Monday, 16 December 2013

Music for your Monday

Greetings, all. I trust la mundi has been well? Here's a piece I'm listening to while studying for finals.

                                  Like Pachabel, the ground repeats over, and over, and over...

Henry Purcell: A Curtain Tune on a Ground


Endearingly, not oboxiously.

Play on, Purcell, play on.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Reading List

Salve, everybody!

I'm taking a study break and thought I'd do an update of what I'm reading as of late. (And no, sorry, I am not including textbooks. No way.)

Anna Karenina
No. 1: Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

Alright, alright; the main plot of this Russian masterpiece is about an affair, and though I will in no way justify it, I will say that the Russian writers knew how to get inside someone's head and expose thought processes. (However...if anyone asks, Crime and Punishment, by Russian Fyodor Dostoevsy is on my optimum quod lectum est list, that is, the best that has been read. By me of course. It surpasses all.) But I digress: Anna Karenina is a piece of art in the literature world, and I am glad to be able to drink it in.

On the Shoulders of Hobbits

No. 2: On the Shoulders of Hobbits, by Louis Markos

One of my prizes (as in free books) from the amazingly enriching Desiring God 2013 National Conference is On the Shoulders of Hobbits, a very appropriate expository book at this time, especially with The Hobbit being serialized for us. 
   I picked this book because I adore Lewis and Tolkien and appreciate the "compare and contrast" formulas. Markos explains how both Tolkien and Lewis used the imagined to portray reality and the extremes of good versus evil.

Erasing Hell

No. 4, Erasing Hell, by Francis Chan

This is last, but certainly not least.I have been very sobered by this 
since a classmate blatantly stated they did not believe in hell. Calling themselves a christian, they stated that God couldn't be "all good and loving if he sent people to hell."

So I delved.

In this book, Chan discusses many angles and biblical answers, but the one I found to be the most beneficial is that since God IS perfect (which both parties agree on), have we ever stopped to realize that his plans, judgments, and decisions are completely unlike ours? Higher than ours? Above ours? His ways are not our ways! If that is taken into consideration and we take God out of the box we've put him into, we may start to understand that Holiness and justice God so readily calls His own is further beyond ours than we will know

No. 4 The Proteus Effect, by Ann B. Parson

This book focuses on stem cell research, how people research stem cells, and what the benefits of stem cells are. Proteus, a mythical Greek god, was one who could change his shape or form to meet his own purpose. The analogy to stem cells is that these cells are so young that they can keep dividing (ever new, ever young) into practically any organ in the body. It's "groundbreaking." It's fascinating. But is it right?

Though not a textbook, I found it in the genetic research shelf of the library, and as the human genome and what people are actually doing with it interests me, I decided to carefully read this book. So far it's not as horrific as Clockwork Orange (which I couldn't finish for abundance of obscenity), but I have a feeling it is going to be an immense eye opener for me, especially since I am going into the medical field.

I hope you're all staying warm and reading your own good books!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Minneapolis Culture: Tea Tasting

Greetings! Thus far, my weekend off has consisted of much busy work. Yesterday I worked in our church kitchen for the women's Christmas Tea/Luncheon, which was quite rapidly paced. However, working with other believers is always enriching; I don't feel belittled, I'm always doing my best, and doing it to the fullest.

With temperature below zero, we drove around Minneapolis. I spotted one of these signs and thought "What? A tea warehouse?!" Entitled Mrs. Kelly's Tea, it is a shop specializing in a bevy of tea varieties. 

Seriously: On a day with freezing temperatures, what better for the Dutch than a sampling of much tea??

After some quick dishes and a call, my lovely cousin came to explore the tea house with us.

And oh what a delightful surprise we found; teas upon teas upon teas. So taste away we did. 

I tried a Ginger Peach (pleasant); a "Russian Smoky" (drinkable but reeked of tobacco), and a cherry almond. I have yet to taste my assorted remaining samples. It's like a little piece of random excitement. Outings like those are such fun, the spontaneous, the unplanned, the adventurous. Maybe to say you've done it, maybe to just have fun, or perhaps to enjoy a certain something with a certain someone. Because to me, God's given us a life to live to the fullest, and outings like these with people we love can be likened to embellishments to our scrapbooks.

Well enough of my mused sentimentalism. Blessings on your Sunday!

Note: I did not have my camera, and this resulted in no original photos. Therefore...all links below each photo give credit to those original photos. Thank you!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie

Hello everyone! As a send off for the weekend, I'll share a recipe I made this week.

Here's the link:  Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie

Since I worked Thanksgiving, I did not have time to craft this masterpiece, so I made it midweek. On 'hump day,' to be precise. Using a recipe from Bon Appetit, some bourbon from Thanksgiving, and lots of natural maple syrup and cream (not to mention a propane torch), I brought first brûléed pie.

//apologies for la terrible photos...\\

After crimping the crust, I placed rice weights inside to keep the crust from bubbling. Only then did I brush the crust with egg (to give it extra shine, ya know).

This is probably the richest pie I have made. I mean, I literally kept adding stuff to it. Stuff like an entire cup of heavy cream. To me, you whip that and put it on top of the pie, not in the pie. Right? Oh no. 

The last thing I did was to brûlée the pie. I do not have my own kitchen torch, so I used our propane torch. Happily, I didn't burn the pie. And oh, was it ever so wonderful.

With whipped cream on top.

lovely winter weekend wishes!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

From Minnesota Public Radio: Link

Elizabeth Berridge and Tom Hulce as
Constanze and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
in "Amadeus" (1984) (Warner Bros.) 

I came across this article written by Nasir Sakandar, a writer/journalist and Co-Editor in Chief of Dislocate, a Minnesota journal of writing and art.

Music for Living: Why Your Dating Life Needs Classical Music

In a world of pop music, I (albeit cling) listen to great amounts of classical. When I tuned in this morning, I found this article next to the pod cast, and it caught my eye. I thought it funny, but also so very true. Classical music is a river running deep.

Note: as a Christian, I believe dating relationships are for one reason alone, being to glorify God in searching for someone with which to advance His kingdom. Putting aside the cryptic words, dating is a job. You enter into a relationship, a gift from God, to pursue marriage. Personally, if there's not thought about marriage at all, then well...what are you on, a joy ride? It'd be interesting to have a Christian twist on this article, because classical music doesn't just give me a base passion, but a passionate appreciation for the creativity God blessed mankind with.

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond ALL MEASURE
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His Treasure.

Next time you listen to a passionate piece of classical, don't forget about how deep God's love is. Making a wretch His treasure?! Words cannot describe it