Archive for November, 2008

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

Posted: November 30, 2008 in Uncategorized
  • Pounds of turkey:  13
  • Kitchen catastrophes: 1
  • Trips to Safeway on Thanksgiving morning:  3
  • Pounds of butter: 3
  • Turkey sandwiches: 2
  • Movies watched: 3
  • Hours driven by one daughter to spend 24 hours at home: 10
  • Amount of “worth it” that drive was: 42,673,995
  • Football games watched: for me – 1/2  for the rest of my family: a bunch
  • Pizzas ordered: 2
  • Salads consumed: 0
  • Stores visited on Black Friday: 3
  • Gifts purchased: 12
  • Chapters read in Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells and P.S. So Does May: 5
  • Messages preached: 4
  • Hours napped: 1
  • Hours spend in nap-recovery:3 and counting
  • Trips to Starbucks: 4

All in all, a pretty great weekend.  So how was yours?

24 Shopping Days til Christmas,



Not Everyone is Thankful

Posted: November 27, 2008 in Uncategorized


I just love the look on that turkey’s face so much!

They’re not thankful, but I am. For more than my fingers can type and more than my heart can hold. May your day be blessed with peace, hope and an award-winning turkey sandwich!

Happy Thanksgiving,


I love this post on famous chefs’ favorite turkey sandwiches at my new favorite blog, Serious Eats.turkey-sandwich

My sandwich of choice year after year (after year) is:  white meat turkey on a dinner roll with brie or cream cheese, cranberry sauce, salt and pepper…leftover stuffing on the side.

What I want to try, however, is:  turkey, avocado, mayo, bacon (don’t judge me) and sliced tomato on toasted sourdough.  This will be the year!

Also, for Bendites: Nancy P’s often serves a Thanksgiving Leftovers Wrap that’s pretty darn good.  Be on the lookout! For non-Bendites:  why-oh-why do you live in a place that isn’t?

So what’s on your turkey sandwich?

Gobble and waddle,


Matthew and the Biggest Loser

Posted: November 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever desires to lose his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 14:24-27

Whoever desires to save his life, will lose it. Bad news.  I really want to save my life.  In fact I’m pretty sure that, when push came to shove, I would generally choose to save my own life over someone else’s life.  I suspect this is true of most of humanity.

And whoever loses his life will find it. Good news.  Because losing our lives enables us to let go of self-protection and strife and vain ambition and all the get-aheadedness that causes us to lose sleep and sweat bullets and hurt others.  Losing our lives lets us throw caution to the wind and get in the boat with Jesus and say “take me there”.  Where?  The deep? “Sure!”  The storm? “You bet!”  The other side? “Absolutely!  And hey, I’ve got my cross right here in case anyone needs us to save them on the way.” What a good, free, wonderful life.

I get chances to practice this every day – when people aren’t what I want them to be, when life is hard and lines are long and the world is broken and brutal.  I get this marvelous opportunity to live unbound by the fear of losing my own life; I get to take up my cross and say, “I’m already dead anyway.”

The theme of my year has been that true freedom is not security or blessing or provision or purpose.  True freedom is becoming true friends with Jesus.  I see this scripture as another layer of that big truth.  Whoever lays down all the stuff that they’ve been working so hard to protect, will find all the stuff of Jesus waiting on the other side of that decision.  So good!  So exciting!

I can’t wait to get to losing,


Matthew and the Shady Women

Posted: November 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Matthew was a Jew trying to make a case to other Jews.  Therefore, the first chapter’s genealogy that we tend to want to skip over was actually a very important document for establishing his case for the Jewish-ness and lineage of Jesus.  His recitation of the “begats” is unique, however, in that it includes 4 women.  This is strange.  Women were not generally included in genealogies (in fact, a common morning prayer for Jewish men expressed gratitude that God had not made him a Gentile, a slave or a woman.) You would think that if Matthew was trying to make a legitimate and legal case with the Jews, he would do it their way.  However, the women are very interesting:  Tamar (became pregnant by her father-in-law, Judah), Rahab (prostitute), Ruth (and woman and a Gentile) and Bathsheba (cause of David’s moral failure).  Isn’t that such an intriguing list?  Each one faced fear and failure and yet managed to find her way into the messianic family tree.  When viewed from the perspective of a guy like Matthew, who was called out of a life of sin and shame to follow Jesus, this list almost screams, “There’s hope for anyone!” Even Rahab, even Bathsheba, even Matthew…even Bo.

All these people had a little time to make an eternal impact and – though the odds were stacked against them – they still did it.  So encouraging!  I’m just amazed when the littlest things pack such a big punch.  I love that I can make a difference…a difference in my genealogy, in my descendants…my legacy.  I love that I have been chosen by the God of every second chance.

Seeing my name between the lines,


All I can say about this post from Bakerella is:  people astound me with their patience and skill.


I would never in a million years make ’em, but they’re sure fun to look at!  I love their feet!



Yay, Thanksgiving Food!

Posted: November 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

I definitely have more to say about Matthew – but I just realized that  wonderful, glorious THANKSGIVING is only one week away.  Oh, I ADORE Thanksgiving.  A day off with family and football – and without the pressure of presents.

So, because I love food in all it’s forms and cooking is therapy to my little soul, I spend a LOT of time scouring the web and various cookbooks and magazines for the right Thanksgiving menu.  This year my crowd is smaller, so I’m not making the same variety of dishes I normally make, but I’m super excited about all the recipes I’ve chosen.  One of the things I love about cooking is that it’s so collaborative and creates such a warm sense of community…so I thought I would share what I found for our holiday and YOU can tell ME what you’re doing (and you might even get me to change my mind….I’m easy that way.)

Here’s our menu as it stands, with links to the recipes that are online:

Fruit-filled Muffins: I’ll bake these in the morning when I put the turkey in the oven and we’ll eat them for breakfast and all day long.  They are so simple but my family LOVES, loves them!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms: These mushrooms are being called up from Christmas Eve and Superbowl Sunday where they have lived heretofore.  I’ve linked a recipe, but it leaves out the most important ingredient which is: copious amounts of shredded mozzarella on top.

Bruschetta with Sweet Peppers and Creamy Gorgonzola (please know how many times I had to type Bruschetta to get it right):  I ADORE bruschetta and my husband loves gorgonzola, so this recipe looked just right to complete the appetizer course.  It’s the only thing on my menu I haven’t tried yet, so keep your fingers crossed!


Perfect Roast Turkey: I make Ina Garten’s “perfect roast chicken” probably twice a month in the summer when my herb garden is abundant.  It’s beautiful and fragrant and – Ina’s not exaggerating here – perfect.  This is the turkey variation.

Savory Spinach and Artichoke Stuffing: I love the tartness of the artichokes and the brie against the rich heaviness of the rest of Thanksgiving dinner.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes: I can’t begin to sing the praises of these guys loud or long enough.  They’re sweet and spicy and everything wonderful.  Even though  they  may seem a little funky at first glance, my whole family LOVES them  – even the hard-to-feed ones – so don’t be afraid of the chipotle conglomeration.

Cranberry Orange Sauce:  Yum!  Fresh…citrussy and just…yum.  Fantastic on turkey sandwiches or wraps after the main event is over.

Mashed Potaoes and Turkey pan gravy.  Because, seriously, of all the things to be thankful for in life – mashed potatoes and gravy?  Tippy-top of the list!

Green Bean Casserole: I’ve actually never made this before.  I usually make brussels sprouts or this fresh asparagus dish, but this year I decided to show the lowly green bean some love.  I’ll let you know if I have regrets.  Oh believe me, I will let you know!

And for of my 2007 discoveries from the artery-clogging kitchen of Paula Deen:

Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake. It’s sinful.  It’s delicious.  It’s probably illegal in 7 states.  All I can say is:  if lovin’ Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Cranberry Pecan Bread. Not everyone loves this stuff, but I love this stuff and at the end of the day, after I’ve cooked and slaved and toiled and troubled myself right into an early nap – this bread will be my reward.  This bread and a cup of coffee with cream.  Such a grand reward.

So that’s pretty much it.  I can’t wait for the day to arrive and I’m so glad to live in America where we set aside a whole entire day for the purpose of killing a fat bird and eating ourselves silly.

What are you eating?

With visions of cranberries,