Pretzels and Mustard

Kirsten loves mustards of various kinds. She is also an excellent pretzel maker. One of her gifts was two mustards.
So the other day she blessed us with fresh-baked pretzels and mustards to put on them. Yummy!!!



Kirsten's Pretzels - Soft Ones

Did you know that pretzels came from monks? As early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms. (Read more about pretzels at http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/Pretzel.htm)
(This is a fun recipe to make with kids who love to knead dough and get messy!)

3 1/2 - 5 cups white flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon yeast (regular or fast-acting)
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup water
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. coarse salt

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast with wooden spoon until well mixed.
Heat water to 120 - 130 farenheit. Add warm water and oil to flour mixture.
Mix well. Add in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, leaves side of bowl and is easy to handle.
On a floured surface put dough out. Knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour to surface as needed to keep dough from sticking.
Cover with a cloth or dish towel, let rest 10 minutes.
Move oven rack to middle of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheet. In shallow bowl stir 1 cup water and baking soda to make pretzel "wash".
Divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each peice into 24 inch rope. Dip hands in pretael wash to make rolling dough easier. Make pretzel shape. Just before baking, brush on pretzel wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven 15 - 20 minutes.

The Starry Night

During this Christmas break we've been working on a 2000 piece puzzle of Van Gogh's Starry night!
It's coming, slow but sure!



The puzzle was a gift for Christmas



It's coming along and we have friends coming on Friday
to help us with it more!

While working on the puzzle, Jill Phillips song, "Wrecking Ball" goes through my head....
piece together these little mysteries
It isn't hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

God uses all the pieces of our lives for His glory and our good!
The light and dark, good and bad, all fit together into a beautiful picture. Truly, only He who sends good and bad into our lives is truly the builder and the wrecking ball.

Isaiah 53 speaks to this in verses 10-11....
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;
...Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see
and be satisfied;

He uses the good times and adverse times in our lives to teach us His way.
Lead on O King Eternal....

Water Issues

During the recent typhoon a few weeks ago the city's water supply line was damaged, so water has not been real consistent.

The line was fixed about a week ago temporarily so better water pressure has come. But in the mean time, the pump that runs water into our house from the 1000 liter supply tank died.
So, at night when the water pressure is higher, we fill up bukets and then use the water from the buckets for showering, doing dishes, etc.

But our landlord called last night and hopefully, today or tomorrow our pump is to be fixed!

New Year 2013

Rest and Wait. Watchwords for this year 2013.

Psalm 27:14 says Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

This new year finds us in the midst of a trial that is a steep learning curve of resting in the Lord, staying silent and letting Him fight the battle.

Psalm 27:8 You have said, "Seek my face."
My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, do I seek."

And we rest. And we wait. And we know our Father has designed all things for good.

Steve Green's song, "Rest" is a theme song that plays often in my head.

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy his love

Trust, His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

There is no need
For needless worry
With such a Savior
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Rest the Lord is there
Lift up your prayer
For He is strong

Trust, He'll bring release
And perfect peace
Will calm your mind

There is no need
For needless worry
With such a Savior
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Call Him, if you grow frightened
Call Him, with loving care
He'll lift the burden and you'll

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Trust His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Boat Trip December 2012