"Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own.]
1 Thessalonians 5:24 AMP
All of the Christmas decorations are down and put away. It always seems a little empty and certainly not as festive without all of the twinkle lights, green boughs and all of the treasured keepsakes that have their designated place each December. But setting that aside, there is something about a fresh New Year that I love. Looking ahead with anticipation at new opportunities, and even growth through the certainty of expected challenges. I think that it's through the challenges that come our way that can bring out our greatest potential. When we get eye to eye with these opportunities we find some things we don't know about ourselves until we are put in a position to see God's power working through us. It is in these tests that we meet God in a more intimate way and see Him more fully in our lives. Greatness does not come by staying in our comfort zone.
The New Year for me is the chance to re-evaluate the past year. Those resolutions that I went after with fierce determination as well as those that fell by the wayside. There were some steps forward to be sure, but there were a handful of things that I had started with earnestness that were left in the dust. One particular project that I'm still amazed I was able to accomplish is the printing of four new books, they were a labor of love. I had help from a few very kind souls that were extremely patient with my novice understanding of the process. I'm so grateful for their kindness, encouragement and time. The books are filled with recipes that have been tested around my table many times over the past year, and have also been a part of our family meals for many years. For a closer look check them out under the "My Books" tab.
Besides resolutions and new projects to undertake, I also look forward to New Year rituals around the house. Cleaning and organizing the pantry (that is frankly quite scary right now), cooking through various items in the freezer, some of which are a mystery and will probably get chucked. The other more enjoyable rituals are planning out the garden plantings, going through kitchen drawers and cabinets seeing what needs replaced or replenished, sharpening my knives, as well as caring for my cutting boards, and wooden spoons. A couple of years ago I started making my own spoon butter from bees wax and coconut oil. It is so easy to make and will keep for up to a year. There is something quite satisfying about caring for some of these hard working tools, giving them a little attention so that they will serve me well many years down the road.
I hope that as you look forward to this New Year you will face it with a fresh excitement and that through the triumphs as well as the challenges you will be surprised with what you are able to accomplish. ~Shannon
3.5 ounces/ 100 grams extra virgin coconut oil
1 ounce/ 35 grams beeswax, cut into chunky pieces
To make the spoon butter: Place the coconut oil in a class jar and top with the beeswax. Fill a thick-bottomed saucepan with an inch or so of water, and set over gentle (low-medium) heat. Set the beeswax jar in the water. The water should come up the sides a bit. Allow the water to come barely to a simmer and allow the mixture to melt, stirring occasionally, until all the beeswax is fluid. Turn off heat and allow to rest in the water bath and cool, until you can take it out safely. When cool, cover and keep in a dark place until ready to use.
To treat cutting boards, wooden spoons, etc. Start by making sure your wood surface is scrubbed very clean and is thoroughly dry. Use your hands (or a cloth) and spread a generous amount of the spoon butter across the wood, working across the entire surface. Let sit overnight, and then use a soft cloth to buff off all residual oil. The result is a smooth, satiny surface without feeling greasy. Reapply any time your wood utensils and boards seem dry.