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Thursday, July 28, 2011

History In Food - Mesopotamia

Photo property of The Silk Road Gourmet.

My family has had an interest in foreign foods for a long time. Here are some interesting recipes that will allow you to eat a little history. The majority are from Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, but there are some others as well. (Note: Disclaimer on some ingredients. If you really want to make the recipe, try substituting something that seems like a good alternative.)

From The Silk Road Gourmet:  “The worlds' most ancient recipe collection was actually found on cuneiform tablets from Ancient Ur. These are currently at the Yale Library. Here are some adaptations.” So, here are some recipes that Abram and Sarai might have eaten, more or less, when they lived in Ur of the Chaldeas! How about that? :-)
Lamb with Licorice and Juniper Berries
Lamb and Carob Stew
Roasted Barley and Herb Pilaf
Mersu with Cheese
Mashed Turnips with Herbs
Mesopotamian Wildfowl Pie

Babylonian Apricot Jewels – I’m not sure why these are called Babylonian. There isn’t much explanation here. But, they look and sound good (with some modification), and apricots are an ancient food in that area.

Date Cookies – Why these Mesopotamian/Iraqi cookies are listed at an Asian site, I am not sure, but here they are, nonetheless.

Mesopotamian Barley, Lentil and Tahini Soup

Cooking Ancient Recipes – This collection includes two other areas of the ancient times as well as Mesopotamia. Just a word of warning: one of the recipes calls for blood. We, as Christians, have been forbidden to eat blood. Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

I hope you enjoy trying some of these recipes out and learning something about this part of the world that is so important to the history both of the world and of the Bible.

Links – It’s All About Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. They are not only delicious, they are nostalgic for me. My Gramma made them. Maybe both of my grandmothers made them. My mom has made them. I have made them for my own family and have probably made them for my husband.
But, why limit them to cookies? Just for fun I thought I’d see how many different snickerdoodle recipes I could come up with and here’s the results! :-)
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Snickerdoodle Cake
Snickerdoodle Muffins
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches
Snickerdoodle Chex® Mix
Snickerdoodle Cheese Cake
Snickerdoodle Pie
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Dip
Snickerdoodle Pie Crust (This recipe calls for gluten-free packaged cookies. Use your own snickerdoodles if you don’t want the packaged ones.)
Snickerdoodle Trifle (This recipe is full of poison, er, I mean dangerous chemicals with all the sugar-free ingredients and Cool Whip. However, with a few changes – regular pudding mixes and real whipped cream – I think you could make it more health friendly instead of diet friendly, whatever that is.)
Toffee Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles
Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
Peppermint Snickerdoodles
Gluten-free Snickerdoodles (That should make someone happy!)
And, last but not least, my own Gramma’s recipe:
Gramma Hoover’s Snickerdoodles

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Little Home Maker In Training

Today is my niece’s seventh birthday (on U.S. time), so I thought it would be fun to put up some pictures of her.  She is an eager learner of cooking, along with other home making skills.  These pictures were taken at various ages and stages over the last few years.



Tea time for brother and friend.

Child Care


Ironing her dolly’s clothes.

Cleaning up the kitchen with her brother, Danny, and mama.

Making Home Pleasant


Growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Happy Birthday, Dolly! :-) May you be a happy little home maker to your family again this year.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Peppermint Road Fudge

I made some alterations to a recipe for Rocky Road Fudge and came up with this.  It is a nice way to use up candy canes.  Since we don’t celebrate Christmas, I bought mine at a dollar store marked waaaay down after the holidays.  I don’t remember the price, but it was something like 70-80% off as I recall – a really good deal.  Striped peppermint sticks of any kind are so pretty crushed and used for decoration on top of deserts – especially chocolate. :-)
Peppermint Road Fudge
2 1/2 C. chocolate chips (I use bittersweet)
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp. mint or peppermint extract
1 C. crushed peppermint sticks (candy canes or other)
1 10.5 oz. pkg. miniature marshmallows
(Extra crushed candy canes for garnish.)

In a heavy sauce pan over low heat melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter, stirring often.  Meanwhile measure candy bits and marshmallows into a large bowl.  Add mint extract to choc. mixture when melted and mix in well.  Pour choc. mixture over candy and marshmallow mixture.  Stir until marshmallows are coated, but not until they are falling apart.  Spread in a waxed paper lined 9x13 cake pan.  (Sprinkle with extra candy bits or sprinkles if desired.)   Chill till firm.  Remove from pan and cut into pieces.
Note:  Stir in extra butter if the chocolate mixture seems too thick to mix into the marshmallows.
Yes, I know.  This is not the healthiest recipe.  But, it must be better than fudge made with powdered sugar, right?  I hope? :-)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – A Bold Foe

This photo is from my grandpa’s collection and I assume he took it. It was a lion in a zoo.

Jan. 3, 2006
A Bold Foe

Over the weekend we had a guest - a fellow believer from California. Last night we showed him one of our lion documentaries (The Lions of Etosha, filmed by Des and Jen Bartlett). In discussing the hunting habits of lions they showed two different sequences in which the lions, in the process of their hunt, did not even bother to hide themselves. Half of the strategy was to panic the prey by their very presence. The prey knew they were being hunted and could plainly see all or at least part of the lions. The fear factor in this panicked the prey into going exactly where the lions wanted them so they could catch one to devour.

I was again reminded that this is one of the tactics of our adversary the devil who is also described as a devouring lion. 1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Sometimes the devil, or his minions, will actually hunt for the saints, as it were, in our plain sight. The idea is much as the lion's - they desire to panic us into bolting or walking into their trap.

It is amazingly easy to be panicked by this tactic, but the Lord has not left us helpless and not knowing what to do. The passage continues, Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1Peter 5:9 Steadfast resistance in the faith is the key. Unlike the helpless prey of the real lions, if we in faith steadfastly resist being panicked we can overcome the devil and his helpers.

We read in Proverbs 28:1, ...the righteous are bold as a lion. We are righteous through Jesus Christ, Who is the lion of the tribe of Juda (Rev. 5:5). Another section of the video showed a confrontation between two male "stray lions" (lions not belonging to a pride), and the two big males of the pride. At first, the lone lion from the pride ran from the intruders, but when his friend - his brother - came to support him he turned around and confronted the intruders. There is strength in the support of our fellow saints, but ultimately our support is Christ, the lion of Juda. With Him no spiritual predator can overcome us. Our confidence and faith must be in Him, not ourselves; and thus we must resist the urge to panic when the roaring devil shows himself. Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.