Monday, June 22, 2009

One Hundred Talk Time Things

To all our dear Talk Time readers~

Our last post (the one where I told you how to win big bucks, pennies at a time ;) was our 100th post on Talk Time. Of course, that doesn't include the 60 something posts we had during our other Talk Time before I accidentally deleted it (but, we're not going there...). But, I think this Talk Time is better even though we are still mourning the loss of my gorgeous birthday post to Lily; the slide show of our week together last summer; and a couple other "favorite" posts.

Today, we are going to attempt to list one hundred talk time things that we've talked about around the tea table in the past one hundred posts. I'll do fifty and Miss Freeman will finish the list (this might be (really) hard!)

  1. sermons, sermons, sermons and more sermons
  2. notable quotables - lots of them!
  3. Ben Miller (I still think you need to listen to that sermon: Resting in God the Father)
  4. Sinclair Ferguson...if nothing else, listen to him because he's got a great accent
  5. the love of the Father (did you read my post on Owen?)
  6. John Calvin
  7. Institutes of the Christian Religion
  8. Calvin's Sermons on Ephesians
  9. The Very Unique Jewel of Christian Contentment
  10. cooking catastrophes
  11. the mercies of our ever-merciful Savior
  12. fifth Sundays
  13. Sermon Audio (have you checked our Pastor Blair on Sermon Audio, yet?)
  14. swagbucks
  15. beams and fountains (did you read my post on Owen?)
  16. future grace
  17. patience (or the lack thereof)
  18. Valley of Vision..."the valley is the place of vision."
  19. sewing projects/catastrophes/inspirations, etc. You name it, we've suffered it in the sewing room
  20. the Greenville Conference (you're still waiting for me to finish my extended series)
  21. (did you read my post on Owen?)
  22. birthdays
  23. the Chicken and Broccoli Casserole tradition
  24. poetry
  25. different cups of tea
  26. non-catastrophic recipes
  27. schedules (and sermons)
  28. car games
  29. guest posts on "flowers blooming in unlikely places."
  30. time change reminders
  31. the book cub (yes, we are still book clubbing and I was even lying in bed recently drafting my final post on Very Unique Jewel in my head)
  32. smoothies
  33. our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit
  34. resolutions
  35. the nursing home
  36. Jonathan Edwards (and his resolutions)
  37. book recommendations (did you read my post on Owen?)
  38. crafts - do you remember the Christmas ornaments? Those were so much fun to make (and post).
  39. battles and sanctification
  40. the laundry room - don't you know that's where sanctification happens?
  41. countdowns
  42. driving tests
  43. choir concerts
  44. the Lord's Day - a sweet gift from our Savior
  45. the Lord's Supper - visible words of invisible graces
  46. John Owen (did you read my post on Owen?)
  47. our spring giddiness
  48. fall madness - I'm tellin' ya, the traffic really does sound different in the does!
  49. the wave post - my favorite post that I did on the old blog that was actually saved and posted right when we started Talk Time again (August of 2008)
  50. chocolate (that's a good place for my list to end)
My turn! (It's Lily)
  1. Summer reunions
  2. motherliness
  3. water with no ice
  4. Stepping Heavenward (a very motherly book ; )
  5. afternoons
  6. scones and clotted creme
  7. Blair breakfasts
  8. John Piper
  9. the "promised land"
  10. So Much More
  11. Jane Austen movie quotes
  12. the "Mrs. Larson thing"
  13. embarrassing stories
  14. gardening
  15. "conversations on the mercies of the Lord"
  16. friendships
  17. school
  18. sewing
  19. skirts, skirts, skirts
  20. the modesty issue ; )
  21. "talkin' about the issues, but we're keepin' it funky"
  22. law and grace
  23. Sunday afternoons (especially fifth Sundays)
  24. the 4th commandment
  25. scrambled ice creme
  26. LEMON
  27. laundry - especially Bounce* dryer sheets
  28. the Christmas ornament tradition!!!!!!!!!!
  29. piano (lessons, performance, teaching, etc)
  30. "a day in the life of"
  31. heart and soul (and sisters by heart)
  32. sentence: "publicly hanged until you repent" lol
  33. armed, one legged, life-insurance salesman. He's always very busy.
  34. "strong perfume" we need those husbands
  35. Calvin's 500th
  36. old friends
  37. Edisto Island and the 4th Family Reunion!
  38. Nick and Anita's blog
  39. Girltalk blog
  40. Facebook (Sarah should definitely get one)
  41. C.S. Lewis
  42. blah blah blah book club
  43. "pastors to help us in times of trial and temptation"
  44. little friends
  45. lumps of sugar
  46. All Things For Good
  47. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  48. the Valley of Vision
  49. Michael Card Ancient Faith
  50. 100 Talk Time Things!!!!!

We all love to win

I'm sure you all want to win free gift cards, right? Of course you do! I got this from Lily's friend Anita, on her blog. It's called Swagbucks and hopefully none of you have heard of it so you'll all sign up and then I'll win swagbucks when you win swagbucks.

By searching the internet using Swagbucks (go sign up at the's completely free!) you win points (not every's random) and then depending on how many swagbucks you have you get gift cards...say, to Amazon. So, you could then buy the book that I recommended in the post below, right? I'm sure that's what all of you were thinking. You start with 3 swagbucks just by signing up. Right now, I have 4.

I will say, it's not as good as Google so I search using Swagbucks (to get my points, of course) and then I search using Google if I didn't get what I was looking for the first time.

So, go win some swagbucks so you can enjoy that cup of tea with the fan blowing while you're reading Owen. Sweet! Oh, and please sign up by clicking on the link above. If I did it right that means I get points for recommending it to you...I'm really pathetic...we already knew that :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Book Recommendation

Ok, I know my recommendation will go unheeded. I know it will. In fact, this post will probably look a lot like most of my other posts: no comments. BUT! I would love to be able to imagine that I don't have any comments (again) on this post, because you've headed on over to Amazon and ordered this book and are now sitting at home, in a rocking chair, with the fan blowing overhead, sipping a glass of water (with no ice) or sweet tea, or even hot tea, enjoying every page of...

John Owen's Works, Volume Two: Of Communion With God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost

So here's the confession that will perhaps win you over to enjoy the rocking chair and sweet tea. I love to read theology. I don't know the last time I read something by somebody that was alive (except for blog posts :) and what Daddy's reading to us as a family). So, I have a great love for many of the Puritans and reformers. And yet, I still had my doubts about Owen. I've heard he's hard to read; one of the drier puritans. So, I hadn't tried any Owen. And then... I was listening to this sermon by Ben Miller (can you tell I have some favorites here?) and this sermon by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson (he's another favorite I just haven't linked him in a while). For one thing, these sermons had me in tears. And they both quoted the same passage in Owen. Actually, here's what Ben Miller said about this section of Owen:

"If you wanted the biggest kick-in-the-pants to your sanctification, I suggest you pick up Owen's works, Volume Two and read pages 17-40 without delay, every 6 months for the rest of your Christian life. It will serve you so well..."

So, my dear, dear friend Mrs. Girard, went online (after listening to both of these sermons and recommending them to me) and found Owen's works Volume Two on the web. Of course, we printed off the four chapters. We put our copies in black binders (very professional binding...Daddy would not approve :) and started diggin' in.

The first 2 chapters are good. They are. There are a lot of marks on my copies in those sections. Chapters 3 and 4 are incredible! They are so rockin'. I mean, there's nothin' but marks on those pages. Seriously, you start reading and you just can't's so good.
So Mrs. Girard got the complete Volume Two with the real binding and everything. This afternoon she let me read (and copy) some of the pages that come after chapters 1-4. Those pages triggered this post.

Here's a sample so you know that when you go to Amazon you're not wasting your money. The only problem: which section out of chapters 3 and 4 (in particular) am I gonna quote? I'm literally sitting here in agony: 1) because I'm sitting here with my "professional" copy of Owen on my lap being reminded of how good this is and how small my thoughts of God and His great love are and 2) because I so long for you Talk Time readers to feast on this and I know you're not going to so I just wish I could post it all right now.

"Though there be no light for us but in the beams, yet we may by beams see the sun, which is the fountain of it. Though all our refreshment actually lie in the streams, yet by them we are led up unto the fountain. Jesus Christ, in respect of the love of the Father, is but the beam, the stream; wherein though actually all our light, our refreshment lies, yet by him we are led to the fountain, the sun of eternal love itself."

I was going to tell you what page that was from but you'll just have to find it when you read Volume Two. Pathetic, huh?

Go enjoy some Owen. "It will serve you so well..."

p.s. did I mention the waves of conviction that will wash over you as you read? Oh I forgot that part? That's what I meant when I quoted Pastor Miller. Ya know, the whole "biggest kick-in-the-pants to your sanctification"? That equals conviction. "It will serve you so well..."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Quotable

Good Afternoon Talk Time readers. We have a sever thunderstorm warning for later this evening so I wanted to get my quote posted before we turn the computer off.

Richard Baxter is pouring our tea this afternoon~

No wise man can expect that...God should diet us with a continual feast. It would neither suit with our health, nor the condition of this pilgrimage. Live, therefore, on your peace of conscience as your ordinary diet; when this is wanting, know that God appointeth you a fast for you health; and when you have a feast of high joys, feed on it and be thankful! But when they are taken from you, gape not after them as the disciples did after Christ at His ascension; but return thankfully to your ordinary diet of peace.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Law and the Gospel

Just a quick quotable for Wednesday. I read this poem on the Law and Gospel this afternoon. It was actually on the front of a catalogue we got in the mail today...and oh, so timely. Sweet reminders...even in the junk mail :)

The Law and the Gospel
by Ralph Erskine

The law supposing I have all,
Does ever for perfection call;
The gospel suits my total want,
And all the law can seek does grant.

The law could promise life to me,
If my obedience perfect be;
But grace does promise life upon
My Lord's obedience alone.

The law says, Do, and life you'll win;
But grace says, Live, for all is done;
The former cannot ease my grief,
The latter yields me full relief.

The law will not abate a mite,
The gospel all the sum will quit;
There God in thret'nings is array'd,
But here in promises display'd.

The law excludes not boasting vain,
But rather feeds it to my bane;
But gospel grace allows no boasts,
Save in the King, the Lord of Hosts.

The law brings terror to molest,
The gospel gives the weary rest,
The one does flags of death display,
The other shows the living way.

The law's a house of bondage sore,
The gospel opens prison doors;
The first me hamer'd in its net,
The last at freedom kindly set.

An angry God the law reveal'd
The gospel shows him reconciled;
By that I know he was displeased,
By this I see his wrath appeased.

The Law still shows a fiery face,
The gospel shows a throne of grace;
There justice rides alone in state,
But here she takes the mercy-seat.

Lo! in the law Jehovah dwells,
But Jesus is conceal'd;
Whereas the gospel's nothing else
But Jesus Christ reveal'd.

May the Lord bless you today. Jesus Christ has been revealed. "The Gospel shows a throne of grace."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Sewing Inspiration

Ok, I'll just admit it, I do not like to sew. I just don't. There's nothin' in me that says, "Oh man, Sarah, you should definitely drag out the sewing machine and the sewing box and the ironing board and the fabric and the pattern and the measuring tape and the "how to use this sewing machine manual" (again) so that you can start to cut out a pattern, realize you're doing it wrong (probably cut the wrong size); recut the pattern (wasting half the fabric), sewing it together and then realizing that you didn't sew it "right sides together" so now it's half right; seam ripping the whole thing, starting over and by the time you finish the project you've used the whole day, it's time to go to bed and you can't even wear what you've made." It just doesn't happen.

But, this past Friday was our first Friday of the summer without Omnibus class and I got this urge to sew something. I don't think that's ever happened before! So, I debated about going to the fabric store. A couple months ago I saw this adorable denim fabric that would be so cute as a skirt. We already had the pattern for it (which I have made before in a longer form so I knew what I was doing....that's a good start). I decided to go to the fabric store and the Lord was gracious: denim was on sale! 30% off!! Such a treat. So, I got 2 yards of my adorable denim and then 3 yards of regular denim. People...I mean, dignified, tea-sipping, Talk Time reading, ladies...I love denim. I probably wear denim 6 out of 7 days in a week. There's a whole denim section in my closet: jumpers, overalls, skirts, jackets...I love denim. It goes with everything. You can wear it around the house; to church; to the grocery store; to a friend's house; in the summer; in the winter; with sweaters; with t-shirts; with black shoes; with brown shoes; with red shoes; with lime green shoes. Are ya gettin' it? I LOVE denim. So anyway...

The first skirt is black denim (a new version of denim in my wardrobe :) with varigated embroidery on it. I don't know how these pictures are gonna come through on your computer but here's the idea:

You might be able to click on the pictures to make them bigger. The skirt has 8 pieces that you put together so it has eight verticle seams all the way around. Ok....enough of my attempts to explain...just click on the picture :)

Terrible picture of me...please just look at the skirt :) I love the length because it covers my knees even when I sit but it's still cute and not super long.

The second skirt is...of course! DENIM! This one is long (almost touching the idea of perfect!) It has a ruffle at the bottom. I actually modified a pattern that we had (that's how inspired I was...weird, huh?) so when I made it, it was straight down (pretty loose) but it wasn't comfortable to walk in...I couldn't spread my feet enough to take normal steps. So last night (with the "keep-me-awake" help of 2 Dr. Pipa sermons...if you want to hear them cick here and here) I made triangles up the sides. I ripped out the side seams and made big trianlges of fabric on each side and sewed them all the way up to the waste. I added ruffle pieces at the bottom and now it's all flowy and fun to walk in....swishes when I walk. (sorry, I don't think I got the triangles in the picture).

The best part of the whole project(s) is that I got 8 sermons listened to...and they were all so good, too. But was fun and I wanted to share my inspiration with you.

To the King!


Monday, June 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of Lily

As Sarah mentioned, we were talking about having a balanced life earlier (we were actually IMing) and I was expressing how much I wish my life was balanced like Sarah's, and Sarah was expressing how unbalanced her life really is and how my life is better. Ha ha! So, we then decided to compare lives here on Talk Time and let YOU, the reader, be the judge! (Of course, I am sure we will have our own opinions.) As you might imagine, it's impossible to provide one sample, pretty consistent picture of a normal day - there just are none!!!! So follow along as best as you can. This is what a typical week looks like in the Freeman house.

7:30 try to get up (hit the snooze button several times)

around 8:00 turn the alarm clock off and finally get out of bed
somewhere in here, get dressed/shower.
have breakfast and tend to Tebow (our puppy) and Josie (our old doggie)
family worship (maybe if daddy isn't on a conference call)
get some laundry started, maybe.
water plants inside and outside.
neaten up the common room.
check email.
around 10:30 piano til lunch

(On Tuesday) math class at 11:30 til 1:00

12:00 break for lunch. (on Wednesday, leave for piano. Back at 3:00 minus any errands.)
more laundry
tend to doggies
answer emails, work on things for deadlines (any papers, assignments, church bulletin, etc)
walk Tebow
1:30 get some school done (On Mondays, house-work before teaching piano)

3:00 nap-can't stay awake (or housework)

4:00 get a snack work on more school (Mondays - teach piano until 6:00)

5:00 miscellaneous tasks (homework/chores)

6:30 dinner prep (Monday/Wednesday - leave for yoga)

8:15 back from yoga or tidy things up (or both)
get stuff done with daddy
around 10:30 or 11:00 go to bed and read a little maybe

These times are not entirely accurate. But they are a reference point for when I might do certain things in a day. That was basically an average day at home and does not include any errands to the grocery store or other things that just "come up".

Here is another day, which is also an average type of day during the week, though it is drastically different from the last example.

Morning is pretty much the same as the previous example.
11:30 Math class
1:00 Walk/play with Tebow, practice piano
2:00 piano lesson
3:00 stop by 2 friends' houses for errands; drop perishable items received, off at home. leave immediately
4:00 chiropractor appointment (stop at Starbucks on the way there)
5:00 back dinner with another family, email, watch TV
11:00 bed

As I said, these days do not include any extra errand running that we might have to do. Saturdays are work days in the house, including school work, and also usually we have some sort of engagement. Sunday, church work all day. Monday, Grace Classical Academy, teach piano, yoga. Tuesday, math class, chiropractor. Wednesday, piano, errands, yoga. Thursday, stay at home unless groceries are needed. Friday, stay at home, evening engagement usually. So that's my life. Mealtimes are up in the air with my dad's schedule unless he's away on a business trip. Bedtimes as well since we try to get in Daddy time when we can.

See, Sarah!? All that craziness and not a single "normally I listen to a sermon here" or "make a card for a friend here" or "make a craft while listening to a sermon here". I mean, it's just plain survival mode here. The next emergency/deadline.

As Sarah said though, "He gives grace sufficient". Future grace is the only thing keeping us going everyday. The Lord has given us many things, and "to whom much is given much is required" and thankfully, we don't have to figure out how to fulfill the requirements on our own. He is guiding and leading. I need contentment "in His place, at His pace."

A Day in the Life of Sarah

Lily and I were talkin' the other day (actually chatting online...a rare treat these days). I mentioned something about burning some cds and then going upstairs to finish my reading for school. That morphed into a conversation on our different schedules and so we decided to do a couple of "Day in the Life of..." posts. Lily wanted me to go first so I made her promise that after I did mine she will do hers...soon.

This "day" does not include the laundry (I do all the laundry at the Blair's) or things that just come up every week: invitations to dinner, making a card for a friend, visiting someone in the hospital, making a meal for someone in the church, the emergency trip to the grocery store, the last-minute hospitality, the granola I didn't know I was supposed to make until 30 minutes ago..... There are so many things that weren't part of the schedule. But the Lord's faithful and gracious and He leads us in paths of righteousness and teaches us to follow Him all the way to our Father's house. So we tread the path lightly knowing that the things of this world (even the unplanned things of this world) are all fading away and our "citizenship is in heaven." So if something comes up and that load of laundry doesn't get folded for four days in a's not a big deal. These things are passing away.

So in all our days may He teach us to strive hard after the kingdom "and all these things will be added unto us." We're hear to glorify Him and He's teaching us that He has a far better plan than what's on our schedule. And He is always most glorified when we lose ourselves to find Him.

This is a sample week from this past school year. I can't really do one day because every single day is different. So, here's a week of sorts.

5:30 - up, read (lately it's been the Scriptures along with Calvin and Owen) and pray
6:00 - stretch
6:20 - jump rope (drink water because I'm dying after I jump rope for 10 minutes :)
6:30 - shower, get ready for the day
7:00 - listen to a sermon
7:30 - breakfast
8:00 - worship
(Monday: running with my buddy, Mrs. Posvar)
8:30 - free time = brush teeth, finish sermon if I didn't get through the whole thing earlier
9:00 - Omnibus reading (anything from Eusebius to Machen)
10:00 - (Monday: grocery shopping with Mama)
(Wednesday: latin and logic homework)
11:00 - grammar and piano practice
(Thursdays: leave for the Girard's until 5:30 or so) I help with school and then eat lunch with them. After lunch I teach piano to the girls and then have math with Mr. Girard.
11:30 - (Wednesdays and Fridays: science with Mama)
12:00 - lunch
12:30 - Daddy reads to us after lunch (most days unless he has an appointment)
1:00 - (Tuesdays: leave for work until 2:30) I tutor a little boy in our church for an hour a week in math and piano
(Wednesday: practice before my piano lesson)
2:00 - (Tuesdays: work)
(Wednesday: school)
(Thursdays: math at the Girard's)
(Fridays: Omnibus class)
2:30 - (Wednesdays: piano until 3:45)
3:00 - (Tuesdays: choir until 5:10)
3:30 - (Fridays: latin with Daddy)
5:30 - dinner
6:30 - dishes and kitchen clean-up
7:00 - extra - may be reading I need to get done or piano practice or a craft (in which case I listen to a sermon)
(Wednesdays (every other quarter): prayer meeting until 8:00 or so)
8:00 - ready for bed
8:30 - in bed (sometimes I read or listen to a sermon and sometimes (especially if I have math the next day) I just go to sleep)

I will say, 8:15-8:30 is my prefered bed time but I often do not get in bed until much later.

And of course the Lord's Day is totally different: I get up at 4:30 and go to bed around 11:00 or so (last night, it was midnight). But, Monday is our day off which makes a difference.

There's a week in the life of Sarah. The Lord's mercies and lovinkindnesses are new every morning and He's faithful to me every day of the week. Now it's Lily's turn.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Lord's Supper

Well, tomorrow is a Lord's Supper Sunday at Redeemer (first Sunday of the month). On those Sundays I always like to make my morning "Lord Supper themed." So tomorrow I am planning on listening to 2 sermons: one on self-examination and one where Pastor Miller ties the sermon into the Lord's Supper and actually records, as part of the sermon, the sacrament. It's awesome. And then I plan to read an article out of New Horizons on The Sacraments as Visible Words by Dr. John Fesko. And Lord willing, I'll read a a section on the sacraments out of Helps For Worship by Pastor Bill Shishko and a chapter out of Given For You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper. Planning my Lord's Supper morning reminded me of a section out of Calvin that I like to read every first Sunday. I thought I'd share it with you. Whether you feast at the Lord's table tomorrow or not, may this be a blessing to you and a means of "stiring you up to love and good deeds."

"By ["examine himself"], as I understand, [Paul] means that each individual should descend into himself, and consider, first, whether, with inward confidence of heart, [you] lean on the salvation btained by Christ, and with confession of the mouth, acknowledge it; and secondly, whether with zeal for purity and holness [you] aspire to imitate Christ; whether, after His example, [you] are prepared to give [yourself] to [your] brethren, and to hold [yourself] in common with those with whom [you] have Christ in common; whether as [you yourself] are regarded by Christ, [you] in [your] turn regard all [your] brethren as members of [your] body, or, like [your] members, desire to cherish, defend, and assist them, not that the duties of faith and charity can now be perfected in us, but because it behooves us to contend and seek, with all our heart, daily to increase our faith."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Day of Feasting Recipes

Ok, here are my recipes from Sunday (I'm getting through this fifth Sunday much more quickly than I did the last one. It helps that my post about the day was about 4 miles long!)

Meatballs in Fresh Tomato Sauce
from Cuisine At Home
serves 4-6 (I 2.5 timesed (not a word) this recipe....and there are a few leftovers even after 21 saints)

1.5 cups of yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 cans whole plum tomatoes, crushed
1/2 cup reserved meatball pan drippings (see recipe below)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Saute onions in oil over med.-high heat in a large pan until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook just until you smell it, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, pan drippings, parsley, sugar; pepper flakes, and slat. Simmer 15 minutes. I did also add some tomato paste until it was the thickness that I wanted. And, I did make this recipe 2 days in advance...good to know if you want a recipe you can make ahead.

Basic Meatballs
from Cuisine At Home
Makes 30-33 (I 1.5 timesed (still not a word) this recipe to make more like 50)

1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch nutmeg (pinch = one of those official "cooks only" measurement terms)
2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup low-sodium beef broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together all ingredients (except the ground meat) in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground chuck and mix together thoroughly. Using a portioning spoon or 2 spoons, shape the meat mixture into balls (about 2" in diameter or 1.5 oz. each). *this is also done the Miss Blair way: grab some of the meat mixture. Put it on the scale. Add or subtract until the scale reads 1.5 oz. and role into a ball with your hands. Place on baking sheet. You let me know which way you like best.* Coat a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Space the meatballs on the pan so they're not touching or crowded together. Cover bottom of pan with beef broth. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the meatball are just cooked through. Reserve pan juices for sauce. I made this recipe 3 days in advance and put the meatballs in the fridge. On Sunday morning before I left for church I put the meatballs and the sauce in the crock pot on low and let them heat all morning. Enjoy!

Almost No-Knead Bread
from Cooks Illustrated (with some "fine-tuning" from Mama)
makes 1 large round loaf (I made 2)

3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus the additional for dusting work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1.5 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) mild-flavored lager
1 tablespoon white vinegar (if you accidentally use white wine vinegar that works too...I know)

Whisk four, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula,fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours. (It really does need to sit for at least 12 hours...Mama found out the hard (meaning, "the bread doesn't taste very good") way.

Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray (we never spray the paper). Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times . Shape dough into ball by pulling edges unto middle. Transfer dough, seam side up, to well-floured cloth. Wrap up in cloth. Let rise at room temperature until doubled (about 2 hours).

About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place covered iron skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Carefully remove pan from oven. Flip bread into pan so it is seam side down. Replace lid. Place in oven. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Carefully remove bread from post; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. (it's also really yummy served warm). Enjoy!

Hot Fudge Brownie Sundaes
(minus the hot fudge sundae part...I just served brownies and ice cream)
from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over
makes 18 brownies (unless you cut them small because you're having 21 people)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon slat
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut or broken into small chunks
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut or broken into small chunks
2.5 sticks unsalted butter
2.5 cups sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a disposable or regular 13x9 inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving an overhang on two long sides to facilitate removal of brownies. Spray pan with vegetable cooking spray.

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside. (not too far aside, might forget to mix them into the me, I know :)

Melt chocolates and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and stir until mixture turns from grainy-looking to smooth and glossy.

Stir in dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with wet crumbs, about 40 minutes. Cool brownies in pan for 5 minutes, then use foil to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Good Afternoon Talk Time readers,

Recently the Sermon Audio job at Redeemer has become my job. So, I upload our sermons each week to the web page and make sure they're labeled correctly and in the right order and part of the correct series, etc. It is so much my kind of job. So, now that our sermons are getting on there week by week and are labeled all properly, Daddy said that I should do a promotional post on Talk Time! (so generous, don't you think?)

So, if you would like to hear sermons from books that you may not have ever heard a sermon out of (such as Numbers and Hosea) or would like to hear a sermon from some very common books (such as Luke and Psalms...Psalm 23 was last Sunday night), or would just like to hear a sermon (and, though you may...just may...think my opinion a bit biased, there are some great sermons on there) then here you go. And if you would like to know some specifically that I recommend then you can comment or send me an e-mail at or at Enjoy! May the Lord feast your souls as He has so graciously feasted mine by the preaching at Redeemer.