Friday, February 08, 2008

Does This Look Like Paula Deen's Kitchen To You?

Me neither.

So I am flipping channels a few weeks ago and I happened upon a cooking show. As an infrequent TV watcher, I was intrigued by a happy, gray-haired woman who was cooking up some "comfort food." I locked in on the channel and continued to watch as she effortlessly threw together a menu of delicious, perfect looking dishes...including "caramel apple cheesecake bars with streusel topping." Since I wasn't quick enough to catch all of the ingredients, I went to her website and printed up a copy. I put it on the bulletin board and there it hung...

Until today.

With a wonderful outing to the Ehrenreich's planned for tonight, I decided this would be a great time to effortlessly throw together this "simple" dessert recipe. As noted, fifteen minutes of prep and forty-five minutes of baking.


Well, it's 5:50 and we are heading over at 6:15. As you may have guessed, it's still in the oven.

Really, it looked so easy when she was doing it. I only hope I'm half as good at teaching as she is at making cooking look like a breeze...and that it's at least edible.

I'll get back to you on that one...or maybe the Ehrenreichs will. Or not?

Chī fàn. (Let's eat!)


Monday, February 04, 2008

The Rhythm of Life

One of the offbeat things I'm looking forward to over the next year is living in a society that observes a different calendar than we do here in the United States. There is such a natural rhythm to our lives as we turn the pages (this month, we are looking at Julie and Z at Sandia Peak). There is the holiday season, family birthdays, summer vacation, and the little things we seem to do every year at the same time (I have the Blakes on my mind today...we're praying for you, Dylan). Now, we are not of course totally walking away from these everyday rhythms. The seasons will change and our trip itself is organized around the academic year, a familiar cornerstone in our household.

But, all in all, what will it be like to live as Christians in a non-Christian country? Will it be easier to celebrate Christmas, without rampant commercialization all around us? Or will it be harder, when society keeps moving at warp speed on a day when we are used to slowing down along with everyone around us?

Actually, when I think about it, we on occasion have this experience here at home. One of the major dates on the calendar for millions of Americans is the Super Bowl. Television sales skyrocket, people have huge parties, and Las Vegas rakes in the cash. Yet we haven't watched the game in years. Nothing against the NFL...we just aren't all that interested and usually have other things we'd rather do on a Sunday.

This year was no different. Julie was over at a friends' house, along with a few other girls (not to watch the Super Bowl; it was Hairspray, I think). So Desi and I were able to have a "date" with Z. The main event? A trip to Sports Authority, to pick up a new basketball hoop. The hoop we've had for many years has finally, after providing tons of great memories, started to fall apart. (We don't want the rim to break off and conk someone on the head!)

As it turns out, this was the most painless Sports Authority trip ever. All of the athletic people out there were at home glued to their televisions, while we had free run of the store...and of the normally hard to find floor workers (who were huddled around a small portable TV one of them had smuggled in). In and out in a matter of minutes!

If this experience is any indicator, living by an alternate calendar is going to be búcuò!