Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whole Life Transformation

I've really enjoyed reading this book called "Whole Life Transformation" by Keith Meyer.  My favorite quote so far is
"there is little appeal in becoming 'spiritual vampires,' sucking on the blood of Christ for forgiveness while being barely alive spiritually.  My students recognize it often contributes to the 'management of sin,' an endless cycle of repetitive acts of sin and shame followed by confession and temporary relief through grace.  Without an alternative way of living this sets up the sinner for needing ever more relief from sin and never finding the antidote.  The students know that obedience is better than sin management.  And they are hungry for learning how to put sin to death rather than becoming comfortable with it."
I've never thought about grace in the ways that Meyer describes.  And I have to admit that I had some pretty funny images of people at church in my head the Sunday after reading this.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in Gardening

So this isn't really so much about the actual garden but rather the garden aftermath.  More specifically what to do with a peck of cucumbers.  Feeling a bit braver after making some dill pickles a few weeks before, I thought I'd try canning some pickle relish.  I was a bit nervous about how sweet it would turn out with the recipe calling for 3 1/2 cups of sugar.  However the next day when we tried it on some polish hot dogs...I've decided it's a keeper.

Next on the docket is sweet corn.  Mine didn't do to well in the garden.  I think I planted them a bit too soon and they just never really did much.  However, the Corn Fest is this weekend...so large grocery bag of corn for 5 bucks...here I come!


4 c. chopped cucumbers (about 4 med.)
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. green pepper
1 chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 c. canning salt
3 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. celery seed
1 tbsp. mustard seed

Combine cucumbers, onions, green and red peppers in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand 2 hours.

Prepare home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions.

Drain vegetables thoroughly; press out liquid. Combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed and mustard seed in a large sauce pot; bring to a boil. Add drained vegetables; simmer 10 minutes. Carefully pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust caps.

Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner. Yield: about 8 half-pint jars.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living with only 100 Things

I have to admit that the recent NY Times article about only living with 100 items is slightly intriguing to me.  I read the article yesterday and all I've done since then is mentally start counting whatever is in the room I'm currently in.   Bedroom 400 plus items (man, we have a lot of clothes), Living room 200 plus items, Kitchen...wow, I don't even want to know. 

In many ways, the article reminded me of the various summer I spent living out of a small suitcase.  Even then it always surprised me that there were still items in that suitcase that I never touched over the 6 weeks.  At the end of each trip I was shook my head at these items thinking "why in the world did I think I would need this?"

Ironically I've heard Mark 6:8/ Luke 9:3 referenced a number of times over the past two weeks from various people and places.  This is the passage where Jesus sends out his disciples and commands them to "take nothing with them"...no purse, no bread, no money, no extra clothes.  It's a challenging statement about the power of stuff and how little is really needed in life when you are following God.  It makes me wonder what stuff I'll be shaking my head over when this life is over thinking "why in the world did I think I would need this?"

So 100 personal items, huh?  Maybe I'll start with my clothes....hmmm...do shoes count as 1 item or two?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Garden Update

I picked 30 tomatoes yesterday. Since I didn't get any last year due to the dreaded blight...I have a strong sense of victory.  And the best part yet is that there are still a lot of tomatoes on the vine!  Now I just need to figure out what to do with all these tomatoes.

In other tomato news, we received a few green tomatoes last week in our CSA box. The recommended making fried green tomatoes out of them.  Since I've never tried that, I thought why not?  And the verdict is....not as great as I thought they would be.  They were a lot more sour than I was expecting.  We did find that dipping them in BBQ sauce did make a difference.  I guess I'll never be a southerner.