Roulade Slice I own a lot of cookbooks. Coming from good German and Scandinavian stock, owning a lot of anything, especially something which I think my aluminum-foil-saving, plastic-wrap-washing, rubber-band-saving maternal grandmother would have considered frivolous, weighs on me as a source of guilt. I’m just glad it isn’t pride weighing down on me, because the Comes-From-Good-Stock Code of Ethics would require me to donate every cookbook to charity.

God is With Us

Christmas card 250 Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”[a] which is translated, “God with us.”

It is because He is with us, very much alive, active and involved in every facet of the universe – His birth and life having turned the world upside-down (Acts 17:5-7) – and it continues to stir men up dividing them for Him or against Him. If it were not so, if He were a dead god, like all the other idols of this world, worshiped in ignorance (Acts 17:22-23), then Christmas, would not be filled with controversy – atheists protesting nativities, red and white candy cane colors claimed as being too religious, and Christian store employees dressing up like Jesus Christ, complete with a crown of thorns.

Storm of '08

When we first moved to New England, neighbors and friends, noticing our California license plates, regaled us with stories about why we “Californians” would “love” New England winters given the history of “the worst, most miserable winter storms”, with the hurricane of ’38 mentioned the most often.

The “ice storm of ’08”, which occurred a week ago tonight, Thursday, December 11st, will no doubt give ’38 a run for top billing, for at least a few decades to come. The moral of this story isn’t in the details of persevering, but instead, what was learned about being better prepared, when it was all said and done.

Being Prepared

As of today, the first day of winter, some people are still without power here in New England, knocked out by gusty winds and ice during the “worst ever” storm on December 11th. I’m so thankful ours was restored a couple days ago because this weekends 24-inches of snow would have added even more difficult variables – driving on slick roads to continue supplying gas for the generator and refilling water storage containers for the humans and animals. In hindsight, we were only semi-prepared. We had a generator, sufficient to power the entire house, if needed. Our food storage – dehydrated organic vegetables – doesn’t require refrigeration or a freezer. I also had a small amount of water for several days, as long as nobody used it to flush toilets. One flush took 1 1/2 gallons – a ridiculous amount.

Storm Images

Beyond Heaven

find God small graphic We are physical creatures, born into a physical world, and it is into a physical world that we will be resurrected to spend eternity. This is not a new message, but instead, one taught throughout the Bible since the earliest of days. What’s new is our modern notion of “heaven” through which loved ones, restored to full physical health, according to some pastors, are “…now running…no more pain….leaping through the meadows….” in their fully restored body. This is not a traditional Biblical message. Instead of being discouraging, this should be encouraging. Learning the truth about what the Bible says should be the diligent desire of all those who proclaim Christ as Lord. Instead, too many well-meaning, albeit misinformed Christians speak of fantasy places such as Rainbow Bridge, a place dead pets go to wait the arrival of their owners so they can walk through pearly gates together.

The idea that some desire to see their beloved pets again, isn’t troubling to me. In fact, I desire to see all God’s creation restored to his original plan. What is troubling are the weak-minded, poor teachings in today’s church. This type of editing of the true message is yet another way God is remade into the image of man, in turn, blinding people to the Truth that saves.

Chipotle Turkey Enchiladas

chipotle peppers on grill For at least the past dozen years, we’ve made Chipotle Turkey Enchiladas on Thanksgiving weekend, usually for our Saturday night dinner which is about when we need a change to spicy!

Back in the beginning, making the enchiladas was super simple, sped along by a ready-made jarred chipotle enchilada sauce. All I had to do was load the corn tortillas with turkey, cheese, cilantro and sour cream, smother them in the sauce, and bake.

Then, the unthinkable happened – the sauce was no longer available. It should have been easy enough to make my own – throwing a canned chipotle in a simple enchilada sauce. I had, however, developed “convictions”, avoiding food in cans lined with the toxin BPA. Unlike the FDA which has “allowable” levels of toxins, if I know they’re in there, I don’t want any part of them. While there are some organic tomato brands that do use “NO BPA” cans, I’ve not yet been able to find any. Going without these enchiladas wasn’t an option, either, so what to do?

Destiny: Liberation

Psalm 139

Avgolemono Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Meatball & Lemon Sauce I’ve grown to love lamb – lamb roasted on the wood pellet grill, East Indian lamb & spinach served with fresh mango chutney and yogurt, or, my newest favorite, lamb meatballs lightly simmered in a tomato, onion, zucchini base, served over rice and drizzled with freshly-made lemon sauce.

It has all the flavors of my favorite Greek food, without having to a great deal of time. Strong lamb flavor, to which some people object, is stored in the fat, so doing some light trimming, before grinding the lamb roast in my food processor, results in a milder flavor.

We only use dehydrated zucchini since discovering, a number of years ago, that we like its flavor better than fresh. Dehydration brings out more of the natural sweetness, reducing the bitterness of zucchini. When harvest time rolls around, I have my three 9-tray dehydrators running 24/7 until we have a full year’s supply.

Egg Nog II

Mug of Egg Nog Nope, this isn’t a new recipe. I’m still perfectly thrilled with my discovery last year, – adding heated milk and sugar to whisked egg yolks – making a basic Creme Anglaise which turns into an absolutely lovely eggnog mixture. I made another batch this weekend – quadrupling the following recipe, and then cooling it outside on my deck. I love cooking in winter. Well, at least in New England. I couldn’t say the same in Florida where even the tap water ran warm in the middle of the winter.