the Beans
Wash and drain dried beans and place in a medium pot. Add water and let them boil on high. Check beans from time to time for tenderness. Usually, it takes about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the kind of beans that is used.  You can do like I do and just use canned pinto/red beans and then it's super easy!
Once cooked, drain the beans and keep 1 1/2 cup of the boiled water aside for the rice cooking.
Directions for the Rice
Heat the oil in a pan; then add the green onions and cooked beans. Cover for 2 minutes; Then add the salt and coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium and keep on stirring.
Add boiled-bean water (that you kept aside!) Add chicken bouillon, garlic powder and green peeper. Add a bit of salt, if needed. Increase the heat slightly and let content boil covered.
Uncover and add the rice. Stir everything as the water reduces, also reduce the heat
When water is absorbed/cooked then cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

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