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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

National Pretzel Day

My husband loves pretzels – soft or hard.  Since today is National Pretzel Day, I thought it would nice to share some photos of the pretzels he made for us last Thanksgiving.

For the past two years Peter has made a point of taking time to bake yeast bread on Thanksgiving weekend.  This is his annual baking fling, since it’s the only weekend in the year when he feels like he can take a real vacation and do something as time consuming as baking bread. :-)  And, the best part is that he is a good baker!

This past Thanksgiving weekend he made some yummy whole grain bread for our Thanksgiving meal (which we had on Friday) as well as the soft pretzels to share with the family on Thursday evening.

He wants to perfect his pretzel technique sometime and alter the recipe slightly.  Since I don’t know for sure what recipe he used, I won’t post it at this point, but I’m sure you can find some online that you might like to try.  My mom declared them the best soft pretzels she ever had, despite Peter’s hesitance. :-)  They were very good!

Here is a picture of the whole grain bread he made also:

By the way,  I’m going to try to remember to bake some frozen soft pretzels to go with dinner tonight.  They are not homemade, and not as good ingredient-wise, but Peter likes them and they taste good, especially with some butter on them. :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Blessed Resurrection Day to Our Fellow Believers

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions

Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

He Arose

1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin;  and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Garlic Spread

In rummaging through some recipes in my pile I ran across this recipe from a friend for Garlic Spread.  Garlic Day was the 19th of this month so it seemed appropriate to share it here.
Garlic Spread
8 oz. goat cheese (feta)
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves

Process all in a blender or food processor till smooth.
Serve with pita bread, chips, or garlic toast bites.
You may wish to add some fresh or dried herbs to this as well.  Basil or oregano would make a nice addition.  If you use dried herbs you may want to allow it to stand for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – Lonely but Loved

Another post from my old blog.

Dec. 10, 2005
Lonely but Loved

Psalm 63
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 ¶ Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7 ¶ Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. 9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. 11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

This Psalm was written by David when he was hiding in the wilderness from Saul. He was an outcast of society, so to speak, and he was unable to worship God in the sanctuary because of this. He longed to see the power and glory of God as he was accustomed to see it there.

Yet, we see that he was not in fear for his spiritual safety nor did he live in terror because he was unable to visit the sanctuary. He knew God still loved him. He still praised God and blessed Him. He was still satisfied with God and joyful in Him. He did not forget the Lord and continued to meditate upon him.

As more and more of the Lord’s children are finding themselves “outside the camp” in these perilous times, this Psalm is very refreshing and encouraging. David, who was under the old covenant that required sacrifice at a physical tabernacle (sanctuary), still felt God's love and care. Though circumstances had kept him from obeying the commands to worship God at the tabernacle, yet he rested in the knowledge that he was still loved, and rejoiced that he could still worship even where he was.

Notice that he was following God out there in the wilderness. He still loved the Lord and thought upon Him. He had not gone out there because he wanted to, or to escape the worship or knowledge of God. He was there of necessity, and saw the hand of the Lord upholding him in that.

Let us take hope and comfort in these words. Rather than feeling guilty or angry, let us remember to rejoice in the Lord, to praise Him and to rest in His care and love for us even though we are "stuck" in the wilderness as it were. Though others may try to destroy our faith and our souls, yet by the grace of God they will not succeed, and their lies shall be stopped. There will always be Sauls who lie about us, and Nabals who believe the lies (1 Sam. 25), but God is bigger than their lies.

Like David we must follow hard after the Lord and take comfort in the knowledge that we are in His hand.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random Meal

Tonight we ate dinner with the family.  Over the last months we have been eating together more as a family here on our joint 10 acres.  Sometimes it’s only 4 of us, but all 6 of us have been making the effort to eat together more than we used to.  I think this is a good thing.  (In case you don’t know, there are 3 couples – my parents, my husband and I on our 5 acres; and my brother and his wife on the adjoining 5 acres.  And, yes, we live in three separate houses, so we have family close, but we all have our space.)

Tonight we had:

Roast beef (grass fed) cooked in my parents’ new Sun Oven.

Tomato pipe wafers cooked by me in my sister-in-law’s newish deep fryer.  (It’s a very nice one, and this was the first time I used it.)

Mashed potatoes – with the skins in. 

Cooked carrots.

Salad with homemade dressings.

Water and decaf iced tea.

Homemade No Bake Cookies made with Special Dark cocoa powder.

And, as usual around here, lots of conversation! :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – We Would See Jesus

Nov. 26, 2005
We Would See Jesus

When I was playing the piano the other day I played the old hymn, "We Would See Jesus" written by Anna B. Warner. As I followed the words with the music, the third verse (in our book) struck me.

We would see Jesus; other lights are paling,
Which for long years we have rejoiced to see;
The blessings of our pilgrimage are failing;
We would not mourn them, for we go to Thee.

For my parents' generation, and for some of my own generation, we remember a time when real Christian friends, sweet Christian fellowship and better Bible teaching were much more common and available. We have memories of a time before and at the edge of the great coldness and dimming that has come over the Lord's church.

But, thinking over the lines of that song, I was reminded that we should be looking unto Jesus. We should be looking ahead to Him instead of looking back and mourning over the past. Our future is with Jesus Christ, and if the lights of this pilgrimage are failing, what of it? Our Light from heaven will never fail! Let us keep our eyes on ...the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 And, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stained Glass Windows

This recipe came from my Gramma.  She really liked these and was famous for them.  If you are looking for a sugary, yummy, “non-sensical” treat that includes chocolate, marshmallows and coconut this might just be the perfect fit. :-)  (Be sure to check my added instructions at the bottom.)
Stained Glass Windows
Melt in large pan: 1 12 oz. pkg. dark chocolate chips
1 stick butter

Cool till medium warm.
Add: 1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional)
1 sm. pkg. colored miniature marshmallows

Form into log and roll in powdered sugar and shredded coconut. Wrap in waxed paper.
Refrigerate and slice when hardened.
Best kept in fridge or very cool place.

These instruction are a bit minimalistic, so I’ll add some comments here. 
First, you want to cool the chocolate till it’s not so hot that it will melt the marshmallows while you’re mixing them in, but not so long that it starts to thicken up.
Secondly, it’s a challenge to “roll” this mess in powdered sugar and coconut.  What I do is sprinkle the powdered sugar and coconut generously onto a sheet of waxed paper and then spoon the mixture along one (short) end and form it into a log.  Then I try to carefully roll the log across the waxed paper, lifting the paper to make it “go”.  You don’t want to roll it into the waxed paper until you have it rolled across the sugar-coconut otherwise you’ll end up with the sugar-coconut rolled into the waxed paper, which is a waste.  It won’t get much on the roll that way. :-)  If you’re having trouble getting it well covered just pick the sugar-coconut mixture up in your fingers or with a spoon and sprinkle it on the bare spots.  Once you have the log fairly well covered, wrap the waxed paper around it and pop it in the fridge.  One word of advice: lay it on a relatively even spot or you’ll end up with a curve in you log. ;-)  Also, I find a bit of tape helpful in keeping the side and ends shut.
I make smallish logs and usually can get two from a recipe.  You can store the extras in the fridge for quite some time.  I can’t remember now if I’ve ever frozen them.  I think I have.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Here is a recipe we got from my Grandma Van Nattan.  She and Grandpa were missionaries in Ireland for some years.

This bread is pretty easy to make, and since it is a non-yeast bread it goes quickly, even though it is kneaded briefly.  You may change the spices to suit your own taste also.

This batch was made with part whole wheat, raisins and a Middle Eastern sweet bread spice for which I do not know the proper name.  I did not make it in this dish, but put it there to store it as the dish has a sealing lid.


Irish Soda Bread

4 Cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 Cup sugar (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cardamom or coriander (optional)
1/4 Cup margarine
1 egg
1 3/4 Cups buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda, sugar, and spice.  Add margarine and cut in until crumbly.  Beat egg slightly and  mix with buttermilk.  Add to dry ingredients and mix until blended.  Turn out onto floured board and knead until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 

Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf.  Place each in an 8 inch cake pan, or both on a cookie sheet.  Press down and make several 1/2 inch deep slashes in the top with a sharp knife. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

1.  Omit spice and add 2 Cups of raisins and 1 1/4 teaspoons caraway seed.
2.  Substitute 2 Cups whole wheat flour for 2 Cups white flour.
3.  2 Cups of raisins or chopped, pitted dates can be added.