Sunday, March 18, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake

Some things are just indicative of spring and strawberries are one of them. Sweet, beautifully red, pop-able, and a practically perfect seed display on the outside. But the berries I bought this afternoon were obviously grown under less than organic circumstances. They were a little pale and definitely not juicy, but I couldn't resist. These sad berries needed some help and shortcake seemed like a good answer.

However, the shortcake I have been accustomed to was always out of a Bisquick box. But I know now there is a healthier option and do my best to avoid food from boxes and cans. So I went on Pinterest and searched for a recipe. I ended up on the Better Homes and Gardens website with a fairly good recipe that could be tweaked to make it healthier.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, from freezer 
(if you keep your flour in the freezer it makes wonderful flaky baked items because it keeps the butter cold and crumbly)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/3 cup cold raw butter
1/2 cup raw, whole yogurt
1/4 cup raw honey
1 egg, pastured
2 tablespoons raw milk
5 cups strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons raw honey
Whipped cream (please don't use Cool Whip, blech)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. In a 2 cup pyrex measure, measure out the yogurt first then add the honey, milk, and egg. Lightly beat with a fork or small wire whisk.
  5. Add to flour mixture and stir with a wood spoon until just moistened.
  6. Flatten the dough in the bowl the best you can. Take a butter knife and scored the top of the dough into 8 equal triangles.
  7. Scoop out each triangle and form a small disk on the parchment paper.
  8. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Meanwhile, combine 4 cups of berries and 3 tablespoons of honey in a bowl a lightly smash with a potato masher or something similar and set aside.
  10. To serve, split shortcakes in half; fill with strawberry mixture and whipped cream. Top with remaining berries.
Makes 8 shortcakes.
Here is the original recipe if you are interested.

My kids are not fans of whipped cream, so I will typically mix up some raw yogurt, raw cream and sweeten it with a little honey. Then I drizzle it over. They prefer it that way and it sure is yummy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome to Burger Church

I haven't blogged in a while and I'm not quite sure why Blogger is putting automatic link's in my post, but just ignore them, they are advertisements. Carry on...

"Hi! Welcome to Burger Church where we do church your way. How can I help you today?"
"Ummm, I don't see what I want on your menu board."
"Tell me what you're looking for and I'll see if I can help you."
"I want my church experience to be a lot of fun to listen to with a side of Jesus."
"Oh, you want the number 20. Would you like to biggie size your Jesus?"
"No. That's why I didn't order the number 1. A small side of Jesus is just fine."
"We will do our best. Have a seat and we'll bring your order to you."

"Hi! Welcome to Burger Church where we do church your way. How can I help you today?" 
"Yeah... I'd like... a number... 22 and hold the life-change."
"OK, so you want a comfortable seat and a teacher that's easy to block out. Would you like to add some stagnation to that?"
"Sure, why not. Does that mean I have to put more money in the plate when it's passed?"
"Nope. You can do what you've always done and allow your emotions to control your wallet. Have a seat and we'll bring your order to you."

"Hi! Welcome to Burger Church where we do church your way. How can I help you today?" 
"Give me a number 46."
"Hmmm, that's a tricky one. Only have an organ played, no colored lights, and only the hymns on the left hand side from pages 1-20 containing the word tradition?"
"Yes, that's the one. And can you add a side of don't sit in my seat?"
"We will give it the ol' college try. Thank you for your order."

"Hi! Welcome to Burger Church where we do church your way. How can I help you today?"
"I would like Burger Church to be full of people who only wear their Sunday best according to my standards."
"Well, we can't control who we let walk through our doors, but if you like, you could volunteer to judge them as they pass by and then talk about it with your friends over a donut."
"But if I volunteer to do that then I won't hear the sermon. What good is coming to Burger Church if I don't hear the sermon. Someone else will just have to volunteer."

"Hi! Welcome to Burger Church where we do church your way. How can I help you today?"
"You have stuff for kids, right?!"
"Would you like the DayCare children's church or the Teach'EmALessonWithFlannelGraph children's church."
"Ugh. Just take my kids, feed them, clean them up and hand me the right diaper bag when I come back for them." 
"DayCare it is then. You go through those doors to drop off the babies and those doors over there to drop off your elementary student."
"Why can't they all just go in the same room, I'm running late."
"Is that green snot coming out of your two year old?"
"Uh, no. He has allergies. Heh. You said through those doors, right?"

The church is not a building you come to, to have your every need or want met. The people are the church. And if the church looks like the dialogue above, they can count me out. Since when did being a follower of Jesus become all about me. Nothing Jesus ever did was about him. It was about us, all the people of the world. So if the Bible says that we should be who we are, but allowing Jesus to live through us, then nothing about this life should be focused on us alone. 

We should be going out to our communities and showing the love of Jesus and the hope He gives just by doing what we are passionate about and including others in it. I'm not saying that we should not meet together as Jesus followers. What I am saying is that church is not a place to give your order, expect perfection (in your opinion), and then loudly proclaim how disgruntled you are when it's not exactly the way you want it.

Quit your complaining and be the doggone church.