After an amazing Thanksgiving, crazy midnight madness shopping in Hagerstown Tompaul Stephanie and I are using our respective laptops welcoming the Sabbath with some retro tunes. By retro I mean circa 1995. With our latest Jars of Clay album we received the vinyl self titled album.
In 1995 at a Fellowship of Christian Atheletes retreat I heard Jars of Clay for the first time and it blew my mind. I owned maybe 2 Christian albums and rarely listened to them. Mostly because the quality was not as good as my regular music. The lyrics were sappy and the music was a farce. It was like eating the cheap store brand vanilla ice cream instead of Bryer’s Vanilla Bean. You know what it is supposed to resemble, and you keeping eating hoping you will be satisfied, but you know you never will.
Jars of Clay was a group I listened to because they were good, not because they were Christian. As time JoC has changed. I remember in college everyone owned their first album, but as their music grew I continued to enjoy them. I will say though that many of the subsequent albums did not grab me like their debut, that is until Who We are Instead. When I first heard Who We are Instead it revolutionized my listening.
In honor of Jars of Clay I present my favorite songs in no particular order:
- World Apart (Joc)
- Drummer Boy (Drummer Boy)
- Closer (Closer EP)
- Revolution (11th Hour)
- Dig (Furthermore: from the studio)
- Redemption (Furthermore: from the studio)
- Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows (Front Yard Luge)
- Work (Good Monsters)
- Dead Man (Good Monsters)
- Grace (If I Left the Zoo)
- Liquid (JoC)
- Oh My God (Good Monsters)
- The ENTIRE Who We are Instead Album but especially Jealousy
I would have to say my top JoC albums are
- Who We are Instead
- Jars of Clay
- Good Monsters
I think what always gets me is how they seem to have worshipful music in the vein of the Psalms. It can be praise it can be despondant. They were the first group, in my mind, to create music that described the Christian walk as it was. Sometimes it is fabulous and sometimes it sucks. Sometimes you look at the world and think how can God be there when the whole world is just so jacked up. But he is, and the Christian doesn’t have to be fake, the Christian just has to be real.
My mom bought me a gift for my trip, I thought it was going to be a practical thing cause that’s the kinda gal my mom is. She surprised me and bought me a Pandora Bracelet. She calls it my trip bracelet. The beads on each end she calls waves, because I am going across the oceans. The almost look like tires, so either way they are perfect for the thought of traveling. Then you see the suitcase, self explanatory. Finally you see the elephant with is representative of Tompaul and I going on the trip together (its one of our favorite animals).
On today’s list I have to work on some Christmas presents, make desert for Thanksgiving, and get ready for Steph’s visit.
Posted in Travel
Last night Tompaul and I drove to Hagerstown, MD. I know this is exciting in itself…but the real reason was to see Bronwen and Aaron and new baby (a.k.a. Adam). I volunteered to make part of dinner as there were some new recipies I wanted to try out…and its easier to experiment on a larger crowd because you get more opinions.
First I decided to make a homemade tomato soup. This is mostly because I had subpar tomato bisque for lunch…for 3.5 for the cup. I was thinking as I ate it…I have made better tomato soup. At this moment I realized I have become something horrid…a food snob!
Anyway I decided to make this soup I love. It comes from Giada’s Kitchen. The soup involves crushed tomatoes, canelli beans (to make it creamy), carrots, garlic (sorry Ba), onion and red pepper flakes. The red pepper flakes I used were newer than the ones I have so it was a bit on the HOT side. You can look the recepie up on Google books (it’s page 44). I substituted McKay’s Chicken Seasoning for the chicken broth and I don’t use heavy cream to make the wipped cream topping. Instead I add the part cream in to the soup and I use milk. I think this helps with the acidity of the tomatoes…as everyone knows I don’t like raw tomatoes. Here is the soup cooking…we ate the soup so fast I don’t have any of the finished product!
Then to finish off dinner I made a monky cake. And by monky I mean from my monastery cookbook. I chose the Yogurt Cake Saint-Elie. I added 2tsp of vanilla, baked it in an 8″ round pan instead of square and only baked it for 40 min instead of the full 50 because it was done. I turned out to be a nice solid cake. Te outside made a firm “crust.” The cake held its own taste so the toppings were simple: cut strawberries with lemon juice and sugar topped whipped cream. My friend Mary Heather taught me that. She is one smart cookie.
Here is baby Adam. He is growing nicely. All of his reflexes are appropriate and he is super fun to swaddle and cuddles nicely. All in all it was a fun night….well worth the drive.
On Saturday I invited Tompaul’s parents and aunt over for lunch. The request from the birthday ba was mexican food and chocolate cake.
-Black bean and corn enchaladas
– Mexican Rice, Cheese sauce, Sweet Corn Bread– Guacamole, Salsa, LimesAnd for the finale……Homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Cake with a Lemon Curd Filling w/ Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting. The “Ba” was made with lemon rind.