Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Challenge

I came across this blog post today and wanted to see if any of you wanted to join me in this challenge. I will be the first to admit that I struggle with my words. I think most women do. I tend to be quick to complain and slow to compliment. Here's the challenge:
A Different Kind of Recipe
Have you ever had to "eat your words"? That little cliché has never really given me much pause for thought. Maybe it should. It is, after all, about eating and about words. What could speak more plainly to a food blogger? What if I did have to eat my words? What would they taste like? Would my words be sweet and nourishing like bits of dried fruit? Or would they be hard and bitter like dried beans? The recipe begins like this... Fasting From Faults of the Tongue 1 lb. dried beans 1 lb. raisins (or other dried fruit) 2 medium size bowls a large measure of Honesty The execution, however, is a little more difficult. It asks us to commit, over the course of a month or so, to being mindful of our words. Each time we speak we are asked to consider what has passed our lips. Are our words sweet and nourishing? Or are they hard and hurtful? Photo courtesy of my own sweet thyme blog.
Dried Beans and Raisins
The dried beans are there to represent our indiscretions, the faults that slip past our tongue on a daily basis. Every time we speak in anger or refer to someone in negative terms, whenever a lie passes or lips, or an unkindness, every time we share a little gossip, criticize or complain, it asks us to drop a dry bean in one of the bowls. The raisins represent the fruits of the Spirit, the kindness and encouragement we offer and share. In the course of a day, whenever we find that we have spoken in gentleness or offered words of kindness or support, whenever we express love, joy, patience, peace or find ourselves practicing self-control, we put a raisin in the second bowl. Why are our faults like dried beans? They need some attention and application of process before they can edify us and add nourishment to our diet. As they are, dry and hard, they have little value. Like small stones they are more likely to callous and irritate, wounding us without adding nutrition, incapable of providing complete protein and, if consumed, largely pass through our system without benefit. Yet our words do have potential. If we attend to them, if they are soaked, softened, seasoned and combined with other nutrients, these hard nuggets can become both nutritious and palatable.
Raisins, on the other hand, are nuggets of fruit. Plump and sweet, raisins are fruit of the vine that are preserved and tucked away to sustain us in seasons of plenty or drought. They sweeten the staff of life and make the ordinary special. Raisins have long been treasured as a treat added to holiday sweets. They are valued for the bright flavor of light and warmth they bring to a cold off-season meal.
As you may have already realized, this recipe requires a lot of personal awareness and a very large measure of honesty. But then, if we aren’t honest, who are we fooling? Only ourselves. Eating Our Words
When the month is done we will cook and eat the bowl of beans we have collected. Soaking them in water the beans soften as the hard outer husk cracks and often pulls away. When heat is applied they become even softer until they are actually palaltable and can provide nourishment. Then the beans are able to absorb a little salt and other seasoning making them into a tasty meal. Then we can focus on the bowl of fruit. Using the raisins or other dried fruit we have collected we can bake a delicious loaf of sweet bread, cake or other sweet treat to share and enjoy with family or friends in celebration of the good gift of words and the power they have to build, encourage and transform. So what do you say? Leave us some comments to let us know when you'd like to start. For those of you in the Portland area that are going to join, let's plan to eat our bean and raisin meal together. If you're a blogger make sure to keep us up to date with your progress (and include photos). For those of you without blogs send me updates and photos and I'll post your progress.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Measure Twice

A few years ago I received these great measuring spoons in my stocking at Christmas. I really wanted them because they were the same ones that Giada DeLaurentis used on her show. They were so simple with their blue rims and porcelain material. However, I have now managed to break two sets of these and I'm thinking the porcelain just isn't the way to go. So now I'm on a quest to find the best measuring spoons available. Option #1I love this option since it's nice and compact. It offers all the measurements in one slide of the adjuster. However it doesn't always fit in small jars. I'm sort of cheating here though, since my dear friend Jessica sent this to me a few years ago and I absolutely love it. I've also found that since I bake alot that I need more than one set. Option #2 I love how adorable these are! Though not for me due to the porcelain material, I've learned my lesson. They also don't seem very practical as they take up alot of space. Option #3 This seemed like a good set, inexpensive, stackable, and some cute colors. But I had these previously and after a few washes the measurements peeled off. Onto another option. Option #4 I love the bright colors of these, but don't like that there's only four measurements. And the winner!! I finally settled on these from Crate and Barrel. They're inexpensive: $7.95. They have double sides so you don't have to clean them between measurements, and one side is oval to fit into small jars. They also rest flat on the counter. And the best feature, they are magnetic and stack together. Forget those annoying rings.