Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dinner and a Book

My mind is a world that few would ever dare trespass. In a matter of seconds, it can shift from pondering the plights of humanity or the important questions of faith to "What the heck is for dinner?"
So tonight, I welcome you into the Gravitron that is my brain. There's often no up or down. It spins fast and furious and you may feel like you're being pinned to the wall against your will or better judgment. Also, there might be the lingering scent of fair food or other fried delicacies. There are no carnies there, at least none that I'm aware of.

(Scratch that last part. I just remembered I've got Kenny and Becky in there somewhere...)

 Earlier today I realized that Calvin's perfect attendance Fazoli's coupon expires tomorrow, so I chucked my previously planned dinner for the dream of 3 greasy breadsticks and the promise of spaghetti with tomato sauce.

I'm a girl who loves food in almost all forms, and that includes the fast ones. I like to think that it grounds me, somehow. True, I might live in a 1950's housewife's dream home and yes, I might have invented the world's most fantastic hairdo, but at the end of the day, I'll take a burrito supreme, a hard shell taco supreme and a fountain Pepsi. Extra mild sauce.

The only problem with my spaghetti fantasy is that I forgot that Calvin is the Homebody of the Century. I was so excited to tell him the plan. I was all, "Psst! I have a secret! We're going to Fazoli's tonight so you can get your free kids meal!"

Calvin: Uh, can we go tomorrow?
Me: Nope.
Calvin: I know! What about this weekend?!
Me: It expires tomorrow. It's gotta be today. Help a sister out here. I need butter on my fingers in a bad, bad way.
Calvin: I want to just stay home.
Me: Why?
Calvin: Because we haven't been home in a lot of days.
(Editor's Note: We had our book club dinner last night, so by "a lot of days", he means exactly one day.)

So here's what we ate, our previously scheduled, briefly canceled, ultimately delicous meal. And it was a newbie.

Exhibit A) My new favorite salad.

Thinly slice chicory lettuce and a granny smith apple. Add toasted walnuts and canellini beans. Whisk together 3 T olive oil, 1 T cider vinegar, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, one minced clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss it all up. Throw some gorgonzola on the side, because it's impossible to photograph if you dump it on top.

I found the recipe in this months BH&G and modified it a little. I will eat it for the next two days, or until I'm all outta beans, whichever comes first.

Exhibit B) Butternut Squash Risotto also from the Jan. BH&G.

My first attempt at risotto last year was a miserable, dismal failure. Despite Martha's claims, you really can't make risotto with long grain rice. Unless you are her. I think I got Punk'ed.

The arborio rice made all the difference and if there were left-overs, I promise you I would put this computer down and go serve myself up another bowl at 10:39 in the pea-em. It was that good. I called it "cheesy rice" and the kids couldn't shove it in their mouths fast enough. God bless you, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, for teaching the youth of America that neon yellow-orange food is a good thing.

Overall, 2 thumbs way up, all around.

Now, the book. My appetite for reading is trumped only by my appetite for acidic foods and my appetite for wearing yoga pants in public. In all of my writing over the past year, my reading has taken a back-back seat. But times are a'changing. I've started a few new books and I'm making a list of books to come, but there are a few that just stay with me, like a secret wish or a trusty sidekick. My Gravitron comes back to them again and again. Radical is one of them.

Our possessions can be deadly. They can be subtly deadly...That's why Jesus said it's hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God...The reality is, most of us in our culture and in the American church simply don't believe Jesus or Paul on this one. We just don't believe that our wealth can be a barrier to entering the kingdom of God. We are fine with thinking of affluence, comfort, and material possessions as blessings. But they cannot be barriers. We think the way the world thinks - that wealth is always to our advantage. But Jesus is saying the exact opposite. Radical - David Platt

Chew on that.

Thoughts? Reactions? Hit me.

We've got sauerkraut, sausage and pickled beets on the menu tomorrow. Who's coming over?

Peace Out, Party People,


  1. Oh, my... and here I was thinking you & I could be friends. And then I read those three words:


    Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

  2. Angelique Sanders/ FERGJanuary 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Love Calvin and his ability to talk you into staying at home...but you know what I love more? Your ability to make any situation better no matter what!! Love your wit, wisdom and refreshing outlook that all is good and that no matter what life is good!! Thank you for that! Oh, and love your menu choice for tomorrow!!!

  3. I had just been thinking that I was missing you and your posts, clicked on facebook and lo, and behold there you were...smiling all pretty like telling us about those delicious meals (which I have pinned to one of my boards on Pinterest). The recipes came at the PERFECT time for me! :-)
    I'm really glad that Calvin was such a homebody today!

    "We are fine with thinking of affluence, comfort, and material possessions as blessings. But they cannot be barriers." Yes...I would say that is plenty to chew on...thank you for the food...both physical and spiritual.


  4. "Radical", is a life changer, and no matter how hard I tried, how can you argue with Jesus?!! Being a Christian was never met to be comfortable,just ask the early church, or our brothers and sisters around the world.

  5. P.S. Ooops...I couldn't see your smiling face as I posted above...the picture on fb is of the back of your head! What can I say? It's late.

  6. Beets? Sure!
    Possessions keep us busy all day long, attaining them, looking after them, cleaning them, disposing of them. This takes time, time I could be doing something much more important.
    Calvin and I could be homebodies together. My 4 would LOVE to get out:)

  7. Risotto is the first thing I look for on the menu I love it so I don't want to try it and mess it up for myself. This one looks real good.

  8. So interesting that you posted a quote from David Platt. I just saw a sermon of his online, where he interviewed Katie Davis. I loved his sermon. Can't wait to look into the book!

  9. Hmmm doesn't everyone think like that? ;)
    Although...your thoughts probably come in more interesting lingo.

  10. patrick and i have been known to drive thru a taco hell:)
    fire sauce is our pleasure though. also, i'll join y'all for your weird dinner tomorrow night, if you serve coke instead of pepsi. and promise to make the switch yourself. thanks.
    calvin, i love him.

    ok. i read radical this summer and it hurt my feelings.
    see, i thought i already was radical, free from the world and graciously bound to the king. wrong. that same bit that you shared here, the barrier that possessions create. bam. opened my eyes. and hurt me. and now, months later, i am acting on what i felt then. let.it.go. for real. we are slowly moving, but we are shedding this 'having it great on earth' business. this ain't our home, we are just a passin' through. and i want to live that.
    lord, help me, for i am weak!

    i love you. can't say enough how encouraged i am by you.
    to god be the glory!

  11. Dude!!
    Your posts on this topic (my Gravitron is on the Radical portion of your post now, and how God is surprisingly interested in our wallets) have given me so much to chew on, and I've spent many warm baths trying to articulate just the very thing that Mr. Platt said.
    I didn't even come close.
    It's an idea that scares the tar out of so many people, and they refuse to believe it.
    It would freak you out if you knew how much you've changed me, Miss FPFG

  12. Those recipes look yummy. I've recently started following you on pinterest and have to abstain from repinning everything of yours involving food. Seriously.

    Crazy Love and Radical. Wow.

    (And I'm not sure, but I don't think there were homes like yours in the 1050's. ;)).

  13. Just finished reading Radical. That book made a serious impression on me. It sure wasn't a cuddle-up-by-the-fire-winter-read. But it was just what I needed. A fresh look at scriptures and God's plan for us on this earth. Nothing like a little perspective to kick the discontentment issues to the curb!

  14. three things:
    1. that calvin is a kid after my own heart
    2. hard to hear but so true
    3. while pregnant i could not get enough sauerkraut. this side of pregnant...still can't. bring it on!

    love your writing!

  15. I haven't been able to read that Platt book because I don't like the title word. For me, it has such deeply unpleasant connotations that I'm uninterested in hearing someone define it for a sentence, let along thirty million.

    I'm interested in your salad, though. We've eaten your last one several times. (The one w/ balasamic/poppyseed dressing.)

  16. more food for me to try! let's hope i get the cider vinegar part right. vinegars and vinaigrettes make me clumsy and confused. i'm telling myself it doesn't call for apple cider now.

    girl, yes. love those words from Platt. it reminds me that simple living is good for my soul.

  17. Life is complicated. And I need cheesy-rice-y stuff. And books like 'Radical'. Are you familiar with 'A Hole in the Gospel'? I haven't read, but that's because I can't find my big-girl-boots. Stuff getss in the way of doing good. period. I was handed 2 copies of 'Bonhoeffer' this year. ? (Christmas presents)by 2 different gift-givers... I was hoping for a Maeve Binchy novel. You know, the Irish love stories, where every thing is Irish-happy. I also got a pancake griddle.
    Anyway, I thought as I don't know if you'd stumbled upon a cyber-kindred known as Momastery. I haven't stopped laughing about her 2 most recent posts. I'm sure you have... but just incase. Don't start self-tanning, you're beautiful just the way you are.

  18. I just got my January issue of BHG in the mail yesterday (because I think our mail lady actually reads my magazines for a few days before she puts them in the box, but that is a whole other story...) and was mulling over which recipes to try out this week. Thanks for testing two of them for me- now I will add them to the menu this week with confidence!

  19. ... I'm sure you 'have found her', and I'm sure you 'haven't started self-tanning'...

  20. That salad looks delish, but I'll pass on tonight's meal.

    'Radical' is on my to-read list this year. I've been thinking a lot about contentment and the fact that what I have will probably always be not quite enough unless I change my thinking. Or, better yet, unless God changes my thinking.

  21. The German in me just smiled at your menu for tomorrow.

  22. Getting the ingredients for that salad TO. DAY. I'm on a major salad with beans kick.

    I've got a love / flinch relationship with the David Platt quote. Because he's right, he is. But it's a hard thing to swallow. I loathe having too much stuff...but I still like stuff. {Just wrote a bit about this myself.}

  23. I have to throw meat on the plate or the Stu man doesn't think he has been fed. Lucky for me we have a freezer full of beef he grew up.
    I may have to check out Radical. This is the problem I have with Joel Osteen. For me, he preaches too much prosperity and not enough Jesus. #rantover

  24. Long,long ago someone once told me,"Radical is when someone loves Jesus more than me". I thought on that for years and it often comes back to me, as it did in "Radical". Jesus was radical, and we often label people who take the Bible and live it just like it says. Katie Davis, has a lot to say about this too, I encourage everyone to read her blog "The Journey".

  25. I’m nearing the end of the power struggle with my heart and mind over my own financial situation. I’m making a power move here in the next couple of months. Stay tuned. I know. Edge of your seat.
    One more thing. I was checking out your book selection on Pinterest and I’m so excited about them. I needed some good suggestions. I just finished Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. xoxo

  26. Chewing on your quote..and yep, it's certainly true!

    I find myself looking around my house that we will sell and being sad off and on. Hubby is too. Then I'll have a moment of clarity and tell him/us "this house can't love us back! these are walls and a roof filled with things."

    I already know this.

    I've already been through stuff in my life.

    Yet I find it interesting how dumb we can be as humans. The need to seem to learn the same lesson over and over or just the forgetting.

    So yes....our possessions DO get in the way of so much.

    The lightest I've ever felt was leaving Flagstaff, AZ to move back home to MN. I got rid of everything. I had only what would fit in my Hyundai and I was fine.

    Another Flagstaff memory: Fazoli's! I'd entirely forgotten, but there was one in Flag! It had a drive thru, which I found astounding! A drive thru for pastas? And if I recall, it was pretty good.

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

    I so love that Calvin is a homebody. I am too. I "feel" like today I may have to force myself to leave...but it's snowing...




  27. Oh how I think your Calvin and my Sam would be besties! Nothing like spending some time formulating a stellar plan for unexpected fun to be rewarded with a glum response. I have a homebody too.... and most days, I wouldn't have it any other way...except when I too, need butter on my fingers!

  28. A new book to add to the list? Not a fan by Kyle idleman.... Love how it addresses the heart issues behind our reservations to being sold out for Christ. Highly recommend it!
    Love your blog! I Use it as one of my sanity breaks from this sticky finger soggy carpet world I live in... Thank you!

  29. I am reading Radical right now with my book club and oh my goodness. It has been on my "to be read" shelf for a year but I was too scared to read it alone. //chicken//

    Sauerkraut, sausage and pickled beets sounds delish. Must be an Indiana thing (I grew up in Indpls.)

  30. I read Radical right as we were asked to make a difficult decision about our adoption. The book would lead me to believe that a radical Christian would say "yes" to our situation. Like "yes" to the hard thing must be the right thing. Indeed it often is! But always? Needless to say, it was very confusing. In the end, God spoke to our hearts a different message--sometimes it's His radical (and mighty hard) plan for us to say "no."

  31. My Dad always said the more you make the more you are capable of giving. Create abundance and give with abundance would be a wonderful way to live. The practice of this is where we as humans fall short.

  32. Reading Radical rocked my wool socks right off. That's why we're wrapped tight in the middle of this wild adoption adventure. It's not exactly "normal" for first-time parents to adopt a 7-year-old and an 8-year-old, you know? :)

  33. Ahh, Radical. One of the best and one of the hardest to read, only because you can't read it and stay the same. I actually listened to Platt's sermon today about the Radical Experiment.

    Oh, and I'm with Calvin. All dinner outings must be planned at least 2 days in advance!!! :P

  34. We are reading and discussing Radical in our small group. Another one that I really might find even more convicting and motivating is Not a Fan. Can you imagine what would happen if all of us Christians would become radical and be not just fans of Jesus? Whew! Watch out!

  35. I think we all could use someone like Calvin in our lives! Or someone that gives us perspective :) Oh, and the risotto looks uhh-mazing cannot wait to try the recipe.

  36. Hey, speaking of books, when are you going to start talking about yours? I want to know details. Like how absolutely magical and easy it was;) How it was like sliding down a rainbow on the back of a unicorn with a mouthful of chocolate. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part?

  37. got radical for Christmas, so excited to read it! Just finished reading The Language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, it was amazing! you would love it, it was her first novel, but so impressive the story of a child who aged out in foster care, so good!

  38. Well, #1. Risotto is a staple around here, but I get mine in a box. I'll never forget the episode of Top Chef when Wolfgang Puck, having been served nasty risotto, asks to take the chef who made it back into the kitchen "To show her how to make a proper risotto."

    Also. I was all excited that we had no groceries and I was off the dinner hook and when I told my kids we could run pick up food they ALL said "We just want to stay here."

    methinks I've created three agoraphobes. go figure.

  39. This little post might make your day, possibly even your week! I saw Peace Out Razzzleberry Tea (please forgive me if I don't have the name quite right) in a cooler up by the checkout at Rite Choice in Nappanee! After I left the store I thought I should have bought you a can and sent it with our mutual friend Heather to deliver to you.......but then I thought that might be kind of weird. So next time you are in Nappanee you will have to stock up! Or maybe you will be making a special trip ;)


  40. i just finished Radical and LOVED it!

  41. He also wrote Radical Together- I think too many of us read it without asking God to CHANGE us!!! Platt just points out what Jesus said-but crawling up on our crosses and dying to self is hard and painful. But also the only way to really live. Let's encourage one another to do just that!