Saturday, March 27, 2010


Even though I've made ribs and they turned out good (or maybe "good enough") tonight was the first time I made ribs that knocked our socks off. This was completely different. Deliciously different.

Every other time, I simmered the ribs for about an hour, and then put on the barbecue sauce to grill them for a few minutes. This time I looked up a variety of online recipes. Most said to boil the ribs as I'd always done. But some recipes said not to; one said that you boil all the flavor out so that you have great broth but not-great ribs.

The trick is to cook them very very very long on very very low heat. Neither Gary nor I wanted to tend the grill for the whole day. So I applied a rub (some sugar, salt, spices) to both sides of the meat and let it sit for an hour. Then the racks of ribs were laid on large pieces of foil. I poured on barbecue sauce and sealed up the foil into a tight package. Then those packets baked at 250 for about six hours. When it was nearly time to eat, I opened the packets, poured on another tablespoon or two of BBQ sauce, and popped them under the broiler for a few minutes.

These were the best ribs I've ever eaten in my life. I've never been much of a rib person, but I could definitely have eaten more than my share of the meat tonight!

John 18:4

In the Garden, when Judas showed up with the soldiers --
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?"

Knowing all things that would come upon Him. When the soldiers arrived, He knew what was coming, and still He went forward to face it. A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth...

Interestingly, when He answered, "I am He" a few verses later, they drew back. Jesus --who, humanly speaking, has everything to fear-- goes forward. The thugs --who, humanly speaking, have nothing to fear-- are the ones who retreat. Love goes forward, in spite of suffering. Unbelief pulls away from that love.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Disciples on Maundy Thursday

I don't get it.

Jesus tells them that one of them will betray Him. They must've thought He knew what He was talking about. They didn't doubt the veracity of what He said; they apparently assumed they were capable of such treachery: they all asked, "Is it I, Lord?"

An hour or so passes. Judas left to fetch the soldiers. Jesus is teaching the others. He says that Peter will deny Him. Peter says "no way; ain't gonna happen." And "they all said likewise." In other words, they thought Jesus was completely off-base about this.

Why? If they thought they were such staunch followers that nothing could make them deny, then why did each one ask if he were the one who would betray the Lord?

Today's Laugh

I haven't made time to hunt up jokes this week since my last batch of pre-dated blog jokes ran out. A bunch of you probably saw this one already on the newest episode of my favorite geek show, Big Bang Theory, but I'm posting it anyway since I busted gut over it!

Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip?
To get to the same side.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Honey-Roasted Chicken

Yeah, yeah, I know "honey-roasted" makes ya think of peanuts on an airplane. I bought a chicken a few days ago. Andrew decided that "honey-roasted" sounded good. Where he got that idea, I haven't a clue. But we hunted up some recipes, merged them, and tried it out.

Woooo boy!

For a 5# chicken, we used:
about 2/3 or 3/4 cup honey
about 2 Tbsp lemon juice
about 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 or 1/4 tsp Emeril's Essence
about 1/2 tsp salt
about 1/8 tsp pepper

Stir together the glaze/marinade stuff.
Rinse the chicken under running water; shake off excess water.
Put chicken in a big ol' plastic bag.
Pour the honey stuff all over the bird, both sides.
Close bag; smear the marinade all around the bird.
Marinate for 4-6 hours in the fridge, turning the bag over every 1/2 hour or so.
Bake in high-sided roaster (I used the crock from my crockpot) at about 375. It takes about an hour for a 3# bird, and a little more than 2 hours for a 5# one.
After removing chicken from the roaster, dump the liquid from the roaster into a skillet, and boil it like silly to reduce it. This makes an awesome dipping sauce for the chicken. Or to pour on your veggies. Or to dip bread in.

This was super easy and super tasty, and we have to make it again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Comfortable with Yourself

Andrew has a HUGE space between his two front teeth right now.

Today, as we're leaving church, Kara is coming down the driveway in her minivan, and Andrew dawdles around in the road, blocking her. As he finally moves and she drives past, she yells out the window, "Well, I could say something really mean, like 'Don't worry, I'll just drive through the space between your front teeth.'"

Oh my gosh. We cracked up! Andrew went back and high-fived her for such a great zinger!

As we were driving home, it crossed my mind that I would have been devastated if somebody had said something like that to me when I was in high school. But not Andrew. And I thought about Jane's fabulous post yesterday on homeschoolers having their own individual style, and knowing themselves, and not being Conformists Of The First Degree.

When the kids were young, and my mom was looking for gift suggestions, I would tell her about toys or kits or games they might enjoy from Timberdoodle or one of the offbeat toy catalogs. Mom would frequently comment on what neat toys there were, so different from what you see at the major big-box stores. I think the interest in unique playthings is kinda sorta symptomatic of my kids being their own individual people and not cookie-cutter kids.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Socialism and Communism

The definition of socialism is a political and economic system where the government/public owns the means of production, such as land and factories.

The definition of communism is a political and economic system where the government/public owns the means of production, such as land and factories.

Wait a minute. Those two look suspiciously similar.

So what's the difference between socialism and communism? According to my World Book encyclopedias, communists say that communism will be a freewill endeavor, and that socialism is a step on the road to communism. Under socialism, unfortunately, some of those greedy people have to be coerced into paying their taxes and doing what is right for their fellow man. The encyclopedia also reports that socialists see communism as the system where people are forced to participate in the system, but that socialism can be democratic and freely entered into.

I guess it depends on whether you call yourself a socialist or a communist. Either way, it's the other one that is the big bad bully of a system.

Of course, we know the history of the Communist Party in Russia and other nations, where the government terrorized and even murdered its citizens, discouraged religion, and curtailed freedoms. So what is it about Socialists that's different? Here's a quote from the encyclopedia about socialism:
Most socialists are firmly committed to work within the framework of a country's constitution. They seek to cooperate with all parties.

Ah. I see. So the socialists (as opposed to the communists) honor the nation's constitution and work for reconciliation between the political parties. Of course.

Just Stuff

Yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of sitting around with Rachel and Anthea (and part of the afternoon with Philip), laughing and talking and eating and laughing some more! And Anthea is going to come back for Easter Vigil!

Rosie was treed by a neighbor's escaped dog yesterday, and then last night I dreamed the wolves were closing in on Athena.

The orthodontist looked at Andrew's palate today. Even with the big space between his front teeth, he has to keep cranking the expander for at least another week. They don't care about the space between his teeth -- the doctor cares about how his molars are lining up. Wow, by the time his top molars are slightly outside his bottom molars, he's going to look like an 8-yr-old who's singing "All I Want for Chrithmath Ith My Two Front Teeth."

I didn't plant the spinach last week, anticipating having the little sprouts die in the cold of the weekend. Maybe I could haul myself out to the backyard now? I just remember the year I planted early, and late plantings and early plantings all came up at the same time. (Not unlike reading skills, where --by age 12-- the kids who learned to read at age 4 aren't any further advanced than the kid who learned to read at age 9.)

Between choir and the kids doing the Palm Sunday Gospel from Luke, Maggie is going to be at church every afternoon this week. A good homeschooling mother would ensure that Andrew gets a lot of individual attention during those hours. I'll make a stab at being good...