Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Different Cup of Tea

Good afternoon,

Over at the girltalk blog (go read their post) they have posted the link to this video (or the audio). I watched half of it last night and was in tears, not only because it's heart-breaking (it is certainly that) but because the psalmist said, "Blessed is the man who takes refuge in You," and this godly lady is blessed indeed because she has taken refuge in a Savior that will carry her all the way to the Celestial City. Whether we have 24 hours or 24+ years to serve our Master, may He cause us to be faithful, as she has been faithful, and when our race is done, and our victory won, may we be welcomed into our Father's house and hear those blessed words, "Well done, My good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master."

Resting on the Everlasting Arms,

Sarah for the Novelteatalkers

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring Fever!

Every year, spring is always and new and exiting as it was the previous year for me. So I decided to journal my thoughts of spring - of all the things that I am thankful that spring brings. If Georgians only get a week of spring weather it is the best week leading up to full blown summer. I did my best to capture our wonderful signs of the season. But without further ado, let's (with pinkie extended) sip some chocolate mint tea and pour out the thanksgiving in our hearts, praising God for His handiwork!

My list:
Blooming trees - especially dogwood and cherry
Spring green leaves and the multi-green woods
Bird chirping
Lilacs and azaleas
Breezy warmth (low 70s weather)
Early sunrise
Late sundown
Smell of newly turned soil
Cut grass
Spring cleaning
Clothes-line laundry
Neighborhood and nature awakening
Open windows and street noise
Herbal tea on the deck
Warm season clothes
Thunder storms
Soggy grounds
Sunday walks on neighborhood trails

Did I leave anything out? Please feel free to stir in another lump or two! As you can see, I find great pleasure in my environment. Spring season is just one of those times when I can't take a glance in any direction without my heart being filled with thankfulness. God didn't have to create anything beautiful. Just think how much pleasure He gets when we enjoy the things He created and enjoys!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Conference Highlights, The Shotgun/Gunshot Game

Ok, are you ready? Your travel life will never be the same again. Oh, and this is really corrupting, too, because if you like to pray in the car while you drive (or have your kids or siblings take turns praying while you drive) this game is so distracting. And NO! you cannot play and pray at the same time. Just can't happen. Besides that, it totally cuts out on the social factor of traveling. Totally. I mean, one minute you're talkin' about the sacraments and the next minute the whole car is quiet because every one's tryin' to play the game and get the most points. It's terrible. And, it's addictive. AND it's way fun!! I had so much fun introducing this game to the Girards during the week of the conference. And we did still pray and read the Scriptures and talk about the sacraments. And when I drive by myself I do still pray. And when I have "bugs" in the car with me, I still have them pray with me. So can be done. And you'll have fun playin'...

The Shotgun/Gunshot Game

  1. if you see a VW Bug shout "Shot Gun!". They are worth 3 points. If it's a convertible add 1 point. If it's old, add 1 point. (so if it's convertible and old then it equals 5 points)
  2. if you see a PT Cruiser shout "Gun Shot!" They are worth 5 points. If it's a convertible then add a point.
  3. if you see a MINI Copper shout "Shalom!" They are worth 8 points. If it's a convertible then add a point. And, there are some MINI Coopers that are bigger (actually 3 different sizes). If they're just a little bit bigger add a point. If they're more like an small SUV add 2 points.
  4. if you see a Chrysler Prowler shout "Bazooka!" They are worth 30 points (you're probably not gonna see one any time soon).
  5. if you see a SMART Car shout "Shamrock!" They are worth 11 points. If it's convertible, add 1 point.
If you shout a word and it's not the car you thought it was then you lose a point (it is indeed possible to start the game with negative numbers of points). And if you shout a word and you realize that you shouted the wrong word so you change what you said then you still get the points but you subtract 1 point. For example, if I see a VW Bug and I shout "Gun Shot" and then I realize it's a bug, not a cruiser, I change what I said and shout "Shot Gun" then I get 2 points, instead of 3.

If you are passing a car dealership and there are like 500 MINIs all in a row you can't get any of them. You can get any car at a dealership as long as it's by itself. So all those cars displayed in the front: if they're not parked in a row you can get them. If they're all lined up, get none.

I think that's all the rules. So go have fun playin' the game. It's a blast. Let me know how many points you get your first time playing....

Old "Shotgun" (4 points)

Old Convertible "Shotgun" (5 points)

"Shotgun" (3 points)

Convertible "Shotgun" (4 points)

"Gunshot" (5 points)

Convertible "Gunshot" (6 points)

"Shalom" (8 points)

Convertible "Shalom" (9 points)

"Bazooka" (30 points)

"Shamrock" (11 points)

Convertible "Shamrock" (12 points)

Conference Highlights, Recipe

Since I made such a big deal about the Lemon Curd that Mama made for breakfast right before I left for the conference I have been asked to share the recipe. So here it is:

Lemon Curd
recipe from The Pie and Pastry Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed and strained) About 2 1/2 large lemons
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces or softened
a pinch of salt

Have ready near the range a strainer suspended over a medium bowl that contains the lemon zest.

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, beat the yolks and sugar until well blended. Stir in the lemon juice, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thickened and resembles hollandaise sauce; it should thickly coat a wooden spoon but still be liquid enough to pour. The mixture will change from translucent to opaque and begin to take on a yellow color on the back of the spoon; it must not be allowed to boil, or it will curdle. Whenever steam appears, remove the pan briefly from the heat, stirring constantly to keep the mixture from boiling. When the mixture has thickened (196 degrees on an accurate thermometer), pour it at once into the strainer. Press with the back of a spoon until only the coarse residue remains. Discard the residue (or enjoy it as a treat–it tastes great). Gently stir in the zest and allow it to cool.

Mama put it in the freezer to make it cool more quickly so I could eat it for breakfast!!


Friday, May 1, 2009

"We Interrupt This Broadcast" Recipes, pt. 2

Let me wrap up my recipes from this meal. If I don't hurry up and finish them it will be the next fifth Sunday and I'll have a whole new pile of recipes to share. Can you believe it's already May?

So, some Mexican Tea~

Enchilada Sauce
serves about 2 dozen (of course I had to triple it)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups tomato puree
1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin

In a heavy saucepan heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the chili powder, tomato puree, chicken broth and flour. Season with salt and cumin. (I love cumin so I was probably a bit more generous than 1 teaspoon...but then, it was spread out over 72 enchiladas so who knows?) Enjoy!

Wheat-Free Enchilada Sauce
(I made this for one person who has wheat and dairy allergies so I quartered this recipe from The Recipe Zaar):

1 tablespoon canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (16 oz. can) tomatoes, cut into small pieces, undrained
1 (16 oz. can) tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
(I added about a 1/4 cup chicken broth to make it more like a sauce and less like tomato paste for a pizza)

Heat the oil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

How cheating is this? I used the recipe off the back of the chocolate chip bag. Whatever.

But here's where the Black Flag Cookie part comes in. I made 2 batches of cookies. The first batch I used 1 1/2 bags of chocolate chips. For the second batch I used 1 bag of white chocolate chips and 1/2 a bag of dark chocolate chips.

Sweet Tea
(is there really any other kind of tea?)

Boil 3 quarts of water. Turn the heat off and put in 4 family size tea bags (those are the really big ones). Let them steep for 2 hours. Then remove the tea bags and add 1 2/3 cups of sugar (I did not just say that) and stir until dissolved. It's important to do that in the pot so that the sugar will dissolve since it's still warm. Then, pour into a gallon size container and fill the rest of the container with water (up to the "one gallon" mark). Chill in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

I think that was all my recipes from my March Extravaganza. Mrs. Pittman, did I miss anything? I will try to get the Lemon Curd recipe posted soon but that will be under Conference Highlights (do I have enough series goin' right now?). But it'll be worth the wait.

More from the novelteatalkers when we next sit down to enjoy a cup of tea...