Sunday, March 29, 2009
I don't know what God wants for the rest of my life. Sometimes I find myself feeling suppressed, or depressed, or just anxious, as though my spirit knows there's more but my mind can't fathom what the 'more' is. I don't mean Heaven. I'm trained, as a believer, to understand that Heaven is great, Heaven is where we should want to be. But when I have absolutely zero framework for what Heaven might possibly be like, I find it difficult to imagine, much less look forward to. Isn't it odd that most of our musings on eternity focus on something more like a grandiose church service, white robes and Southern Gospel included? If the God who created the place I'm going to spend eternity also happened to create the place I'm currently residing in, wouldn't it benefit me to get a better glimpse of it than through my tinted windows as I drive 45 miles an hour to get groceries? Would it change your relationship with Jesus if you knew the place He was preparing for you was just like where you happen to live now - only redeemed, whole, new, fresh, more alive and vibrant? That when we look on these images of animals and plants and water and earth brimming with possibility, we can honestly know that, without voices like our own, each is singing a song of praise and anticipation and hope - a song that cries out for rebirth? What if you started a walk with God that began simply based on the acknowledgement of His creativity, the majesty and wonder of His works, instead of choosing to walk away from God because of a human effort to convert you? What if His message is stronger than anyone else's? What if this is all for you?
Wow. I don't have much to say, it just resonated deep within me and has given me a lot to ponder on.
Go read the whole post here.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
My friend Carrie adds a little bit more brown sugar and says that this makes the cookies a little chewier. I've never tried that, but I'm going to. I watch them like a hawk when they are cooking and at the slightest tinge of brown, like if one cookie has a slight little brown spot, and they aren't too shiny, I pull them out of the oven and let them sit for a little bit on the cookie sheet. In my opinion, a cookie is not a good cookie if it is crunchy, it's got to be soft and chewy.
Like I said in the other post, I usually only make one batch at a time. When those are gone, I'll make another with the dough I keep in my fridge. If I happen to make all the dough, I store the cookies in a tupperware with a piece of bread. This usually gives them an extra day of freshness and keeps them from being stale.
So, nothing special really. This is just the combination I have perfected to make my perfect cookie. What about y'all? Any great cookie making tips you can share with us?
On a completely different note - have any of you seen the Planet Earth series? We watched them a few years ago and loved them. I'll never forget Neal calling me with the boys laughing in the background. They were watching the one where the little bird falls from a huge tall tree while he is learning to fly and thought it was the funniest thing. They watched it over and over again. Anyway, when I heard they were showing the series again on The Discovery Channel, I set Tivo. We just watched Shallow Seas and the boys sat here mesmorized through the whole thing.
Go check it out if you haven't yet.
I went to work finding the best possible recipe and making the changes it needed to be the perfect cookie, for me. Before we moved to the new house, I could make those cookies in my sleep, and made them quite often. Our whole family loved them and they were my staple dessert to bring to friends who just had babies.
Once we got settled into the new house, I got the craving to make my cookies. I did what I always did, but when I pulled the first batch out of the oven, I realized something had gone horribly wrong. I like my cookies to taste delicious, of course, but I also like them to look delicious. This batch did not look delicious. They looked like the flattest cookie you have ever seen with chocolate chips sticking out of them, and they didn't taste great either. I was horrified. I threw that batch and the dough away and swore off cookie baking in my new oven forever.
A few months have passed and I had the craving a few days ago. We are on a budget and it was in the evening, so I couldn't go to The Puffy Muffin and buy a box of cookies. I had a little talk with myself and decided that I was ready to try again. I watched myself very carefully as I was adding all the ingredients and I watched those cookies every minute they were cooking to find the perfect time they needed to cook in my new oven. When I pulled them out, they looked beautiful and tasted even better. Ah, sweet success! I usually make one batch at a time and store the dough in the fridge. This works out great because Neal likes the dough best and I like the cookies fresh out of the oven.
Last night, after dinner, the boys and I enjoyed perfect, fresh from the oven, chocolate chip cookies and cold milk. The best part though, was the wonderful conversation that came from that time together. Seriously, make it a rule with your kids that you only eat at the kitchen table, give them some cookies and sit down to hear what they have to say.
So, I'm proud to say that I am back in business with my mad cookie baking skills. What a relief!
We might have had to move if they had turned out badly!
And, yes, I just wrote a really long blog post about cookies.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
You'd think I had girls with the way I'm going on and on about their hair!