Friday, July 31, 2009

Herby Wheat Bread

Made some really yummy bread yesterday. I used a basic honey wheat recipe and added some extras.

First you add 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast to 1 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let it sit while you work on the next part (for at least 10 minutes).



In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, 3 TBS. olive oil, 2 TBS. honey, and 2 tsp. salt. Heat to a simmer, and then cool to 110 degrees F.



Pour the milk mixture into the yeast mix, and then add 2 cups organic white flour, and 2 cups organic wheat flour, 1 tsp. black pepper, 2 TBS mixed dried herbs (I used rosemary, lemon thyme and oregano). Mix to form the dough.



Turn the dough out on the counter and knead for 5 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the dough bounces back after you press on it. Rinse the large bowl you had from before, dry it, and coat it with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl until it's coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise for 2 hours, until it doubles in size. (This picture is when I first placed it in the bowl. By the time it was done rising, it was to the top of the bowl.)

Punch the dough down, and split into two pieces. Knead again for a few minutes and shape into 2 loaves, and place into loaf pans that have been buttered and floured, or shape into round loaves and place on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise again for another hour.



Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Leave in the pans for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

World on Fire

So the last few weeks I have been in Montreat, NC. An amazing places that hosts 6 weeks of youth conferences every summer (in addition to MANY other great conferences). The theme this year is "World on Fire" which deals with the issues facing the world today, and what our response to them as Christians should be.

I'm not really someone who journals on a regular basis, but I ALWAYS do when I'm in Montreat. So I sat down with my journal several times over the last few weeks and here is one of my prayer excerpts -

God, we live in world of isms...

racism.

sexism.

egoism.

absolutism.

a world on fire! full of
hatred.
greed.
self interest.
self importance.
violence.
injustice.
hunger.
poverty.
pestilence.
apathy and indifference.

and so many more of those words we are only comfortable talking about in conversations like, "wouldn't it be nice if someone somewhere would do something about that!"

we agree that they are problems, but are hardly willing to even really discuss in depth, much less willingly face our complicity in.

we live in a weary and beleaguered world. a world that is burning - and we're home and acting like we can't hear the fire alarm.

what is it going to take?! to get us to be

alert.

aware.

awake to the plight of our neighbors?


I hear stories all the time about people who climb out of the comfy padded room of their lives and face a new, dangerous and exciting world. a world of hopeful possibilities where the idea of people having what they need is not just an impossible ideal, but a goal to be worked toward at all costs. a world where injustice is not to be tolerated, and tolerance for differences abounds.

How do I become one of those people? How do I gain the courage to take the leap out of the box? I mean, it's not that I don't do anything - I do. I give alternative Christmas gifts. I support fair trade. I buy organic and turn the lights off when I leave the room. And those things are important.

But are they enough? are they REALLY the only changes You are calling me to make? Can I honestly convince myself that there's not more to be done?

O God of All Creation, give me the courage to use my life more for others, and guide my efforts.

Help me.

Help us.

Amen.