Category Archives: Food

Worship and Local Arts Workshop

In mid-September, I (Matt) had the opportunity to lead a workshop at a local church about worship and local arts.  This was in the Balinese community I’ve been working with recently, and I was excited to have the opportunity to run a workshop with them instead of just research. I am pleased to say that it went very well!  We all learned a lot about their culture and arts and what the Bible has to say about it, and I hope that this is not the end but rather the beginning of the development of Christian local arts there.

This was a short workshop, just 3 evenings.  The original plan was for 5 evenings (Mon.-Fri.) but that conflicted with some church services so we shortened it to just three.  That was a little shorter than I was hoping for, but we made the most of the time we had.  We covered topics such as:

  • Worship in the Bible (the beginning, Moses and the Tabernacle, the temple, in diaspora, Jesus, the early church, and Paul’s writings)
  • The Bible, Music, and Meaning
  • New Songs in the Bible
  • Borrowing Songs from other cultures/languages
  • Creating an Arts Profile for their community
  • making plans for the future
  • sharing the plans with the group

It was a packed schedule!  I was pleasantly surprised at how much everyone was interested in the theology of worship; I had expected those sessions to be somewhat dry, but they inspired some serious discussion.  We ended with making plans for the future, so participants grouped themselves by area of interest and chose something from the Arts Profile that they would like to encourage, use in church, etc.

At the end, participants presented plans for encouraging new music, reviving a food tradition, looking for someone to help with Balinese dance, using local clothing, and using storytelling for special occasions at church.  Overall, for an abbreviated workshop I was very pleased with the outcome. 

Now it is in their hands – one principle we work by is helping communities with their needs, but not forcing our ideas or programs on them.  This workshop was a great introduction to what this church could do with its amazing artistic and cultural capabilities, but it is now up to them to choose what to do.  There’s much more I can do there to help encourage local arts in church, but we will take it one step at a time and see what their needs and desires are.

I hope to hold another workshop like this in November for the churches here in the city, so we’ll keep you all posted!

IMG_0570IMG_0556

IMG_0553IMG_0552

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Dance, Ethnoarts, Food, language/culture, Music, religion, workshop

Hypermart!

We had a bit of culture shock yesterday, and we didn’t even leave our little town, which isn’t quite so little any more.  We just got a Hypermart!  That may not mean much of anything to most of you, but to us here in the relative backwaters of Indonesia, a store like this means that many of those items we could only buy in Jakarta or Bali and ship home can now be found here!  We’re talking about stuff like:

  • Prego pasta sauce
  • large selection of dry pasta
  • FRESH MILK!!! (usually we only have powdered)
  • very, very large selection of meat (with the exception of “the other white meat,” which isn’t acceptable to the majority religion here)
  • good beef sausages
  • paper towels (we could always get them, but not very many at a time and frequently out of stock)
  • Lock & Lock (really good  Asian tupperware stuff)
  • pancake syrup
  • Hershey’s syrup
  • DECAF COFFEE (yes it’s only instant, but still…)
  • CHEESE!!!
  • peaches, grapes, plums, broccoli, lettuce, and much more produce
  • hamburger buns (you don’t know how much you will miss them until you can’t get them)

This was a seriously overwhelming shopping trip, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were here in our town, not in a big city.  Here’s a few pictures to summarize the trip.  For most of you used to Target and Costco, these pictures might seem pretty normal.  For us, this is a giant leap forward for what we can get locally, and grocery shopping will never be the same.  We might actually be able to get everything at one store now!

2013-09-19 17.11.16

 

2013-09-20 10.46.57

2013-09-20 10.47.21

2013-09-20 10.47.04

2013-09-20 11.01.45

2013-09-20 11.01.40

2013-09-20 10.56.40

2013-09-20 10.55.54

2013-09-20 10.55.41

Leave a comment

Filed under daily life, Food, shopping

A week in the village

Just after the start of 2013 we headed up to the village as a family to spend a little over a week in our new village house.  It was an excellent trip: we met more of our neighbors, went to church and Sunday School, and generally learned a little more about life there.  The church also hosted a special community-wide service to celebrate the end of the Christmas and New Year’s festivities.  It wasn’t just a church service; afterwards there was a meal, singing, and then dancing (called dero) that went almost all night long.

This blog post is just a random sampling of some of our pictures from our time there.  Later I’ll post again with some video and more information about the singing – it was interesting to see and participate in!

Kara and the girls enjoying the beach. A little rocky, but otherwise excellent:

2013-01-04 16.31.35

Kids playing in a fishing boat by the shore.

2013-01-04 16.32.54

Elizabeth LOVES exploring the beach and wading in to look for special rocks and shells.

2013-01-04 16.37.00

Once everyone got over being shy, we had kids in our house nearly every afternoon:

2013-01-04 17.38.00

Not the greatest picture, but here’s Elizabeth in Sunday School.

2013-01-05 23.32.27

The inside of the church.  For being in a village, it is quite a large church building and the community is very proud of it.

2013-01-06 08.40.30

The church is on a hill, and this is a view from the front of the church looking back towards the beach and our house (not visible).

2013-01-06 08.40.58

Some of the best (and freshest) fish ever.  It may not look great to you, but don’t knock it until you try it!  Here it is chopped up and prepped for frying.

2013-01-06 18.12.21

The local sawmill.  It was really nice to order wood for some shelves and to be able to pick out the lumber myself and have it cut to my specifications. This sawmill has to obtain government permission to cut trees, and they are given seedlings to replant in the areas where they chop down trees.

2013-01-08 16.05.38

The kids playing in the field in front of our house:

2013-01-08 17.41.55

Overturned canoes make great benches:

2013-01-10 12.40.52

And toys:2013-01-11 16.01.18

 

That’s it for now!  Another blog post will be posted later about the singing tradition, batunjuk.

2 Comments

Filed under Church Events, Food, our kids, Village life

Elizabeth’s 4th Birthday!

It is really hard to believe, but our little girl just turned four years old! Elizabeth is a bright ray of sunshine in our lives, and we are so thankful to celebrate four wonderful years with her.

IMG_8910

Originally I was planning a ballerina party for her, but a few weeks ago we were talking about it and she said, “No, Mommy. I want a rainbow party!” She stuck to it, so a rainbow party she got. Her birthday fell on a Sunday this year and she wanted just girls, so we had her party over lunch yesterday. There were 5 little girls that came, and they had so much fun together!

Here they all are, with the birthday girl in her rainbow dress!!

IMG_8792

We decorated everything with rainbows and rainbow colors.

IMG_8653

IMG_8665

All the food was rainbow. Rainbow pizza, rainbow veggies, rainbow pinwheel cookies, skittles, watermelon cake (rainbow colors), rainbow kool-aid,  and of course rainbow cake!

IMG_8714

IMG_8696

IMG_8713

IMG_8729

IMG_8862

IMG_8837

We did a LOT of fun rainbow crafts and activities. The girls used colored pasta to make rainbow sun-catchers, they played rainbow bingo while they ate all the food, and then they made Fruit-Loop necklaces (thanks to a box that my mom sent that made it JUST in time the day before the party!) before cake and presents. And then after stuffing themselves full, they went outside to play with water balloons and swing (and burn off all that sugar!).

IMG_8703 

IMG_8745

IMG_8769

IMG_8782

IMG_8799

IMG_8892

IMG_8900

Happy Happy Birthday to my sweet Elizabeth girl!

IMG_8912

1 Comment

Filed under daily life, family, Family Pictures, Food, our kids

Peel a Tomato?!?!

Yes. Have you ever? I have. As of Tuesday I can now cross peeling tomatoes off my bucket list (HA!). More on the tomato peeling adventure in a second.

This week I only got to two new recipes. And I think that was the only two times that I cooked. It was a bit of a crazy week. Nothing in particular was crazy, but when you put it all together it felt really busy. We went somewhere almost every day which is not normal for me here in Indonesia.

And Friday was my birthday!! The big 29. It feels so strange to be in the last year of my 20s. I remember when my mom was 29, so now I feel really really old. Just kidding, Mom! I actually had a really great day. Matt took the day off and we just had lots of family time. I didn’t cook, and then in the evening I went to do karaoke with all my girlfriends here in our little city. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I didn’t have a camera with me, and I was really too busy having fun singing and dancing my heart out to tunes that really date me to take any pictures. Yay!

Okay, back to peeling a tomato. Do you know how? I started making this Tomato Bisque at about 4:45. We usually eat at around 6:00. After getting everything out for the recipe I noticed this tiny little word next to the word tomatoes, “peeled”. Okay…. no canned tomatoes here, so I had to figure out how to get my rather ordinary tomatoes on my cutting board naked. Quickly. So I did what every person my generation and younger does… RUN to Google! If you would like to learn how to peel a tomato, this is the website that taught me how. I also made these Biscuits to go with the soup. It was a frantic hour! Overall, Matt liked the soup and Charlotte, Elizabeth, and I did not. However, we ALL loved the biscuits. Here is a picture!

IMG_5945

The other recipe I made was Cheesy Spinach Macaroni. It was a really quick recipe and pretty good. I only had linguine pasta on hand and it probably would be better with a smaller noodle that could hold on to more of the cheesiness. Next time I might try adding chicken, too. I didn’t get a picture of this one so to console you I will leave you with a couple pictures of our cute little girlies.

So, have you ever peeled a tomato?

IMG_5893  IMG_5871

1 Comment

Filed under daily life, family, Food, our kids, recipes, Uncategorized

Recipes this week – and Indonesian food!

I know you are all dying to know what I cooked this week. And so rather than keep you in suspense any longer, I will go ahead and disappoint you. I did not get to all four new recipes this week. (Sad face) I only got to three. We had so many leftovers from all the yummy food this week that I decided that we had absolutely NO more room in our fridge, and that consequently we must eat a dent into the leftovers before I cook any more food.

The first new recipe I tried was a delicious Creamy Carrot Soup that my friend Meagan emailed to me. It was absolutely delicious. And easy. And quick. Did I say it was delicious already? Matt kept going on about it and Elizabeth was very excited that we were eating Carrot Stew just like the Tawny Scrawny Lion! Because Meagan emailed it to me, I can’t link you to where she got it from, but if you would like the recipe, comment or email me and I can find out where the original source was. I did serve this soup with grilled cheese because I am never sure about soup with two little ones – will they eat it or will they not? Turns out they both loved it.

image

image

The second new recipe was also a winner. For ease and for taste. It was really really really easy. I made this Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken. The only thing I would say about it was that it was really really sweet. Next time I might try cutting back on the honey just a tad. And possibly add a bit of soy sauce? I didn’t have any chicken thighs like the recipe calls for, so I made it with chicken breasts, but it was still nice and moist. I can see how the thighs would probably have absorbed more of the marinade/sauce in the cooking process, though. All those nooks and crannies. Oh well, next time!

The final new recipe this week was also quite tasty. But LABOR INTENSIVE. Especially since I didn’t make the tortillas the day before. I spent an hour and a half making 24 tortillas in the morning, and then another hour and a half cooking everything else in the afternoon. But now I have 12 tortillas in the freezer waiting for next time – yay! Oh yes, the recipe: Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas. I was tired by the time this meal got on the table. So tired, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture. Sorry! They were still really good, despite the fact that I dumped the entire tray of freshly rolled flautas on the floor while attempting to keep a crying Charlotte away from the 450-degree oven as I put them in. That was a low point. But rather than eat nothing, I salvaged what I could from the floor and they were still quite edible. And we are still enjoying the leftovers! Hopefully with no more dumping on the floor.

Now, I want to show you a bit of the yummy Indonesian food that we eat. My helper gets all the credit for this. She is a wonderful cook. I will try to share the recipe as best as I can. I don’t think it’s written down anywhere (in any language), so I’m going to approximate and hope for the best!

image

Coconut and Tomato Basil Shrimp (I’m inventing the name on the spot!)

2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 small red onions, smashed
2 stalks of lemongrass
4-5 lime leaves
4-5 candlenuts, ground into a paste
2 lbs. shrimp (peeled, or whole in shells)
2 T. water
1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. – 3/4 c. coconut milk
small handful Thai lemon basil
1/2  green onion, thinly sliced

Heat oil over high heat in a large wok. Add the garlic and onions and cook until fragrant. Add the lemongrass, lime leaves. and candlenut paste and cook for about 1-2 mins.

Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink/red and begin to curl. While the shrimp cook add the water to the wok to prevent the spices from sticking and to help the shrimp steam a little bit. Add tomatoes.

When the tomatoes begin to soften add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. The amount of coconut milk that you add depends on how much yummy sauce you want to be able to pour over your rice. Add the basil and green onion and cook for 1 – 2 mins., until the leaves begin to wilt. Serve immediately with rice.

Hope you enjoy this little taste of one of our favorite meals here in Sulawesi!

This is Matt’s recommended drink with this meal. Coconut water with chunks of coconut. Fresh. He loves it. I hate it.

image

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, daily life, family, Food, recipes

Recipes!

Last week I began to feel settled enough to start back into the routine of cooking here in Indonesia. Cooking Western food, I mean. Which means my list of things I need to make (from scratch) so that I can cook said Western food includes:

  • Chicken stock – done!
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Pizza Dough
  • Yogurt – done!
  • Bread
  • Granola
  • Tortillas
  • Muffins – I made these, but they’re already gone. Yummy!

Tomato sauce is on the schedule for tomorrow, and I have to make tortillas before Thursday to use them in a new recipe so I had better get busy! I actually really enjoy making this stuff myself, but it’s just challenging that it ALWAYS has to be made from scratch and when I’m tired or the girls are cranky I can’t just whip out the box (or whatever) I have in the pantry from the grocery store.

Thanks to Pinterest, the newest apparent source of endless inspiration, I have come across some recipes that were pretty easy to come up with all the ingredients. So… I have tried some new recipes this past week. Three in fact! With some mixed results.

I made this Roasted Lemon Garlic Herb Shrimp. It tasted really good, but next time I’ll cut down on the oil a bit and not cook it quite so long. The shrimp that we can get here are actually REALLY REALLY fresh, but I overcooked them and they got a little rubbery. I’m still getting used to cooking in our smaller gas oven again. With Celsius… sigh. Here is a picture I got of the final dish. Will definitely be making this one again!

IMG_5845

I also made these Baked Chicken Fajitas ( I made a small batch of tortillas that afternoon just for this recipe). They were really good and easy (even easier if I had tortillas made already in the freezer). My spices are not the freshest (I really need to find replacements somewhere), and it would’ve been better still with chili powder that hasn’t sat in 90-degree humidity for 2 years. Keeping spices fresh (ones that I can’t get locally) is a real challenge for me here. More on that later. Will definitely be making this recipe again!!

Last new recipe this week was this Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken. Good, easy recipe, but again I overcooked it slightly. Chickens here are smaller than in America, so I think that it could’ve done with maybe an hour less cooking time. Also would’ve been better with fresher spices. But really, really easy!

Sorry I didn’t get pictures of the other two. It gets dark here at 6:00 every single day and that’s the same time that we eat (two very hungry little girls), so the camera is usually the last thing I’m thinking about until the food is completely gone.

On the menu for this week – 4 new recipes!! One of them was just sent to my by a friend from Houston. Making it tomorrow night, so Ill let you know!

It’s exciting to try new things here, but at the same time I am really trying to find recipes that are worth the amount of work that I put into them – i.e. they taste REALLY good.

That’s all for now from Indonesia! If you have suggestions of good recipes, comment or send me an email. Thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, daily life, family, Food, recipes

Blueberry Girl

Today was a beautiful day here in Ohio!! We took the girls outside after their naps this afternoon and walked in the grass, played with the hose on the driveway, and rode bikes. It was so fun! When we came back in Charlotte was hungry and I had to get dinner ready, so… I had to give her a snack to hold her over. She got blueberries.

This girl LOVES blueberries!! Since we got back here to America, she has enjoyed them as a snack, and if she sees them will refuse all other food until she is given blueberries. Now that she is understanding more words, all I have to say is, “Charlotte, do you want some blueberries?” and she heads straight for the fridge. Her favorite spot to eat them is from a bowl on the floor. Here is my cute little blueberry girl!

DSCN1530

Leave a comment

Filed under daily life, family, Food, our kids

Ice Cream! (at the Whippy Dip)

So in Loveland, where Kara’s parent’s live, there’s this great little ice cream place called the Loveland Dairy Whip, but everyone just calls it the Whippy Dip.  This is where Elizabeth had her first ice cream a few years ago, so we thought Charlotte should enjoy some too.  Some of Kara’s relatives were visiting also, so we had a great time letting the kids make a mess.

View albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView album

Leave a comment

Filed under family, Food, our kids

Recipe Challenge Part 2!

We came back to America for a lot of reasons. One of them was to eat. Food. Good food. Lots of good food. Lots of good American food.

Of course seeing family and friends, visiting places, getting healthy, and being recharged to return to Indonesia are the main reasons. But the food sure is a really nice bonus! Our waistlines are showing it too…

I’ve had a few responses from the recipe challenge that I posted a few weeks (okay, months) ago. Some asked for some more specifics and others said that they wanted to participate. I have found quite a few recipes on Pinterest that I am excited to try, and have been reminded of other good resources for finding recipes overseas. I think the main problem I have had in following up with my first recipe challenge post is that we are still here in America enjoying all of the wonderful yumminess that is available here!

Right now I am still in the collection phase: gathering up ideas and inspiration to take back with me. Please contact or email me with some of your family’s favorite recipes if you would like to participate! We leave in a little less than a month for Indonesia, so I am gathering and gearing up. If you need to see the list of things we CANNOT get, just check the original post. Once we are back in Indonesia and cooking (after jet-lag has worn off), I will post which recipes we tried, what worked, and what we thought.

Look for a post in the mean time about what foods and food related items I deem worthy of space and weight to take back with us. Let the packing begin!

Leave a comment

Filed under family, Food, recipes