Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From our little kitchen to yours

It's time I shared with you some of Danice and Beth's greatest eating secrets. I don't want to overwhelm you with our cooking prowess, which is so impressive that it can't be contained in our kitchen, so this first installation will only deal with snack-like food. I will try to keep the instructions simple so you can follow along easily.

P.S. In writing this, I am obviously procrastinating from reading a book I have to read and review by Monday, called "Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch"... enough said.

Crackers and Cheese - a delightful twist on an old favorite

1. Buy Wheat Thins and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
2. Take a Wheat Thin and drag it through the cream cheese.
3. Eat.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream - a "Fun Ugly" staple dessert.

1. Dish out vanilla ice cream. Don't be ashamed to buy the cheap no-name stuff ... it will be made edible by the next step.
2. Add one tablespoon of peanut butter. If you use the same spoon you used to scoop the ice cream, make sure you don't leave any ice cream residue in the peanut butter jar. This can look like mold, and your roommate might throw out the peanut butter due to her irrational fear of mold. Wait a minute... does peanut butter go moldy?
3. Add chocolate sauce. Heat it first if you want to get really fancy.
4. Add chocolate chips (unless you hate it when your chocolate chips freeze and get too crunchy in your ice cream. I don't mind.)
5. If you're Danice and you're CRAZY, add marshmallows.
6. Stir vigorously until well blended.
7. Eat. Slowly. Avoid brain freeze.

Yogurt-covered raisins - the only reason to go to Safeway.

1. Go to Safeway.
2. Find the bulk bins.
3. Fill a plastic bag with yogurt-covered raisins.
4. Pay for them. Earn 0.00258 Air Miles.
5. Eat. (You can start eating them on the bus ride home from Safeway.)

Tea and chocolate - a secret I bring to you direct from my time in Belgium.

1. Boil water.
2. Run like a MANIAC to take the kettle off the stove element when it whistles (if you're Danice).
3. Make tea. Chai and Earl Grey are our favorites.
4. If you have just made a sissy fruity kind of tea, pour it out. Those kinds are unacceptable. Herbal is barely acceptable. But peppermint is ok, because it tastes good with chocolate.
5. Alternatively, if there is already tea in the pot from yesterday, you may choose to heat it up in a mug in the microwave. Some tea purists think this is unacceptable. I am not a tea purist.
6. Add sugar and milk to taste. Actually, it works best if you put the sugar and milk in the mug BEFORE you pour in the tea. I learned this from Lindsey Mae, who always makes tea taste good.
7. But if you only read the first sentence of step 6 and you accidentally added the sugar AFTER you poured the hot tea, stir it in and listen to the sound of your spoon against the mug slowly descend in pitch. This is really weird. I swear. Try it. I think it has something to do with the sugar dissolving in the water... I don't know. I'm a biologist, not a chemist.
8. Blow on your tea. You do not want to burn your tongue because you will need it for the next few steps.
9. Take a piece of dark chocolate and place it on your tongue. Do not chew! Show some restraint.
10. With the chocolate balancing on your tongue, take a sip of tea.
11. Let the tea melt the chocolate right down into your tastebuds and savor the warm chocolaty glory.
12. Repeat steps 9-11 until tea and chocolate are gone.
13. Eat. I mean drink.

Cheggels - a recipe created by Rachel Malena (who also coined the name)

1. Get some cheese, an egg, and a bagel. (Is the name making sense yet?)
2. Cut the cheese, fry the egg, and toast the bagel.
3. Combine into a sandwich-like formation.
4. Cook for a couple minutes in the toaster oven to melt the cheese.
5. You may want to add more ingredients... a slice of meat, a tomato, Frank's Hot Sauce.
6. Add more Frank's Hot Sauce.
7. Add lots of salt. (I like salt.)
8. Eat.

Limp Celery Wars - a sport created by Rachel Malena (who also coined the name)

1. When you neglect to eat all your celery before it loses its crunchiness, don't throw it out. That's wasteful.
2. Instead, leave it in the fridge for a while. A couple of weeks should be good.
3. Break off a stalk. It should be quite limp. Give it a couple of shakes.
4. Whip it vigorously at your sister or roommate.
5. Repeat. Your opponent may also whip them at you. Defend yourself as best you can.
6. Eat... No, silly, DON'T eat. That's gross. This is a sport, not a snack.

It must be time for me to return to my book. May I point out that this is my second blog of the week. And my busiest week of school yet. And thus the busy-ness/lack of blogging theory takes another blow. In fact, I believe the two may be inversely related. Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog pressure

Yes, I know, it's been another month without a blog. I'm trying to figure out why I'm not naturally writing as much. I am definitely getting busier... I'm doing a full day at Jacob's Well now, and taking three classes, and TA-ing for one class, and helping with youth at my church, and trying to learn Greek on my own, and participating in a church small group and a Regent community group. And yet I think my brother Daniel is involved in more things than me, and he still has time to play video games. So it can't just be busy-ness.

You might say it's because of Facebook. You might be right. I do visit Facebook often. I visit it when I should be writing papers or sleeping. It's my prime gap-filler, and I think if I added up all the gaps I've filled it with, I could get a whole day back. I've been doing a lot of philosophizing about Facebook lately, discussing its benefits and dangers with friends and family, and searching the web for opinions a
bout it. One smart guy named Derek Draper said that Facebook taps into our craving for "continual surface stimulation" and "activities that are hypnotically shallow." Agreed. But another guy said that Facebook is actually good for re-integrating our postmodern disintegrated selves, because it forces us to portray the same persona to all our groups of friends. My Facebook friends from church see the same page, same notes, same pictures as my Facebook friends from elementary school. On a more personal level, I have found that Facebook can foster some resentful and stalker-ish tendencies in me, such as when I see a friend's pictures of a party I wasn't invited to. But it can also remind me to pray for and pursue conversation with people whose status updates pop up on my home page. It reminds me that God has blessed me with a large network of people who have helped shape who I am today. And mostly, it helps me remember people's birthdays. So the verdict is still out... any further thoughts on this social networking phenomenon?

Really, though, I think I'm avoiding blogging because I'm feeling this pressure to write something profound. I have been having a lot of profound thoughts lately, but none of them have really fit the blog format. But you know, I don't think I need to wait for the profound thoughts. I'm just going to write what I feel like writing.

So, in a very non-profound way, I will share with you some things I did over this past week, which was one of Regent's reading weeks (no classes! yay!) In no particular order...

- Ate Thanksgiving dinner at the home of someone I barely knew, and discovered their great hospitality.
- Learned about the huge issue of human trafficking in Vancouver... and the brothel that is 9 blocks away from my house.
- Survived and learned from a very difficult conflict with an acquaintance. (I'm not good with conflict. Yet.)
- Watched a pointless Film Festival movie.
- Picked up a beautiful leaf and pressed it in my book.

- Spent a wonderful day with my Saskatoon friend, Tall Jordan. Ate nachos on the beach, saw "Across the Universe," and learned about "opportunity cost".
- Had second annual camp night in the living room with roommates and friends... sleeping in a tent... roasting marshmallows over the electric stove element...
- Watched a couple episodes of the mind-blowing documentary "Planet Earth". You. Must. Check. This. Out. It is not only for the biology geeks like myself. Danice likes it.
- Successfully avoided catching Danice's cold.
- Tried a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, and enjoyed it.
- Preached to the geese.

- Planned 4 youth events with my fellow youth leaders.
- Read a depressing book for "Pastoral Ethics" class about a pastor who sexually abused several women in his congregation.
- Participated in two protests... one for Burma, and one for the homeless, which involved taking an afternoon nap with a hundred other people in front of the Olympic Countdown Clock in Vancouver.
- Watched a very disturbing documentary called "Jesus Camp".
- Attended the UBC Apple Festival and ate a caramel apple, along with Jodi, Michelle, Dale, Danika and Callie. This is a picture of Dale and Callie (who got a little tired of apples).

- Saw a kingfisher hover in midair for over 10 seconds.
- Edited my professor's class notes (the one I am TA-ing for) with new cues for powerpoint slides.
- Studied at several coffee shops around the city.
- Waited on hold for an hour for the tech support guys to answer and fix our internet phone.

- Sat on my rock and prayed... and God answered one prayer today.
- Met Jodi and Michelle's bunny, Franklin.
- Developed a taste for Annie Lennox.
- Created a zucchini/tomato pasta dish.
- Drank a lot of tea.
- Did some long math problems with Jane at Jacob's Well.
- Made a lot of progress on the puzzle that has been sitting unfinished on our living room floor for a month.
- Spent a lot of time with Danice. Man, she's great.

Ok. I resolve to do this more often. You can hold me accountable. :)