Monday, August 31, 2009

got milk?

Daniel brought home some extra milk today...

Ten gallons extra!

(It was a good deal, ha ha.) So I started thinking about what to do with so much milk.

The first thing that came to mind was to make queso fresco, a soft cheese. After looking around on the internet and finding several recipes, I combined a couple, and this is what I ended up doing:

Heat four quarts of milk to 180° F (82° C), stirring constantly. (Be careful not to scald it.) While stirring with a wisk, slowly add 1/4 cup white vinegar. (The milk will begin to curdle.) Continue to stir for 10-15 minutes. (I left the heat on low, to maintain the temperature.) Line a colander with a fine cheesecloth, and pour the curdled milk through it. Allow the curds to cool for about 20 minutes, then gather the four corners of the cloth and hang it, suspended over a bowl or sink until it stops dripping (about 5 hours). I helped it by squeezing it periodically.

The solidified cheese can be broken apart and salted to taste, or left unsalted.

We use queso fresco in lasagna (instead of ricotta), tacos, sprinkled over tostadas with beans and salsa, and on top of bean dip. It's delicious!

After the cheese-making process, I ended up with about three quarts of whey by-product. Any ideas what I could do with that? I was thinking of chilling it to pour over cereal, or using it for pancake batter or biscuits.

So, just nine more gallons of milk to go! I am freezing some of it, but maybe some of you cooks out there have recipes that use milk as a key ingredient. Let's hear 'em! If you like, post it on your blog, and I will link you here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How does your garden grow...

...Like crazy, with all the rain we have had! We've been harvesting lettuce and onions for a while now. The broccoli plants are huge and bushy, but no broccoli yet.

The squash is doing well, in spite of the frost damage we had a couple of weeks ago. Its vines creep along the ground under the corn, and Daniel trained it up one wall of the enclosure.

The tomatoes look promising. These are the plants that Jessica and I started from seeds. They did NOT like the transplant process, and I worried that we might lose them altogether. But they are surviving, and we were so excited when they finally bloomed!

...I'm already dreaming about salsa...

Friday, August 21, 2009

I received an email this morning that said this:

"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

Sounds good, doesn't it? But how true is it? That depends on how you look at it.

One way to read that saying is that when you are in God's will, He will protect you from physical harm. Are we always protected from harm? What about my brother, who got punched in the face one time for witnessing to a fellow? Did he suffer harm because he was out of God's will? Are the brave believers who suffer torture and death for their stand for Christ, out of God's will?

While I have heard of and experienced many times God's blessings and protection from harm, I do not believe that being right with God is an automatic shield of protection from physical harm.

Another way to read that saying is that when you are in God's will, His grace can keep you in spite of adverse circumstances! We who are His own can experience security in His grace, whether experiencing a storm or smooth sailing, and peace that no one around us can understand. If you have been a child of God for any length of time, I'm sure you can identify!

Even though we are walking with the Lord (and sometimes because we are walking with the Lord), Christians WILL suffer adversity and hardships. The difference is that those who have a relationship with the Creator are able to rise above those circumstances and ride out the storm with calm assurance instead of fear and uncertainty.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rainy Sunshine!

Don't you love it when warm rain falls from a sunny sky?

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God...

Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains...

He giveth to the beast his food...

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Praise the LORD!

Cristianismo Falso, the promised outline

I promised to post the notes from that great sermon we heard at the youth meeting last weekend, and I waited until I could borrow the preacher's notes. I took my own notes at the meeting, but I was holding a toddler in my lap at the time and, well, you can imagine what my notes look like!

So now I have obtained the original outline from the preacher, and guess what. It's the same stuff that I managed to scratch onto the back of my song sheet! I can't believe he preached all that he preached, in between the lines of this simple outline! But, without further ado, here it is, translated loosely from Spanish:

Text: Acts 5:1-11 (The account of Ananias and Sapphira, and their fatal hypocrisy.)

(After reading the passage, the preacher opened with some comments about the sin of Ananias and Sapphira. Their sin was not in holding back a portion of the money from the sale of their property, but rather it was their hypocrisy. They were not true disciples, but hoped to be thought spiritual and benevolent by their act. They were willing to deny themselves IF it brought to them some kind of benefit. They thought they could serve God AND mammon. And they hoped to fool the apostles, the church, and even the Holy Spirit, with their lies. We can learn from this how the God of Truth hates lies, not only direct lies, but also words with double meanings, meant to deceive.)

Signs of a False Christianity:

as exemplified by Ananias and Sapphira

I. Lack of Pure Motives. Their motives were not to give an offering, nor to honor the Lord, but that others might think well of them. *Why do you do the good works you do? Just to be seen of others?

II. Lack of the Fear of God.
It did not matter to them that God saw what they did, because they did not fear Him. *There are people who call themselves Christians yet live as though there were no God at all!

III. Lack of the Truth. They lied in order to accomplish their own purposes. *No lie stands alone; every lie is accompanied by more lies. *Who did Jesus say is the father of lies? *"Ye are of your father, the devil."

IV. Lack of Life. They lost their lives, literally. *Ephesians 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who WERE dead in trespasses and sins..." *Colossians 3:9 "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the NEW man..."

A prayer was made at the end for those who might be living a life of hypocrisy, trying to fool God and those around them into thinking they really are Christians, when in truth there is no life in them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Musing

Monday is always Catch-up Day around here. Between weekend activities, and the fact that practically NO housework gets done on the Lord's Day, there is always plenty to catch up on.

So while I am at it, I think I'll do a little catching-up on This Pilgrimage..

This weekend we enjoyed a wonderful Youth Meeting with a few other churches in the state. Our group prepared some special music with a chorale, acoustic guitars, and flute. The preaching was just excellent, and I think I am going to post the outline here later. Signs of a false Christianity. Convicting.

'Tis rainy season in Guatemala. The house is cool during the day, and nights are cooler. I haven't been blogging much because we have dealt with some illness, and I myself am still coming out of the fog of a monster ear/nose/throat infection. We don't take antibiotics unless the situation is out of control, which almost never happens, so we use a lot of home remedies around here. My favorite? Garlic Lemonade, a hot drink that feels sooo good on a sore throat. (That recipe is right here.)

Another reason I've been MIA, in a word, Facebook. My brother persuaded me to sign up. He said we can keep in touch better, and I'll find so many old friends from my past on there, and catching up is so much fun! All that is true, but it certainly does create a time conflict. My blogging friend Jungle Mom told me that "the younger folks prefer Facebook, the busy people want Twitter, and the rest of us like Blogger." That sounds about right! Facebook can be fun, but Blogger is where I can be stretched. I have found that great is the temptation to simply post one-liners on Facebook, and never get around to a blog post, which requires much more thought and effort. Repenting!

So now that I have expunged my guilt here, I must go refill my cup with hot tea and get back to household duties. May you all have a happy Monday, and a blessed week!