i only wish it was comprehensive. but really i just need a bigger white board.
there’s only one thing for it, i’m going to have to go cross something off. who votes we tackle the “buy” column first?
i stole this book frin the methodist church library when i was desperate for something to read. (f.y.i. don’t read books by methodists.) and, as i figured, there was a lot about “being in relationship with the entire earth community,” “honoring our bodies,” and other demonstrations of degenerate language choices. but despite all that, i found lots of things that prompted me to think. and that’s how i do a book review; i don’t tell you what it said, only what i thought it should have. ;)
the author begins by pointing out the two reasons for which god designed eating; delight and sharing. the whole momentum of the book was built towards forcing us to re-evaluate eating. to move it away from being either a means or an obstacle, but a working out of god’s grace in the very fabric of creation. food is something that is man-handled most unapologetically by the world. and as long as we are willing to let food be subject to such indecencies, by merit of considering it an inconsequential “neutral” in life, the more they will be able to do so. instead, reclaim it. it’s when we change our narratives that we change our practices, not vice versa. so what’s food good for?
when a baby is born one of it’s first experiences is of food. and consequently of trust or distrust. is this a good place to be, or not? food is tied inescapably to life and to culture. in turn, it speaks to the quality of that life and culture. while it is easy to overlook the values of our food, because eating is such an everyday practice, it doesn’t negate the fact that our food speaks. and it is the simplest things that speak the loudest. our god isn’t a distant or abstract one, but one who is deeply invested in us. it’s the ordinary practices of our lives that we meet him. not on the mountaintops, but in the quiet. in the little things. god built us to need to eat, like all day long. it’s ridiculous really. i’m sure he could have been a tad more efficient. but maybe he wanted to inundate the boring of our lives with food, with delight, and with the capacity to share and fellowship with one another. all moving us to remember his goodness. grace.
when we think about food, is this at the forefront of our minds? is our first thought gratitude, or have we succumbed to guilt and fear? do we overflow, do we feast, do we rejoice? or do we horde, ration, manipulate, and count? and which response do we share with those at our table or unintentionally pass down to our children? are we teaching them to think of food only in terms of it’s monetary or calorie equivalents? or as an unaccounted for and excessive grace given to us by the father? home is where we learn the practices for an abundant life. relationships, gratitude, and jouissance spill over from the kitchen table.
eating with people is one of the basic ways to build and maintain relationships. the author pointed out that feasting is only such when it is the celebration of the participating community. not a celebration of your cheese or your service wear. but your people. a true celebration requires the element of spontaneity, of trust. so are you building it? do we think of food as an instance of god’s unmerited, abundant favor, do we rejoice in it, honor it, and then share it generously? do the ordinary moments of our lives speak loudly of the god we serve? because in this world, the human economy is premised on scarcity and fear. if we fail to soak ourselves in god’s narrative, we will be listening to their’s. and in the end, the world’s narrative castrates god’s vision. mindless eating is not only boring, but destructive. purposed, joyful eating, on the other hand, opens to us a vision of the table in heaven. and then prompts us to share it.
i think one of the ways that we reclaim food is by making it. let it pass through our hands. don’t be afraid of service. don’t discount the mundane, but own it. be glad that god has filled so much of our lives with the opportunity for ministry, for delight in giving and receiving, and for people. jump on it. don’t microwave the opportunity away because you think life should be filled with something more important. whatever vocation god has given you, big or small, it is a channel of his grace to someone else. do it well. and while the world may demean the mediocrity of kitchen bound slavery, realize that god loves it. so much so he filled the world with hungry, needy people. and made your table their refuge of grace. it’s there that people come closest to their hunger, acknowledge their dependency, thank god for his supply, and then feast on his goodness. all of that, three times a day.
i still can’t get over how god has packed the potential for so much delight into the ordinary act of refueling. if you get bored eating, it can only be because you haven’t tried very hard. ”just as our bodies are primordially created good, created for enjoyment and delight, so is the eating that sustains that goodness. food appeals to our senses in a way that is analogous to the way certain paintings music, sculpture, and dance appeal to our sense of beauty. like art, food engages us. something is wrong if we fail to enjoy food. in fact, eating is so enjoyable, so much a part of god’s intentions, that it’s under appreciation is almost a crime.” connect the dots. let god be the god of your food. ”we don’t want to miss the grace that infuses our lives and by which god reveals graciousness with every bite.” we eat in response to god’s goodness.
on the other hand, “junk food, quickly prepared, thoughtlessly eaten, eaten alone or in front a of the tv, and scarfed down – how can these practices not impact us? is this abundant life? the ready accessibility and relative low cost of food – food made cheap through federal policy and corporate subsidies – leads to unappreciative eating, obesity, and poor health. it can also lead to attenuated relationships and to the transmission of misperceptions to our children. rather than contributing to our delight and the enjoyment of our households, these dynamics have reduced the joy and quality of our lives.” so don’t let them.
well, not exactly.
if you missed menu monday (and i can’t imagine that being the case) it was because i didn’t have a car all week. when i eventually broke down and sent my husband to the grocery store, he came back without my menu planning/life planning book. fortunately, i was consoled by lime tart (i knew exactly what the bag of limes were for) and a new housekeeping book, picked up at a yardsale for 25 cents.
life goes on.
you know that verse in bible about giving cups of water to the least of these and all that? well it gets old fast. especially considering how little humans are 60% water and can’t reach the faucet. i remember sitting down at the dinner table the other night, after retrieving the first and second child glasses of water, when the third child asked for some water. i looked at them all and said, with the greatest parental love, “no, i will not get any of you a drink of water, ever again!” i was a little premature, of course. but i made good of it the next day. hello craigslist.
now, i imagine most people must have those handy dispensers in their refrigerators. i do not. i was kind of loathing the idea of an office water cooler hanging out in the dining room, but i was prepared to do what it takes. after surfing online for alternatives i found this water crock. it was perfect. and well over $100 with shipping. i sighed and returned to craigslist and it’s wealth of abandoned culligans. when lo and behold, there it was, the very one i wanted. and for only $30. hooray! however, there are a few drawbacks. well, actually only one. and you’re looking at her. we filled the water the night before, with some reverse osmosis from fred meyer. it’s not full right now, because i’m pretty sure the other three gallons are busy oozing through the floorboards, gearing up to drip through the basement ceiling.
we came back into london a little early to visit syon house. marc had read about it in school and was excited to see it in person. and i was like, “gee, that’s nice honey.” looks kind of like one of those tastefully done faux stucco castles i’ve always wanted.
let’s just say it didn’t throw the interior designer back any. i really liked how he re-sized and re-proportioned the rooms, via optical illusion or otherwise, to first give everything perfect ratios. i mean, that’s what math’s good for. and then he saddled up and went to town.
after walking in the front door you would walk up the raised entry to the ante room. also known as the scrotum room. i counted. there were about 15. and it wasn’t subtle. i think there is some kind of design theory i am missing out on here. i mean, i don’t even have one in my living room, not to mention my whole house. but this is going to change at the first available opportunity, i assure you. i’m not one to be outdone.
from there you entered some kind of man cave. you can’t see, but all the little panels on the ceiling were painted with naked chicks. i guess this was before tv. so if you ever got bored you could kick back, smoke, and stare at the ceiling. curse you cable, the end of an era.
luckily robert adam was a bit of a gentleman, and insisted on buffering the ladies and gentleman’s parlors by the state dining room. where nudity was kept at a discrete minimum and everyone had their pants on.
through the next set of doors was the long gallery for the ladies. the functional equivalent of a treadmill. that’s right. the men smoked, stared at the wall paper, and drank, while the women ran laps. i know, awesome.
while we were there we got to see the paint samples they were testing on the walls, trying to match the original colors. and while you may find current color palette tasteful, robert is with me on this one. flamboyant teal, gold, and pink all the way. because what you’re looking at is just dirt. and where’s the flair in that? also, on each end of the room were hidden little gossip closets. each one done in a different theme. this one was pink. i think the other one was done up in chinese papers. i thought they were quite romantic. until someone mentioned that was most likely where they hid the potty.
last we got to poke around upstairs. victoria’s bedroom was closed but we got to see her mother’s adjoining room. it was fun to come home and finally watch “the young victoria.” especially since a lot of it was filmed at blenheim. been there!
the conservatory ’round back. i guess this is the happening spot for weddings. as you can only imagine.
although it really is much less imposing inside.
anyways, we were very pleased with our visit. the duchess has things nailed down. who, coincidentally, is also the matron of “hogwarts.” the dear lady has taken all the money from those wretched films and sank it into remodeling her castle. if you couldn’t tell, the place needed it. i hear she has her eye on syon park next. the tour guides live in constant fear. don’t mess with the missus. if only all the historic homes in england had her breathing down their necks. maybe they would dust more.
p.s. oh yes, and the interior glamor shots aren’t mine. no cameras allowed. hence, all images stolen for your viewing pleasure. you’re welcome.
we took these pictures on our 10 year anniversary, just behind the corner in june. i thought baby number 5 merited a photo shoot in a trailer park. there’s no place like home.
of course, it helps when you have a friend who is a photographer and willingly agrees to meet you after hours at trailer parks in garden city.
this particular toaster strudel is due halloween.
i couldn’t decide if i should post this picture. all i could think was, “does this dress make my butt look big?” to which my husband said, “honey, you all look big.”
well, here i am laughing after the photographer told marc to suck it in and he totally fell for it. hooray for skinny jokes.
i love my man.
and this lower photo is the one i am framing. since it’s pink i could hang it in my dining room. or could i? it’s these delicate questions of propriety that i have little (no) bearing on.
for instance, it’s time to roll. the neighbors are getting suspicious.
thanks amy jo! p.s. i look forward to seeing you in this dress next. ;)
one of my friends recently schooled me on how to make whole wheat bread. you know, so it doesn’t turn out dry, hard, and crumbly like it usually does.
see. so here is the recipe if you want it. and even if you don’t. ;)
1/2 c. warm water
2 t. honey
2 T. w.w. flour
2 1/2 t. yeast
2 c. cool water + ice cubes
2 T. honey
3 T. oil
6 c. w.w. flour
2 t. salt
step 1 directions:
stir honey and water together. whisk in flour and yeast. let sit for 15 minutes until yeast is active and foamy.
step 2 directions:
in mixing bowl place cold water with a couple of ice cubes. (the ice aids in gluten development.) add oil and honey. mix then add salt and flour. mix briefly. add yeast foam and knead together for 10 minutes in your stand mixer. place dough in oiled bowl. cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled. dump dough onto counter and divide into two pieces. gently roll and shape in to balls. cover and let sit for 20 minutes. shape into loaves and place in buttered bread pans. cover and put in warm locations. let rise for 45 minutes. bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. brush tops with butter while still warm, but not hot.
i did forget to take pictures of how to shape the loaf before putting it in the pan. i learned something new here too, and i like it. someday i will make a photo tutorial. also, i’d like to try adding a little applesauce to this recipe and see what happens. if anything does, i’ll be sure to annotate. enjoy*m
is starting to look a bit like a turkish hot house. and i’m not really keen on it. but i’m not really worried either. i know the living room slowly moves through a series of metamorphoses and it’s nothing to have hot flashes over.
but that wasn’t why i was posting pictures, to show you the dissatisfied state of my living room. i just wanted to share my new arm covers, a.k.a. “couch armor.” …embellished with my private reserve of beaded, tangerine ball fringe. which i like to keep handy.
but while we’re in my decidedly garish living room i thought i would show you around anyways, and then you could tell me what to do about it.
for instance, i was just granted this handy piano. which means i am going to slap some wood scroll-work on the front and paint it. so far i’m leaning towards white, but i am more than willing to up the ante if anyone has a better idea.
also, just had to show your our budding puffin classic collection. six more to go and it will be the prettiest row of books you ever saw. that is, until i round up the jane austen collection to go with.
i also have my eye to switching out the lamp, painting the piano (like i said), and hanging another print. you can see the frame lurking along the floor, still empty thanks to the fine upstanding folks at staples. that and i’m just waiting for pottery barn to send me my “coupons of temptation,” so i can change out my throw pillow covers. and who knows, maybe i will find another cool throw for the couch before yard sale season is over. that thing is like a chameleon. you never know what it’s going to do next.
just back from a birthday with my friend marla. she made the loveliest cupcakes. i just had to share a picture. totally worth it to buy the sweet papers and let them do all the work.
and the frosting? cool whip. add the nice crunch from the sugar crystals and i call that “way to bake.” happy birthday giabella!