A Dollop of Sour Cream

I'm not much into spicy food. I have recently discovered that if a meal is just a tad too spicy for me, I can put sour cream on top and make it not just palatable, but wonderful. This blog is devoted to doing the same for life.




I read the Cooking forum on GardenWeb's bulletin board. And yesterday I saw a thread called "One Pot Wonders"

So I tried this one.

It actually turned out quite good. (Better warned up than not! I was a bit nervous because of the bit about adding the cream right before serving.) It took me longer than 15 minutes to cut stuff up -- but I'm slow that way. Next time, I want to try creating the chicken brother other than buying a box of it. Maybe from that jar concentrated broth.

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10-13 minutes

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
32 ounce box of Imagine Chicken Broth or Swanson's Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
8 oz. capellini or vermicelli pasta, broken in half
20 oz. bag fresh spinach, coarsely chopped or fresh baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, add sausage and cook 3-4 minutes, turning as it browns. Add onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add broth, cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach and pepper and cook, stirring spinach into pasta and sauce, 2-3 minutes, until pasta is al dente and spinach is wilted. Stir in cream and serve immediately. 4-6 servings


Another Look at Jonah

(Sorry, I don't get back to things as fast as I mean to. I will get back to my ideas of how a Christian end times computer game might go without messing with my values, unlike what I have heard (but not seen. Shooting of individual games like DOOM just aren't my bailiwick) about the game they ended up with.)

But today, I want to talk about Jonah. (Amos will be next) I am studying the Old testament Prophetic books through an audio course from Columbia International University (Bryan Beyer is the speaker) and want to get down things that have been occuring to me as I do so.

You have, in Jonah (the OT! before the revelation of Acts 15.) several examples that it isn't just the Jews God cares about. There are the sailors in the ship. After Jonah is thrown overboard, the sea calms and they are fine. (And note! The sailors care more about Jonah's life than Jonah did about theirs! Jonah didn't think about the risk he was putting them in when he fled from God on their ship. Yet the sailors didn't want to toss Jonah overboard. Jonah 1:13-14) And, of course, God was sending Jonah to Nineveh to warn them about an upcoming judgement. The people living in Nineveh were Gentiles.

I wonder if the purpose of Jonah isn't to show the Israelites how they should be asking. God has revealed himself to them. They are his chosen people. And God has been warning them (and will continue to warn them) that because of their sins judgement will come. Yet it is the Ninevehites who, when the same warning comes to them (and without the "repent" clause -- Jonah 3:4 "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."), repent. They throw themselves on the mercy of God, immediately repenting of their ways, just in case God will repent (Jonah 3:8-9 "let them [man and beast] turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?") God does not destroy them and it is Jonah (the Israelite) who is upset that he does.

It is striking the attitude of the Israelites here. So many prophets go, yet they continue on in serving other Gods. And they despise Nineveh, yet here it is that Nineveh (at least at this one point in time) "gets it" even better for not feeling that God owes them anything. Their repentance was complete, humble, and expecting nothing. And God cared about them so much that he saved them. -- When we go on to Amos we'll see more about this The Gentiles were always in God's place.

Another thing striking about Jonah comes from the comment at the end and how Dr. Beyer interpreted it that opened up new interpretations of the book for me. Jonah 4:11 "more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand" -- perhaps here, it is meant by "spiritually speaking." Earlier in the book, we are given a foretaste of this. Jonah 3:8 "But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth" -- they didn't know better than to clothes even their chickens with sackcloth as an indication of morning. It isn't just the people involved in their repentance, it was their cattle and other animals as well. You have a notion here of the principle of "To whom much is given, from whom much is required" -- God honored the intentions of the hearts of the people of Nineveh even though they didn't know the right forms of what they were supposed to do. (Given Jonah's attitude one can't think he was all that eager to teach them either. He was "going through the motions"-- but it was enough!) He also mentioned that if we are ever in the mission field (inner city) and teaching folk who didn't grow up the way we did church about Jesus, that we shouldn't be surprised if they do things differently. Even if it is something that would be scandalous for what we are used to, to look behind the actions to the heart and remember Jonah's "chicken in sackcloths." (And, I think, that some of the things we do now as a manner of course may fall in the same category for others looking in.)

Finally, we have Jonah's attitude. Here he was, having been used mightily of God to be in the midst of a miracle, and all he can think about is that his enemies are not being destroyed. If Israel's reaction had been better, if Israel had taken them in as new allies, would perhaps Nineveh's repentance of lasted longer, as they learned the true nature of God? Those who were once our enemies may prove not to be enemies after their total repentance and dependence on God. But that side of the situation didn't seem to occur to Jonah.

I like to think that it is Jonah himself who wrote Jonah. that he saw the mistake in his own actions and wrote the book (under inspiration of God) because he saw that he was wrong. But we are not ever told. The book ends without a clear "good ending" we are used to, but just a lot of questions.


Happy Birthday Boaz!

The Husband is another year older now. I am so lucky to have met and married him.
We spent the night on his birthday, and will be celebrating the rest this weekend with a baseball game.

But here it is, his birthday, and he's still in the kitchen helping with dinner, making sure I know how much he appreciates what I'm fixing (NOT his favorite meal by a long stretch because I didn't feel like coming home from work to fix it but he just mentioned how much he loves dinner salads and how hot it would have been if I'd cooked, etc. And never once made me feel bad for punting!) And he loved his gift, and listened as I had ideas (Which I'll try to post tomorrow more -- let his birthday stand alone for now) and decided NOT to do ice cream so we'd have more time together. And just generally shows me how much he values me even when it is HIS day!


A reason not to entirely trust MPAA ratings

In the linked article is a story about a new movie that has received a PG rating. The movie is called "Facing the Giants" The reason it was rated PG? "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG."


6 June 2006 -- ie 6/6/06

6/6/2006? *shrug* Another day. Wait a few hours and either you'll get another or you won't have to wait anymore. I'm not quite sure why those who don't believe the Bible were spooked, and for those who do, and are Christians, seems they should know that the world can't end yet. Jesus hasn't returned!

So that leaves only those who believe the Bible but have not believed in Christ yet... I can see why they might be spooked because they might be left behind.

But then I always thought it a bit silly when I was a kid and my dad would end up with "$6.66" in change and the store would toss in an extra penny. The number doesn't mean anything until the tribulation. In some way, which I believe will be clear only when it no longer matters to me, it's the name of The Deceiver. Now, it's just a name.

Of course, I have my own superstitions. Carrying a cellphone on the plane, every trip I've taken since September 11. It's silly, it's SO unlikely they would try that again. Yet I can't go without it. For that matter, every takeoff (and nearly every landing) I end up spiritually prostrate in prayer asking God's blessing, that he will help us get off the ground, etc... I'm not afraid to fly. But at that small period of takeoff (and, lesser, landing) I don't understand how planes can EVER get off the ground (Or stay in the air) except for divine intervention. and always, getting in the air, there is this sickeningly lurch like thing. Before that point, I can never be certain we are okay. The engine could break, or maybe we didn't gain enough altitude -- or the drag on the wing is too high... and shortly after that lurch it suddenly feels fine. The air was made to be traveled in this way, why don't we do it more often?

But this one (because it isn't mine) seems particularly silly.

100th Annual Family Reunion

My mother's family is having their 100th Annual Family Reunion this year.

And I volunteered (even though I'm on the other side of the US) to do some computer stuff for them.

This past weekend I worked on making a custom calendar.

And after trying a whole BUNCH of calendar programs -- I found the one that worked the best for what I was wanting to do... Microsoft Word!

I use Picasca for dealing with photos before they go in. And PhotoImpressions (an otherwise worthless program I got free with my digital camera) to add text "labels" on the people on the pictures themselves. But then I do Insert Picture into Microsoft Word, and use tables for the months -- and I can make it look exactly as I want, not restrained by any other software producer's idea of what a calendar is supposed to look like.

For helping out with the basic templates of calendar, I suggest Calendars that Work