Alright, I missed the recipe of the month in March because I got a little overwhelmed writing this book on the Christian virtues. It’s due soon, actually tomorrow, though I don’t think I’m going to quite make it – especially if I keep doing things like blog about French toast. Will let you know how it goes… Again, thank you all so much for your very helpful comments on the blog regarding the book a few months ago. They were very helpful. Alright, onto the French toast!
This is what all the people gathered around my table are eating on Easter morning. My dear friend, April, whipped it up the night before, and I’m telling you, this dish will make you a hero in your family, neighborhood, social network – wherever you need hero status. Here’s the recipe:
1/2 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk
Egg Bread (or Italian Sweet Bread)
Put 1/2 stick butter and 1 cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons in bottom of 13×9 inch pan and put in oven until butter is melted. Take out of oven and mix all three ingredients together until you have a nice glaze covering the bottom of the pan. Place thick slices (1.5 inch ea.) of Egg Bread (or bread of your choice) over the glaze covering the entire dish (just one layer). Then whisk 7 eggs and 1-1/2 cups of milk together in bowl. Once whisked, pour over the bread slices in the pan. Cover and put in fridge overnight. Wake up the next morning, preheat your oven to 350 while get your coffee on… Then bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
Super easy. Delicious. Not healthy, but great for the psyche!
Hope you all are enjoying spring. Thanks for the prayers regarding this book. More to come soon…
Okay, so a few months ago I posted a blog regarding the Christian virtues, or graces, that we are to “clothe” ourselves in, and your responses were very helpful – and honest, which I love. (Here’s the link if you missed it, or want to add a thought). Since then I have been writing furiously on the virtues listed in Colossians 3:12, along with a bunch of other aspects that go with how to practically put these virtues “on”. All of which will help get me to my goal of 50,000 words. Yes, writing is that romantic.
And since this book has managed to coil its tendrils around every waking moment of my consciousness I have all but ignored my blog, something my friends remind me of every day (probably because they’re the only ones who read it, or sincerely believe others do…)
So, I’m posting an excerpt on forgiveness from the book that will be out in May of 2011, if I don’t first die from staring at my computer screen.
I was making a homemade pasta sauce out of vine ripened cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic and zucchini on Valentines Day (or Galentines Day as my friend, Paige, likes to refer to it. Horrifically cheesy I know, but strangely comforting to be able to reclaim the day for the singles of my gender). The recipe called for fresh or canned artichoke hearts, but there was some silent alarm of compromise that signaled me at the thought of buying something canned for my otherwise from scratch meal. I knew that none of my dinner guests would know if I cut a canned artichoke corner here or there, but I figured if I was going to go to the trouble of rolling out my homemade semolina pasta dough, I would learn how to cut a fresh artichoke in a way that laid bare its prized heart.
This was possibly one of the greatest errors of my young-adult life. After widdling away the pointy leaves of four artichokes I think I came away with enough “quartered” hearts for one guest to have one sliver in one bite. Before sautéing these little remnants I treasured them in a bowl of lemon juice, like they were on the endangered species list, because – who knew – artichoke hearts oxidize immediately. I don’t think I’ve ever coddled a food more, perhaps besides pinenuts, which can cost you a day’s wage if you over broil them. I “supplemented” with the silly cans.
But for all my defeat, I found scraping the furry little choke out of the center of the heart soothingly therapeutic. This may reveal I need other forms of therapy, but at the very least I liked the image of ridding a valuable delicacy of its thistly center. Forgiveness can be much the same way: there is often a lot of peeling away of layers. We find ourselves rejoicing with one discarded leaf of bitterness here and another of anger there, while still recognizing we’ve a few more of revenge and gossip to go. If we’re intent on seeking the Bible for its healing truths, we’ll find it as smart as a paring knife, sharp enough to discern the motives and desires of our heart. Which is essential when walking through forgiveness.
If you will indulge me with the artichoke analogy for one more paragraph (really just trying to get my wasted-artichoke money’s worth) it has been my experience, that even after shedding my enemy of all his/her wrongs I’ve been hanging onto, the whole thing eventually comes down to one prickly center – the core of the wound. It might be rejection, abandonment, betrayal, slander, loss of innocence, but whatever it is you will always know it. It will be the ugliest and most difficult piece to reconcile, and it will be the last thing to stand between you and the glory of a cleansed heart. It will take the grace of God to scrape the thing out, but it will be worth every supernatural release if we will allow Him to do it – and you can take that straight to the lemon juice bowl. (I just went too far, didn’t I?)
During all the bible study and book writing there are moments when I forget that I originally came to Nashville for music – not so much for speaking and writing. That said, I love what I get to do these days, which seems to be a lot more teaching, and book and bible study writing, but I still love every opportunity I get to song-write and sing. Like, I can’t wait to lead worship for Easter this weekend at my home church in Nashville.
For whatever reason I haven’t shared much about this with the blog world (probably because I’ve been blogging too much about things like food), but I am with a worship label out of England called Kingsway. You may know of them through songs like “In Christ Alone”, “Blessed Be Your Name” and “Here I Am To Worship”. A couple years ago I released a worship record with them called “Finer Day”. But just this past week they released a six-song EP here in the States that is a compilation of some live and studio recordings I’ve done with them. Here’s a little early review of the EP if you’re interested.
I hope everyone is waiting with anticipation this week for Good Friday and the following celebration of Easter. There has been a different sort of expectancy brewing in my waiting this season that I am thankful for. I hope this is the case for you as we all look forward to the celebration of the resurrection.