On Loan

I could not imagine what it was like
living without running water until
the other day when the pipes froze.

Then the rain came. The icicles on
every house in town started to melt
and running water returned.

But it was my recent tooth extraction
that reminded me how frail humankind
is. True, we are wonderfully and

fearfully made, but fragile. As I was
listening to the whir of the drill and
occasional cracking sounds, I was also

reminded I was never destined to be a
dentist. Not my gift. You see, whether
or not you believe in God, He is the

giver of gifts. All gifts. For example:

Two farmers are neighbors. One does
not believe in God; and the other does
believe in God. But God gives to both.

God provides rain for both of them.

Hence, it is apparent that my new
dentist and his staff are amazing and
love what they do. So, my dear reader,

be thankful for the skills and the gifts
you have. No matter how hard you
worked to learn to do what you do and

love to do, use your gifts well, because
God delights in excellence as they are
His gifts. On loan to us for a season.

With Summer

from the get-go today
there were no clouds

a slight wind and the
sun was strong all day

if it weren’t for the
heater kicking on you

would think it was
still summer well it

looks like it but I had
to wear a coat to go

out to check the mail
I told myself I was

warm enough but they
say tonight will be the

first freeze of winter

I pray all the pestilence
on our planet will perish

with summer

Potatoes and Sausage

This is a wonderful comfort dish for the first cool nights of fall, winter, or anytime really. I always make more than enough—it is a family favorite for breakfast the next morning with eggs.

Serves
4-6

Cookware
A 3 qt pan with high sides and a cover. Or, large pan of your choice.

Ingredients
2 medium yellow onions. For this recipe, I like to cut the onions in half, then cut each half 3 or 4 times to make large long chunks. When I cook onion, I don’t like to separate the onion in the pan; I prefer to separate the onion into individual pieces in a pile before putting them in the pan.

Olive oil. I prefer extra virgin olive oil. A vegetable oil works okay too.

Summer sausage. You know, one whole sausage in a shrink pack that looks like a fat horseshoe. I cut it in about half inch pieces, then cut all the pieces in half. If you cut them too small, they will be overdone.

2 spoons of minced garlic. I keep a long iced tea spoon next to the sink near the coffee stuff. This is my go-to utility spoon for almost everything no matter what I cook or to add sugar to my tea (or coffee). This way I use one spoon a day instead of ten. So, two heaping spoons of minced garlic from the big jar in the fridge. More, less, or none. Your choice.

1.5 lb. bag of Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. Or, small potatoes of your choice. I cut most of them in half. The real small ones I leave whole. The bigger ones, I cut in half, then cut the halves in half.

Spices. I use dry spices more often than not. Fresh spices are not cost effective for me. They will go bad before I get to use them a second time. Add spices during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking. To taste, Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, a few shakes of oregano, less than a shake of basil, a pinch plus of parsley.

Instructions
1. Prepare the onion for cooking. Add enough oil to cover bottom of the pan and put on MED heat to start. Add onion to pan. Stir as needed.

2. Prepare the sausage. Onion will be close to done. Add the sausage to the pan. Mix the onion and sausage a bit. Add the garlic. Mix again. Cover the pan.

3. Prepare the potatoes. Add them to the pan. Mix contents so onion and garlic don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover. Let cook one notch below MED for about 20 minutes. With a spatula or large spoon, turn all the contents around the pan. Cover.

4. Test potatoes for doneness in about 10 minutes or so. Add spices. Then turn all the contents to spread out the spices throughout the dish. Let cook covered on MED-LOW or LOW heat until the potatoes are done.

5. Transfer into a large bowl and serve.