Saturday, October 01, 2011

Pasta Test

Last time I shopped at Aldi, there was no whole-wheat pasta. When I asked the clerk, she said it had been discontinued due to lack of sales. Oh no! We'd been so disappointed with whole-wheat noodles in the past, and Aldi's was not only cheap but also a great product. We didn't have choke down the brown pasta because it was "good for us." It actually tasted great.

Yesterday I bought one box each of five different brands of pasta. In separate saucepans, I cooked about 1/4 cup of each kind. Here are our conclusions:

Hogsdon Mill has the brownest taste of the ones we bought, but it was edible.
15.8 cents per ounce.

Da Vinci 100% whole wheat also tasted brown, but acceptable.
19.9 cents per ounce.

Racconto 8-whole-grain pasta had a nicer texture and a lighter taste than the two 100% ones. It's a blend of grains: wheat, rye, buckwheat, kamut, spelt, etc.
16.2 cents per ounce.

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest and
Barilla Whole Grain
were our favorites. They're both half whole-wheat and half white. The taste and texture is much closer to the white pasta we'd been used to prior to discovering the now-gone pasta from Aldi. The ingredient list and nutrient list on the Barilla and Ronzoni look very similar to the label on the Aldi box.
Barilla = 9.0 cents per ounce
Ronzoni = 10.5 cents per ounce

For nutrition reasons, I'd prefer to buy Rocconto. The taste and texture is comparable to the Ronzoni & Barilla, but the mix of whole grains has a variety of minerals that you don't find when eating just wheat. But the Rocconto is almost twice the price of the Barilla. I think that means Barilla wins out for our family.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let Me Not Be Ashamed

Our psalm for this week is 25. Four times David talks in this one psalm about being ashamed or not being ashamed. I don't know about you, but I tend to think of ashamed as pretty much equivalent to embarrassed.

But the word shame is in "ashamed." Shame isn't really a feeling so much as it as a status that comes in the wake of one's behavior. We pray in the Sixth Petition "that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice." That part of the Lord's Prayer sheds a different light on what David is saying in the psalm.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


In an attempt to cut down on my computer time, I've decided to ban myself from Facebook four days per week. I intend to cut my friends-list in half or more. When I originally signed up for Facebook, my plan was to "friend" only close family and a couple of friends. I was "hidden," and my list consisted of around 20-25 people for many months.

Then Facebook took away the option to be hidden. The recent changes on Facebook seem too overwhelming for me to figure out at this point in my life. Facebook wants to give us more reasons to interact on their site, and that's the exact opposite of what I want. Given that I've spent the last few years trying to curtail my attraction to goofing on the computer, this seems as good a time as any to back off in this one area. I'm not willing to axe the whole account (at least, not yet) because I want to see baby pictures and wedding pictures and reunion pictures, all of which are easy to share via Facebook.

If I believed in signs from God, I would say that He sent several this week confirming that this is a good plan. Please don't take it personally if I 'unfriend' you or fail to respond to FB messages. I'm just trying to spend more time with In-Real-Life interaction than electronic conversations.

Wish me luck.

When the Ark Set Out

The pillar of cloud/fire led the Israelites in the wilderness. At the end of Numbers 10, we hear what Moses said when they started out journeying and what he said when they stopped.

Psalm 68 (written by King David about 500 years later) starts with the exact same words that Moses said whenever the ark set out.

I think that's so cool. I love seeing in the Bible how we keep saying the same things over and over through the centuries, how we keep repeating what the previous generations have prayed. Those words which sustain our faith are words which transcend the years, the decades, the millenia.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Silver Trumpets

God instructed Moses that there should be two silver trumpets. They would be used to notify the Israelites when to gather, and when to pick up camp and move. They would be used as a call to arms and, at other times, as a call to worship. (See Numbers 10.)

So look at Psalm 81. "Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day."

How 'bout that? Those trumpets referred to in the psalm weren't simply the brass in the orchestra used for worship. They were sacramental trumpets. (Don't look at me like that! They were. Look at the story!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Boring Ol' Update

We keep trying to find time to work in the garden. Andrew and Maggie helped me a lot at the end of last week, but it's been raining constantly since Friday night.

Rachel was here on Sunday. Katie and the girls came over too. Ah, enjoyment!

My mom is home from hospital and rehab, enjoying being back in her own house!

Someone was sent home sick from work. I was the only one available to sub. So I will have three full days this week instead of two. So much for washing sheets or going to the grocery store. Actually, I'm quite pleased that we managed to eat Real Meals both yesterday and today, in spite of my paid-job interfering with cooking.

Also regarding job-news, the best teacher we have at our branch is taking a promotion at another branch. Oh, I will miss him! I have to ask a lot of questions and learn a lot before he goes elsewhere. He has such a calm way of teaching, but always explains well and gives opportunity to the learner to be doing some thinking instead of just rote copying, but he's fun and no stick-in-the-mud. That other branch that stole him away is sure lucky to get him! Thankfully, I really like the person who will probably replace him.

And in still more job-news, my regular schedule was changed with the start of the school year. There are a couple of minor downsides to the new schedule, but it also opens up two important days annually that I look forward to but had to miss this past year. So what worked best for my manager turned out to be what works best for me too! Can't get much better than that.

Saturday we all worked together on garage cleaning. We found plenty of items that had gone missing. This past weekend I also managed to clean off all the kitchen counters and the bedroom dressers. WHY are they already littered with papers and misplaced items? Already?!!

We watched The Blind Side again tonight. Yowza, that is one FANTASTIC movie.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Love Means ...

Love means "I will do whatever it takes so that you might live."
-- Kenneth Korby