Nathan is on Instagram!

I know this blog is title “Nathan and Becky…” but really, it’s more my side of life than Nathan’s since I write everything on it.  So, you hear a lot about Elias, cooking, shopping, etc. But there is a whole other side of life over hear: Nathan’s side, which is much more about airplanes and tribal people.  And while he’s not going to start blogging anytime soon (he really doesn’t have time to do that), he has started an Instagram account.

It’s quite possible that I’m biased, but I am totally a fangirl of his account.  It’s so him, and so his life.  So, if you’re on Instagram, head on over to papuapilot’s account and check out a little slice of Nathan’s life!

Nathan Instagram

Instagram Nathan

Instagram Nathan

Instagram Nathan

Instagram Nathan

Summer Days

I probably could have just titled this post “Days” because pretty much everyday is like Summer over here.  But “Summer Days” for me evokes memories of long hours of playing outside, laying in the grass, and drinking in the warm sun.  How lucky is Elias that he not only gets to do this nearly everyday, but he also has friends who live just a hop, skip and a jump away to enjoy it with?

summer all the time

with these fun friends

so much fun

in the dirt

outside

Truth be told, I get tired of the heat and long for cool breezes and Pumpkin Lattes, but Elias loves it!  I hope that some day he looks back at this and remembers the mud soup, the dirty construction projects and the friends he shares it all with.

Fuel Run!

One of the less glamorous parts of Nathan’s job is doing fuel runs.  In Nabire, the fuel truck is not able to come over to our part of the airport, which means that the guys have to drive the airplanes over to the main apron to get fuel.  Did you know that when on the ground airplanes are steered by pedals at the pilots feet?

Yesterday, Elias and I decided to tag along with Nathan.

Father and Son

I chopped Nathan’s head off in this picture, but I love how Elias is looking at him.  He really loves his daddy and often tells me that daddy is his favorite.

Father and son

That’s better :)  My handsome men.

The Apron

This is the main apron where most of the airplanes come to drop off, get fuel and load up again.  The main Nabire terminal is also here, but MAF passengers come to our terminal on base.

Heli landing

Lawnmower

While we were waiting our turn for fuel, we saw some fun things.  A helicopter landed right in front of us!  And we also saw the tractor that mows the grass around the airstrip (Elias was super excited about the lawnmower, so I took a picture for him.)

Fuel helper

Once the fuel truck arrives, Elias helps attach this cable to the airplane.  This grounds it so there are no sparks causing fires (that’s sound right…).

The manager

This particular Kodiak has single point fueling, which makes it super easy to get fuel.  In other aircraft, you have to crawl on top of each wing to put the fuel directly into the tanks, but with single point it fills more like a car.

Watching big jets

Watching big jets

While we waiting for the plane to fill (it takes awhile to fill up with hundreds of gallons of fuel), We saw a big jet land and then come to the apron.  Nabire is becoming a pretty busy airport!  We are hoping that they open routes to Bali and/or Jakarta soon.  This would make it so much easier (and cheaper!) for us to get out of Papua.

I was there too!

See, I was there too.  Elias is in a “don’t take my picture” kind of phase, so this is the best I could get of the two of us.

We had such a fun time doing a family fuel run!

Things I Make Regularly: Other

I didn’t know how to categorize these recipes, so I’m just putting them in a generic “other” category.  A cookbook writer, I am not.  :)

These three things are things I had never made before moving overseas.  And, my goodness, I was missing out.  I told you before and I’ll tell you again, cooking from scratch is dangerous…you may never go store-bought again!

Ranch

Ranch Dressing

For the first several years we lived here, I brought ranch packets and made my dressing that way (because every good American has ranch in their fridge, amIright?).  But then my mother-in-law introduced me to this homemade ranch and I’ve haven’t bought a ranch packet since.  Even when we were in the U.S. a few months ago, I made this from scratch.  It is totally worth the extra effort!

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk (for my overseas friends, you can either bring buttermilk powder from the U.S. or order it on Vitacost, or you can substitute with regular milk mixed with a little vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp minced parsley (or 1 Tbsp dried)
2 Tbsp minced chives (or 1 Tbsp dried)
2 Tbsp minced green onion or scallion
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mix together all ingredients.  Enjoy!  (This should be stored in the refrigerator.  The original recipe says it will last for 3 days, but I’ve kept it in there longer than that…that is if you have any left after taking ranch shots because it’s that delicious)

Chicken Broth

Crockpot Chicken Broth

This is another one of those things that I put off learning to make for years.  And I really don’t know why because it is SUPER easy and bone broth has some great health benefits that you don’t get from bouillon.

Ingredients:

Chicken bones (I usually roast a whole chicken and then use the bones after we’ve eaten all the meat)
1-2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered (I used green onion in the picture because that’s what I had, but any onion will do)
2 cloves garlic (I don’t even peel them)
2 sticks of celery, chopped (I use celery seed for the flavor since we can’t get celery easily)
1 bay leaf
Water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.Place chicken bones into crockpot, along with carrots, onion, garlic, celery, and bay leaf.  Add enough water to fill crockpot.  Cook on low for 8-12 hours.
2. Drain, reserving liquid.  (You could eat the veggies at this point if you so desire)  Add salt and pepper to liquid, mixing well.  Pour into gravy separator (you can skip this part if you don’t have a separator, the fat will rise to the top and you can scoop it out with a spoon later) and then pour into jar for storage.  I keep at least one jar in my fridge and the rest go into the freezer for later use.

Yogurt

Yogurt

I definitely never imagined making yogurt from scratch…because who does that?  Missionaries, that’s who. :)  Homemade yogurt is super yummy and doesn’t have all the preservatives that store bought yogurt has.  And, guess what?!  It is also super easy to make (especially if you have an amazing husband that buys you a Yogourmet, but that’s definitely not required).

Ingredients:

4 cups hot water (110* F)
2 cups full cream powdered milk (I have never made this with fresh milk…I suppose you could if you heated it to 110*F)
Yogurt starter (there are many places to buy yogurt starters…but the easiest thing to do is to ask your neighbor for a little bit of yogurt to use as a starter.  Once you have made a batch of your own yogurt, freeze a small portion to use the next time.  But this does always leave me wondering how yogurt ever came to be without a starter.  Where did the starter start?)

Optional:

sugar, honey or other sweetener if you prefer your yogurt to be sweet
vanilla extract, because yum.

Directions:

1. Mix together all ingredients (including sugar/honey, etc.)
2. Pour into Yogourmet and leave it alone until it reaches desired thickness (about 4 hours for me).  If you do not have a Yogurt maker, you can also put the mixture into jars and then keep the jars warm in a water bath (but you’ll have to keep changing the water).  Some friends have also make the water bath in an insulated ice box to help keep the water warm longer.
3.  Once it’s reached your desired thickness, place in fridge to cool.

 

Get out there and get cooking from scratch!  You won’t regret it (and neither will your tastebuds!)

Day of Prayer

Wednesday was MAF’s worldwide half day of prayer.  In true MAF Nabire fashion, we had ours at the beach!  Three languages (Indonesian, Dutch and English), ocean breezes, acoustic guitar, crashing waves, sunshine, singing birds and happy kids all made for a beautiful morning of people from three cultures coming together to worship one God.
HDOP

HDOP

HDOP Cake

This was Esther’s (the Dutch teacher) last Day of Prayer before she leaves for Holland on Monday, and so she had this super cute cake made as a “thank you” to the national staff.

HDOP kids

HDOP kids

The kids spent most of the time making castles, rivers and pools in the sand while the adults prayed for MAF programs all over the world.

HDOP Nabire Group

We love being a part of this team and I love seeing their hearts for the Lord on days like this one.

Pulau Nusi (Nusi Island)

There is a beach across the street from our base and it is beautiful as long as you don’t actually look down at the sand.  Sadly, it is full of trash, glass, dead animals, etc. so we don’t swim there, or even walk there.

To get to a swimming beach, we just have to drive a bit out of town.  It’s sad that we don’t go more often actually.  But we did go this last Saturday and I have the sunburn to prove it. (And also these photos…)

Pulau Nusi

Can you believe I live here?  Me neither.

Elias

And to this kid, all of this beachy beauty will be his “norm.”  It will be home.

Coconut Flower

This little “flower”? It’s from a coconut!  How amazing is God’s creation, even in the little details.

Pulau Nusi

We we kept still enough in the shallow water, a whole bunch of little fish would swim around us.  Elias really wanted to catch one, but we were never successful.

Hermit

We did catch several hermit crabs though!

Elias' Bucket

Elias and his bucket of crabs.

Father and Son

So, I know that Indonesia is really, really far from the U.S., but don’t you want to come visit us anyway?

Does this X-ray Make Me Look Fat?

X-ray

It finally happened.  I had to go to the Nabire hospital.  And, you know, it wasn’t too scary!  Thankfully I was just there for a chest x-ray, so once we found our way through the trash, mud and barb wire, we (a friend came with me) found the radiology department!  And then 45 minutes and $8 later, I walked out with a picture of my lungs.

I’ve had a myriad of symptoms including cycling low-grade fevers (for about a year) and now a persistent cough (probably unrelated), all of this quite a mystery as to what I really have.  There are a lot of theories, which I won’t bore you with…but good news!..I do not have walking pneumonia or valley fever.

For now, just pray as we try to figure out this puzzle.  I am so very grateful for the medical professionals we have around us who can help!

Things I Make Regularly: Mixes

Truth be told, I probably won’t make most of these mixes if/when we live in America again because store bought ones are so convenient and still pretty tasty.  But here, where such things are only occasionally available (never in Nabire) and cost a pretty penny, I make my own.

The two I almost always have on hand are muffin mix and pancake/waffle mix.  I love muffins.  True story.  And we have breakfast for dinner every Sunday night, so the pancake/waffle mix gets used weekly!

Muffin Mix

(I haven’t gotten around to labeling the Pancake Mix container yet…)

Muffin Mix
12 cups flour
4 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cup sugar
Plain muffins:
2 3/4 cups mix
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (I have substituted oil with bananas or applesauce)
Bake 15-18 min at 400*
Optional Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
Cut the butter into the flour/brown sugar mix.  Pour half of muffin mix into half of muffin cups.  Sprinkle half of the streusel, then cover with the rest of the muffin mix, and finally top with the rest of the streusel.
Blueberry Muffins:
2 3/4 cups of muffin mix
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries
1 tsp vanilla
Bake 15-18 min at 400*
Pancake/Waffle Mix
8 cups of unbleached flour
2 cups nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
To Make Pancakes:
2 cups mix
1 3/4 cups of water or milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
To Make Waffles:
2 1/2 cups of mix
2 cups of water
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
This last one, I probably will still make in the U.S. because you just can’t buy it’s equal!
Breaded and Fried Mix
Mega Mix for All Things Breaded and Fried
oil for frying

2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
2 eggs
1 cup milk

1.  Heat oil to 375 F.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Whisk together milk and eggs.
4.  Cut [chicken, avocado, onion petals*, zucchini…whatever you want!] into strips.  Dip each piece into flour mixture, then egg/milk mixture and then flour mixture again.
5.  Once all of the  [chicken, avocado, onion petals*, zucchini…whatever you want!]  is coated, place pieces into oil one by one.  Fry until golden brown, 5-6 minutes flipping once.

*For onion petals, I first soak the onion pieces in buttermilk (or milk and vinegar) for about 30 minutes.

I haven’t tried baking these yet, but I may try that someday for a healthier option!

Happy Mixing!

Things I Make Regularly: Sauce Edition

Before moving to Indonesia, I thought I knew how to cook.  But basically what I knew was how to heat things up.  Moving overseas; where there are no frozen pre-made meals available, not many jarred sauces, and very few shortcuts when it comes to cooking; has been my crash course in cooking from scratch.  There have been many misses along the way, but these are a few of the tried and true recipes that I make regularly, Sauce Edition.

[Warning: I have found that cooking from scratch has ruined me for most store-bought pre-made food.  Food made from scratch tastes so much better!!  So, if you venture into the from-scratch type of cooking and you can’t stomach jarred sauce or store-bought dressing again, don’t say I didn’t warn you :) )

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef or pork sausage (I usually leave this out and add meat later when I’m actually going to serve the sauce)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs tomatoes, quartered (or maybe smaller depending on the size of the tomatoes)
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water (or beef broth)
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven cook meat (or cook veggies in olive oil if not included meat), onion, green pepper, and garlic till meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, salt, basil, thyme, and bay leaf.
  3. Stir in the water or beef broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 ½ to 2 hours or till sauce is of desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Roma tomatoes, or other ripe tomato
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil minced
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut each Roma tomato in half the long way. Then cut them in half from top to bottom.
  3. In a large bowl place tomato halves, diced onion, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper flakes, salt and oil. Toss to combine then pour out onto a sheet pan. Arrange tomato halves cut side up and roast uncovered for one hour. Remove from oven, flip tomatoes and roast for 30 more minutes.
  4. (Note: different tomato varieties have different water content. The above step should be monitored. You are looking for a good deal of the water content to evaporate but not burn the tomatoes)
  5. Using a food processor, puree the tomato/onion mixture.
  6. To the pureed tomatoes, add the tomato paste, agave nectar, onion powder, butter and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning. Use on your favorite pizza or freeze in small plastic bags for later use.

Jarred

On the left and middle: spaghetti sauce.  On the right, pizza sauce.

Both of these sauces can be frozen and saved for later.

Easter Comes Quietly

Easter comes quietly in Papua.  There are no chocolate bunnies, no pastel eggs lining store shelves and not even a single Peep in sight.  It could almost sneak up on you.  Music playing from church loud speakers is the only indication that something is on the horizon.

For us, we celebrated with our teammates.  Eggs were hunted, salvation bracelets were made and food was consumed.  But the real joy, the real celebration is that Christ has saved us!  And it was free!

And because He lives, because death could not contain Him, because he chose to adopt me into His family, I can, like the old hymn says, “face tomorrow.  Because I know He holds the future.”  And that future is secure.

Eager Egg Hunters

Go!

Cutest Egg Hunter

Resurrection Eggs

Elias

Olivia

Hudson

Hanne

Bracelets

Food!

Happy Easter!