Tag Archive | Hunting

Father’s Day Wanderings…

Happy Father’s Day, Michael.  I love you!!!  Valerie

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My husband Michael Ellsworth Curren Rocks!

I’m so thankful for the heritage of faith!  My own father has been an incredible example of godly fatherhood for my entire life.  He has found the way to balance faith, fun, and fatherhood…and it’s been passed down to both his sons and his son-in-law, my husband, Michael.  What a tremendous legacy…his children rise up and call him blessed!

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My husband has experienced Father God as a literal father to himself, someone who grew up basically fatherless.  Although his parents were married when he was born, their marriage dissolved during his early elementary years and his mom moved him nearly halfway across the country surrounding that divorce.  He only saw his dad a couple more times before he died during my husband’s teen years.  He later had a step-father, who being a strong Christian, lead both Michael and his mother to the Lord!  This man has been gone now for nearly two decades, and was a thousand miles away during my husband’s own developing into a father years.

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image from a Bing.com image search for “fathers scripture quotes”

Michael is an amazing man of God, who has a near Abrahamic friendship style relationship with his Heavenly Father.  He has overcome the odds of familial alcoholism and serial divorce and lives his life as a testament to the power of Christ to break the chains both within and about us.  There are not enough words to convey the impact of seeing Michael persevere through the crucible years of Special Needs Parenting, and that is still the gift that still keeps on giving, though thankfully not with the same brutality as the early years!  We love our special son, but he has challenged us in many ways–certainly beyond our own abilities to endure apart from God’s grace & strength…

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image from a Bing.com image search for “quiver scripture”

My husband is such a blessing to me and to our four children…and also now to our new daughter-in-law.  I really can’t wait to see where the Lord takes us on this wild ride that is marriage and family life in the (hopefully) many years to come.

Happy Father’s Day 2017

25 Years of Marriage

23 Years of Parenting

1 month of In-Lawing

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Bing.com image search for “what a ride”

Below is a copy/paste from my niece’s Facebook page.  She is quoting a poem my brother Curtis wrote about our dad many years ago.  [Correction per my parents, see Comments below, this is actually a poem that Ashley wrote for my brother Curtis on the occasion of his birthday earlier–my mistake…]  These sentiments are so applicable to my husband, my father, my brothers, and presumably to my sons when they too are blessed with Fatherhood someday…having all had many examples of men doing Fatherhood God’s Way!  Enjoy…
Ashley Farasyn with Dawn Williams Stoddard.

Thank you for the gifts you’ve given me. The gifts of laughter and story-telling and articulation and poetry. Thank you for teaching me math is my friend and for being a rock and a firm foundation to stand on. Thank you for lifting me out of the water when I go under and gasp for air. Thank you for always knowing how to catch me even if I flail in the air and come down the wrong way. Thank you for being a dad who knows how to be right but also knows how to be wrong. Thank you for loving Jesus and bringing generational freedoms to your children and your household. Thank you for all your prayers and healing. Thank you for stepping into soberness so that I could follow. Thank you for speaking life into others and being sometimes the only bright part of someone’s day. I love that your main goal with whoever you come across is to make them see the love of Jesus and also pee their pants. I love how God made you. And I love that He put us together. And since you are not on FB, I will tag your wife because I know you use her phone in equal amounts. And because I can’t help it, I am recycling your birthday poem because it’s all so true. You are one of my favorites. ♡♤¤

“What does it mean,”
“What does it mean?” you say
To have a dad who has fun
and knows how to play?

It means there’s games, and smiles,
and laughing galore
And tears rolling down cheeks
and more, more, more, more!

The more games there are,
the more creative our minds.
You see, dads who have fun
know how to seek, hide, and find!

They like to think out-of-the-box
and do the impossible.
Dads who have fun
are down right unstoppable!

What can’t we do
if we can climb the shelves at the store;
And throw cans of spaghetti sauce
at dinosaurs on the floor?

How about walking through forrests
and crossing tree logs,
To find the buried treasure of pirates
filled with chocolate coins and pogs?

When you have a dad who has fun,
nothing is boring!
So there’s no time whatsoever
for sleeps, yawns, or snorings!

Games abound by the dozen
and so does the fun!
Have you ever turned off the radio
and at the top of your voice, sung?

Have you ever crossed your legs
because you’re laughing so hard you might pee?
I don’t want to say it was me that did it,
but okay, it was me, it was me!

Dads are the best!
(But the fun ones are better.)
Your cheeks and your pants
just might get a tad wetter!

Don’t underestimate
the power of fun!
Laughing is therapy,
I asked a doctor once.

When you laugh,
you gain confidence
which is the opposite of fear.
A dad who shows you to laugh,
shows you he cares.

My dad is funny
and boy, he sure is the man!
He’s my number one sitcom
and I’m his number one fan!

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Posting & Picture from my niece Ashley Stoddard Farasyn’s Facebook page, showing Zachary, daddy Curtis, and Ashley circa 1994

Here are a some special photos from my husband’s Facebook page: 
Family
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Michael & Valerie engaged, December 1991

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that was then, this is now…”It’s not the years, it’s the mileage” as Indiana Jones said…

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sons: Josiah, Brandon, & Nathaniel; husband Michael; & father Bill, circa 2011; at The Shack

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Michael & our daughter Clarissa hunting Michigan’s North Woods, circa 2014

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The pool where it all began…Valerie and Michael met at this pool in their then apartment complex, Sand Dollar, in Tulsa, Oklahoma in May of 1991. Val says that since they had no one in common, God introduced them. Returning to the scene of the crime they documented how things have changed over the ensuing years, Summer 2010.

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Michael and his mom’s artwork; the rest of us will meet her some day when we are all with the Lord…

and in honor of the familial ADHD tendencies…

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Michael’s Facebook caption for this one, “One of the dangers of being distracted by a squirrel!”

Rock!

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Binding Faith Band, the beginning of Michael’s Christian Rock Band Adventures!  Jason-rhythm guitar, Tim-vocals, Greg-lead guitar, Paul-drums, & Michael-bass

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rocking in his basement Man Cave before allowing our son(s) to live there instead…

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Rocking Rocktoberfest with his former band, Harken

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New Band, Lively Pelts: Marty-lead guitar & vocals, Roy-drums, & Michael-bass & backup vocals, at Blessing of the Bikers, Victory Biker Church, June 17, 2017

Faith Walk

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“Went to pick up pizza and got caught up in appreciating my Fathers handy work! Artist God.”

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Michael’s found the narrow way, and wouldn’t you know it’s in the North Woods of Michigan!  I’ve always said that Michigan is God’s Country…

Crock Pot Pork & Apple Rice Creation

So, for the record, I don’t really enjoy cooking…but of course eating is a treat!  We had a decent amount of pork chops left from a warehouse store purchase and as my husband is out of town (he would normally grill these chops) I needed to come up with a reasonable cooking option (grilling is definitely Not my forte!)…an old family recipe came to mind but since I couldn’t locate my copy of this recipe it was time to pursue the hunt online.

Here are some of the recipes that were going to be possible jumping off points, though at this point they are all runners up since the main dish below was the eventual inspiration for this culinary creativity…so hopefully this will end up being a decent meal for us tonight!

note: there’s a brief “Beef Burgundy” bonus recipe in the comments below too…

Runner Up Recipes for future food foibles & reference:

https://www.reference.com/food/make-pork-chop-rice-casserole-slow-cooker-bc469997a8b596f0?qo=cdpArticles

http://southernfood.about.com/od/porkchops/r/bl40318x.htm

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/6x7ft4l0/pork-chop-apple-casserole.html

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/pork-chop-apple-casserole-50350.aspx

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/km8xl0x1/pork-chop-casserole.html

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/2p4p122t/pork-chop-rice-casserole.html

http://www.yummly.co/recipes?q=baked%20sausage%20with%20apples&&noUserSettings=true

Reading through the above recipes reminded me that cooking is really an inexact process (I have a science background and can be drawn to precision in some arenas).  Combining multiple recipes has enabled me to successfully create my own unique version of a dish with relatively decent success previously, like when I used about a half dozen recipes as reference to get to a lasagna dish that did not require the noodles to be precooked.  If I could have found my little recipe book, from before I was married, this little current adventure wouldn’t have happened, as I would have just adapted that original dish, so once again necessity has made this mother into an inventor!

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image from this site, found via a Bing.com image search:

http://www.quotespedia.info/

(I couldn’t get the full URL to paste without just showing the image…)

…but this is also pretty true of me too…

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I used the main recipe below as an inspiration then modified it as noted in the comments section of the website:

I found this recipe while searching the web for a recipe similar to one in our family known as “Sausage Apple Bake” (I believe).  This was a one dish oven prepared meal with Pork sausage rolled into balls, apples, carrots, and rice.  I was wanting to use some pork chops, apples, carrots, rice, and onions in a one dish meal that would be similar but couldn’t find any online recipes near to the one from my family.  

The recipe at this website seemed like a good inspiration for cooking creativity using what was available in my kitchen…and it had the added bonus of being a crock pot recipe which is desirable to me since the cooking time is flexible and allows us to have a (hopefully) great dinner without stressing out in the kitchen after a long day.

Here’s how I prepared my version (and since it’s currently cooking the results are pending).  Inspired by my grandma, who often creatively used various leavings in her kitchen to make amazing dishes (using things up is my speed, but there’s no claim here to being an amazing cook–that’s more my husband’s speed!) I added a couple of things randomly available to use them up:

I set the crock pot on high while I prepared items then when everything was in the pot dialed it back to low.

Coated the bottom of the crock pot with some Olive Oil

Layered 1/2 of diagonally sliced carrots (2 large ones used)

1/2 of a medium sliced onion

1/2 cup rice

3 pork chops covered with 1/2 of a dried French Onion Soup mix

another 1/2 cup rice

1 sliced cored apple

repeat pork chops & soup mix

another 1/2 cup rice

another sliced cored apple

repeat carrots & onion

2 pork chops (there were more in the package than expected)

about one Tablespoon of barbecue sauce smeared over the meat

garlic salt & pepper on the top meat layer only

some red wine…a generous half cup, about

about 3 cups of water 

…Since so many of the comments above complained about the rice texture I layered it in the pot to hopefully infuse the flavor throughout this grain but tried to short the liquid a bit attempting to avoid the mushiness of some others’ results.

Hopefully this will turn out to be a hit with the family!

image found via Bing.com image search…original site is at parade.com

By the way, on several occasions I have made a similar crock pot recipe to this original one, only as a form of “Beef Burgundy”.  For that one I usually start with a can or two of mushrooms (or fresh ones if available) using the liquid to replace some of the water.  The meat is some type of beef (or occasionally venison) roast that gets an entire packet of French Onion Soup Mix sprinkled on it.  Then a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup and a Soup Can of Burgundy or another red wine (I’ve made this recipe with chicken and white wine too) with a second soup can of liquid, starting with mushroom “juice” and completed with the wine.  Depending on what’s available in the house I may add fresh onions, garlic, and/or celery to the pot too and some pepper or other seasonings to taste.

This dinner is always a Huge Hit with the entire family and we usually serve it over mashed potatoes, though it also goes well over noodles or rice presumably.  The gravy is super flavorful and the meat falls off the bones to the degree that it rarely needs cutting.  It’s so easy to make and likely time & energy friendly when cooked in the crock pot rather than a conventional oven.

Thanks for posting this recipe…and for the chance to share feedback at your website!

For what it’s worth…I searched for an online image to approximate the new Pork & Apple Rice recipe creation but found nothing very close, but the Beef Burgundy picture above is fairly close to how our version can look–Delish!

UPDATE: VERDICT

Well this didn’t turn out nearly as well as I’d hoped, partially for cooking it too long waiting for family delayed so I’m not sure how much that extra time was a factor.

Like many of the commentators on the source recipe below, the rice texture was problematic for me…it was quite mushy…perhaps due to too much liquid, too much cooking time, or the general poor quality of crock pot rice (in my device?)…needs more data to tease this out.

There was too much grease within the entire mixture, so trimming off most of the excess fat and/or pre-browning the pork chops may have improved this.

The apples were nearly tasteless so really didn’t enhance the dish at all…not sure what variety of apple might have done better here.

The onions, which were cut in long thin slices needed to be completely separated by cutting off more of the base.

The seasoning was inadequate for this dish…likely because there was much more meat than in the original inspirational recipe below.  Since I have often over seasoned things previously (and a family member needs to reduce salt intake) I was erring on the side of caution.

The wine, which was a very noticeable scent during early cooking was nearly undetectable, so not sure how well it enhanced or detracted from this particular trial.

The meat, though not sufficiently seasoned, was of a fine texture and really did fall off of the bones.  This was the highlight of the whole conglomeration.

If I were to attempt anything even remotely similar again I would likely not cook the rice in the crock pot if I wanted anything like normal textured results.  Also it would be prudent to review further comments on similar recipes to see if guidance could be gleaned.

If I were to star my current attempt as is it would likely be a 2 1/2 stars…sub-par…

Slow Cooker Pork Chops And Rice  #50399

A creamy one-dish crock pot meal made with pork chops, rice, onion soup mix, and cream of mushroom soup.

photo of Pork Chops And Rice

ingredients

4 pork chops, or pork steaks
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can (10.75 ounce size) cream of mushroom soup
2 cups water

directions

If desired, brown the pork chops in a skillet first. 

Add the rice to the crock pot. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the onion soup mix. Evenly place the pork chops over the top or the rice. Spoon the mushroom soup over the pork, then sprinkle the remaining onion soup mix over that. Pour the water over the top. 

Cover, cook on low for 8-10 hours or until done. 

Optional: add one can of sliced mushrooms (drained) on top of the chops.



added by

sheliahryan

nutrition

508 calories21 grams fat48 grams carbohydrates29 grams protein per serving.
from this website: