Thursday, August 30, 2012

my advocate

My Advocate

I sinned. And straightway, post-haste, Satan flew
Before the presence of the Most High God,
And made a the railing accusation there.
He said, “This soul, this thing of clay and sod,
Has sinned. ‘Tis true that he has named Thy name,
But I demand death, for Thou hast said,
‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die.’ Shall not
Thy sentence be fulfilled? Is justice dead?
Send now this wretched sinner to his doom.
What other thing can righteous ruler do?”

And thus he did accuse me day and night,
And every word he spoke, O God, was true!

Then quickly One rose up from God’s right hand,
Before whose glory angels veiled their eyes.
He spoke, “Each jot and tittle of the law
Must be fulfilled: the guilty sinner dies!
But wait—suppose his guilt were all transferred
To ME and that I paid his penalty!
Behold My hands, My side, My feet! One day
I was made sin for him, and died that he
Might be presented faultless, at Thy throne!”

And Satan fled away. Full well he knew
That he could not prevail against such love,
For every word my dear Lord spoke was true!

—Martha Snell Nicholson

Monday, August 13, 2012

happy food: beet stacks

I was an odd child.

And perhaps the fact that I find the mention of beets salivation-worthy continues to contribute to my oddity as a young adult.

But guys, this recipe is fantastic.

Perhaps it is their refined, solid smoothness, or maybe their distinctly earthy flavor, or, simply, it could be their fantastic color... but beets hit my happy button.

Seriously.  Give this goodness a try.

4 beets (small to medium sized)
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

-  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-  Scrub, rinse, and pat beets dry, then rub with a small amount of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil (two beets per foil packet).  Roast for one to one and half hours until beets are tender and easily pierced with a knife.  Allow to slightly cool, then carefully remove skin.  (The beets will stain your hands and clothing!  It's a gorgeous color... but beware).  Set aside.
-  In a small, dry frying pan, toast walnuts until slightly browned.  Set aside.
-  In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and walnut oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
-  Once skin is removed, slice beets width-wise into three or four sections (depending on the size of the beets).
-  In layers, alternate beet slices and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle stacks with balsamic walnut oil vinaigrette, fresh thyme leaves, and the toasted walnuts.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

sober scholar

Don't worry.  I'm not about to be long-winded today.

If you don't know who Alexander Pope is, I highly recommend you acquaint yourself with him.  He was an incredibly insightful writer around the time of Bach.  (Think late 1600s through mid 1700s).  Although Shakespeare shall always possess the highest claim upon my literary heartstrings, Pope is the bomb.

As a new school year approaches, this excerpt from An Essay on Criticism keeps rolling through my mind.  As my words can hardly add to these, I'll leave you with Pope's words:

A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first Sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless Youth we tempt the Heights of Arts,
While from the bounded Level of our Mind,
Short Views we take, nor see the lengths behind,
But more advanc'd, behold with strange Surprize
New, distant Scenes of endless Science rise!
So pleas'd at first, the towring Alps we try,
Mount o'er the Vales, and seem to tread the Sky;
Th' Eternal Snows appear already past,
And the first Clouds and Mountains seem the last:
But those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing Labours of the lengthen'd Way,
Th' increasing Prospect tires our wandering Eyes,
Hills peep o'er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, lines 215-232

a fuzzy thought

Some days I feel like my insides are Schrödinger's cat.  To explore or explain them would be to alter them.

Curious creatures, we humans...