Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yummy Recipe for Breakfast Sausage

It’s high time for another recipe! And next up is my family's favorite breakfast sausage. We like knowing exactly what’s in our sausage so we’ve spiced our own for quite a while, however this is a new (and now oft-made) favorite. It was originally a Paleo recipe, but I’ve tweaked it quite a bit (due to various sensitivities). It’s super easy, very quick, and delicious.

1 lb ground pork
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp sage
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne (powder)

Mix all the spices in a bowl then add the pork and mush it all thoroughly together. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a couple tablespoons olive oil. Shape the meat mixture into smallish patties and drop in the hot pan. (Pork of course, has a lot of fat, but I’ve found the patties still stick a little and make a mess of the skillet if I don’t use the oil.) Fry on both sides until golden brown then remove from the heat and drain a little on a rag or paper towel.

As a note, I usually double this for 2 lbs of pork at a time. It keeps raw in the fridge for a couple days so you can grab it and cook it up easily for breakfast. I’ve served it on biscuits with poached eggs, for lunch with boiled eggs and fried cabbage, or with eggs and potatoes. It also tastes great scrambled (instead of shaped into patties).


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Resurrection Day ~ The Year of Our Lord 2014

“That which He has not assumed He has not healed.” Irenaeus of Lyons

And He has assumed it. All has been done. The Word made flesh has conquered–has conquered us. The second Adam has come, has gone into death–has given his side to be ripped open for the forming of His bride. The greater Isaac has lain bound on the wood and the un-stayed knife blade has fallen. The Great Prince has come and been stripped of all. He has gone into darkness and terror and the horror of death. He has become the curse and our iniquity. He has been cut off from the Father. He has known hell.

He counted the cost. And He has triumphed.

The true Son has come up from Egypt. The greater Moses has led His people through the wilderness. Going down into death and rising again, He has brought His bride up with Him. The Great King–the Son of David–has taken (not a wise woman), but a harlot and is transforming her to purity, into a Lady Wisdom–into His queen.

“For God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity.” C.S. Lewis

Everything has been made new and the heavens and the earth are awash with fresh colors. The worlds have been turned inside out and right side up. The daily dying and living and dying and living again that we have been called to now fully means something. He has sanctified it in Himself–glorifying it.

No matter how little we can see–or how little we feel we have experienced–looking to Him and away from ourselves, we can trust Him. Trust His good and perfectly pledged Word. And we can trust Him for the resurrected harvest. No matter how feeble our attempts, no matter how apparently insignificant our efforts, no matter how easily we get discouragedHe is turning it all into something glorious. All our daily fluctuations–when the fighting begins to seem so small and petty and grueling–all our endeavors, our failures and trials, our beginnings and endings–everything we are and have–will mysteriously and wondrously be found complete in Him. For in Him is the fullness of life.

The Prince has come. He has laid hold of His bride: calling and claiming her from the uttermost reaches of death and sin and shame and misery. He has shown forth His love before the world–and our lives are now fraught with the weight of an eternal joy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Momentous Occasion

Ten years ago (not on this exact day, but very near it) I had a sixteenth birthday. And on this sixteenth birthday I received a party. And at this party I was given...


And set on the road of no return–the road leading to Bertie and Jeeves and Blandings Castle and numerous other miscellaneous places of good cheer. Since ten years is a bit of a celebration, it seems like an excellent time for a review of the book that began it all! 

Let us start off with a quote: “The shades of evening were beginning to fall pretty freely by now, but the visibility was still good enough to enable me to observe that up the road there was approaching a large, stout, moon-faced policeman on a bicycle… And where the drama came in was that it was patent that his attention had not yet been drawn to the fact that he was being chivvied–in the strong, silent, earnest manner characteristic of this breed of animal–by a fine Aberdeen terrier. There he was, riding comfortably along, sniffing the fragrant evening breeze; and there was the Scottie, all whiskers and eyebrows, haring after him hell-for-leather. As Jeeves said later, when I described the scene to him, the whole situation resembled some great moment in a Greek tragedy, where somebody is stepping high, wide and handsome, quite unconscious that all the while Nemesis is at his heels… One moment he (the officer) was with us, all merry and bright; the next, he was in the ditch, a sort of mac├ędoine of arms and legs and wheels, with the terrier standing on the edge, looking down at him with that rather offensive expression of virtuous smugness which I have often noticed on the faces of Aberdeen terriers in their clashes with humanity.”

Wodehouse: action, rich language, delightful humor. As a side note, I tend to think of Wodehouse and Chesterton together as I first met them within months of each other and as (though unlike in other ways) they both have a unique hilarity of tone and their characters have a similar penchant for rushing about. Both make wonderful reading between stacks of other thick, massive, mind-broadening books.

Wodehouse particularly is unsurpassed for clearing out cobwebs and The Code of the Woosters is Wodehouse at his supreme best: tight intricacies of plot, sparkling dialogue, hilarious allusions, and delightful characterizations. I would recommend it as an excellent introduction and altogether delightful even if you’re already familiar with him. (Suggestion: save it for a cloudy day as it’s nearly impossible to get through without laughing.)

Quotes and Lines:

‘Stiffy’s map, as a rule, tends to be rather grave and dreamy, giving the impression that she is thinking deep, beautiful thoughts. Quite misleading, of course.’

‘His whole demeanour was that of a man vividly conscious of being just about half a jump ahead of Roderick Spode. The hair was ruffled, the eyes wild, the nose twitching. A rabbit pursued by a weasel would have looked just the same–allowing, of course, for the fact that it would not have been wearing tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles.’

‘Presently I was aware that Jeeves was with me. I hadn’t heard him come in, but you don’t often with Jeeves. He just streams silently from Spot A to Spot B like some gas.’

‘The first impression I received on giving the apartment the once-over was that for a young shrimp of her shaky moral outlook Stiffy had been done pretty well in the matter of sleeping accommodation. Totleigh Towers was one of those country houses which had been built at a time when people planning a little nest had the idea that a bedroom was not a bedroom unless you could give an informal dance for about fifty couples in it…(the) thing seemed to stretch for miles in every direction.’

“There is no reason to suppose–one has to face this, too–that their union will not be blessed. There will, that is to say, ere long be little feet pattering about the home. And what one asks oneself is, just how safe will human life be in the vicinity of those feet… It is with a sort of tender pity, Jeeves, that I think of the nurses, the governesses, the private-school masters and the public-school masters who will lightly take on the responsibility of looking after a blend of Stephanie Byng and Harold Pinker, little knowing that they are coming up against something hotter than mustard.”

~ ~ ~

Good, yes? Delightfully amusing, yes? Now, to start the next year off well–and continuing the celebration–I shall probably hunt up his Indiscretions of Archie. It’s long due for a reread. :-)

And thank you all for joining me here on this epic occasion! Pip-pip, cheerio!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beautiful Blog Award Times Two!

I have been nominated for the Beautiful Blog Award by both Naomi (from her beautiful new blog Wonderland Creek) and Hamlette (from her blog Hamlette’s Soliloquy)! Thank you Naomi and Hamlette!!

The Rules:
Answer the questions
Nominate as many people as you wish
Ask ten questions
...and that's it!

Naomi’s questions:

What do you think of Pride and Prejudice 1995? I want your honest opinion! ~ Well, the long answer could go on and on... In short: I think it’s splendid!

What are you now reading? ~ A collection of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What is your least favourite costume from your favourite movie? ~ From (one) of my favorites: Fanny Thornton’s dinner dress in the ’04 North and South. Margaret’s dress is very much too low in that scene, but it does have potential whereas…yes… well...never mind. :-) 

What is your favourite Period Drama hat? ~ This actually comes from a filmed stage production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado–set in a very different time period. Isn’t it just gorgeous???

Who is the last man (from a Period Drama) in the world who you could ever marry? ~ Good question! Leaving out the villains, I’ll say Morgan Harris from “Anne”. Not sure why, but for some reason quite and definitely not…

Which period drama lady would you most like to have as your teacher? ~ Wow, there are so many good ones! I’ll go with Mrs. Weston.

What is the next thing that you are going to watch? (Or what do you think?) ~ The Young Victoria (minus the skippable parts). I really do need to do a review of it sometime–with all the whereas’s and wherefore’s–the “do’s” and the “definitely to be aware of/what parts we skip”. :-)

What's the colour of your bedroom? ~ A delightfully fresh ocean-spray blue that can be decorated either Regency-period style and/or seaside inspired!

What do you feel like eating now? ~ Tacos. :-)

And Hamlette’s questions:

What's the first movie you can remember seeing? ~ This was in the way back time and I’m not (absolutely) certain of the title, but it was a black-and-white “boy meets girl on the home front during WWII” story. The song Clementine figured in it largely and the ending Was Very Sad.

What's your favorite fruit? ~ Hmmmm. Strawberries? Peaches? I really like tropical-ish fruits: pineapples, kiwis, pomegranates, etc.

What's your least-favorite kind of pie? ~ Strawberry pie–when the berries go all soggy and mushy. :-)

If you could be any superhero(ine) for a day, who would you like to be? ~ I haven’t seen/read much with superheroes…but I do love Princess Bride. :-) Does Westley hemi-demi-semi count?

What was your favorite picture book when you were a child? ~ Our family is big on picture books, so can I do several? Please??? One favorite was/is Prince Boghole by Eric Christian Haugaard–a truly delightful fairytale.

Illustration from Brambly Hedge

The “other” is really a series: Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem. The originals are smallish (6"x7" or something)–the perfect size for little people. The stories are fresh and lovely with a fascinating wealth of detail in the illustrations. Everyone in our family has read our copies backwards and forwards–and I’d still love to live in Brambly Hedge! :-) They’re along the lines of Beatrix Potter, but not nearly as well known. The only one we didn't like was The Secret Staircase. There’s one for each season (Spring Story, Summer Story, etc.), plus Sea Story, Poppies Babies, and The High Hills.

What was the last board/card game you played? ~ Ticket to Ride.

Do you prefer feather pillows or foam? ~ Between the two, feathers–preferably very well-packed. :-)

What are three of your favorite blogs? (Please provide links) ~ What a great idea! Coincidentally I’ve actually met each of these bloggers in person. :-) One is an old family friend (a young lady who has an amazing way with words) and the other two are inspiring, stimulating, and beautiful bloggers I was blessed to meet during social functions in the last year (one after I’d already been enjoying her blog for awhile)! It’s so delightful to cement a “blogging friendship” in person. :-) Here they are:

And now…I’ve been nominating so many people lately, that I’ve decided to leave this one open! If you’re reading this and would like to do it, then consider yourself tagged! If you don’t have a blog feel free to answer the questions in a comment. Even if you do have a blog, you can do it that way too if you like. If you put them on your blog just let me know so I can be sure to read your answers. :-)

All right, here are your questions:

1. If you were invited to a historical tea, would you prefer to wear Victorian or Edwardian attire?

2. Do you have a favorite genre of music?

3. A favorite “spring-toned” period drama dress?

4. Cherry or apple pie?

5. Do you like to dance?

6. Is there a particular household chore you prefer/enjoy (i.e. sweeping, vacuuming, washing dishes, folding laundry)?

7. Is there a certain color you love wearing?

8. Have you read any Wodehouse? If you have, do you find him excessively diverting?

9. Your favorite period drama theme song?

10. One of your favorite couples in literature.

I’m looking forward to seeing your answers! And again, thank you so much Naomi and Hamlette! This was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Matters of Greater and Lesser Importance

(Screenshot courtesy of Hamlette)

To begin with, Hamlette (at The Edge of the Precipice) is doing a Lord of the Rings read-along and I was recently able to do a character sketch/guest post on Faramir! Here's the link. Do check it out and let me know what you think and be sure to take a few minutes to check out the rest of her lovely blog!

Secondly, I've just finished redesigning all my "Along the Brandywine" blog buttons complete with grab boxes! It seems like I almost always forget exactly how to do it, but I do have an excellently helpful link and I thought I'd share it for all of you in a similar fix. Here it is. It's supposed to be new and updated HTML and work for both blogger and wordpress. Anyhow, I'm pretty pleased with how they all came out! If you want to scroll down and take a peek they're down below "Labels" on the right hand side. :-)

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