Winter Wonder

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Oreo and Peanut Butter Pie

We all like cooking in our house. But there seems to be a tendency toward baking sweet foods, rich and full of extra goodness. My oldest girl recently made this from an Easter copy of Delicious magazine. If you like peanut butter and chocolate you will love this pie, but be warned. A smell of it might even be enough….maybe. Here is the recipe if you are game.

20 Oreos (or other chocolate cream biscuits)
175g unsalted butter 
400g crunchy peanut butter
175g icing sugar, sifted 
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped

  1. Finely crush biscuits in a food processor. Melt 75g butter and combine with biscuits. Press into the base and sides of a 24cm loose-bottomed tart pan and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
  2. Combine peanut butter and icing sugar in a bowl and spread in the tart base.
  3. Place chocolate and remaining 100g butter in a clean bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir until melted, then cool slightly. Spread over the peanut butter layer and chill for 30 minutes until firm. Cut into slices and serve.

 
Magazine version…

Our version….

50 More Shades of Grey

Donna Karan Fall 2012

So have you kept up with the media hype? The book that continues to sell and be read by thousands. If you recall you can find my general impression of the novel here, but I would urge you to read Douglas Wilson’s take on it from the Huffington Post. He makes a link between the Twilight series and 50 Shades in a way that suggests that they are both targeting a similar female audience who wants to be duped.  Wilson writes:


“Now as many know, the publishing phenomenon of Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction. This is no accident at all. The train not only leaves one station, but it usually arrives at the next one. The two publishing phenomena are using the same basic device — women who learn to view themselves as prey. And it’s working (like crazy) this time around as well.”


This take on the word grey and prey by Wilson is helpful. Playing in the grey areas here is playing game with being prey. He concludes by arguing …” the fact that an abuse-prepping catechism like this one clearly appeals to millions of women is grand news for predatory (straight-toothed) men everywhere. This Fifty Shades phenomenon has been called “Mommy porn.” Sure — Mommy porn for women with daddy issues, for women already trained or currently training, to view themselves as prey.”


So now I am convinced there are several levels to reject the novel. Mommy porn, yeah not good. But the idea that this text like Twlight before it, can train our thinking about how we might behave, how women might behave with men is even more perturbing.

A Grief Unknown

It always surprises me when you get to know someone a bit better as they shed another layer, another hurt or grief. Over coffee today I learnt of a friend who carries the burden of losing a baby. He has a name, and together the family grieve for his life lost, a family once hoped for and a vision of a life imagined, now unknown. I wanted to ask her where her hope comes from, longing to know if there was  something filling the God shaped hole that is in all of us. But kids and chaos got in the way. There were words I did not say, sentiments not expressed. I am sad for her. Have you ever lost a baby? Or grieved with a friend who has been on that journey? What did you do? What did you say to bring comfort and hope?


I have a hope and it is expresses in this hymn, one I have loved for years and want at my funeral. It was written in 1664 by Samuel Crossman, My Song is Love Unknown.


My song is love unknown,

My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.
Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.
Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.
They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.
In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.
Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

Post Holiday Stress Syndrome

I have sat down to write several times this week and have left my laptop, gone and done other jobs, returned and seen the screen waiting for me. I have not been able to write. It may be post holiday stress syndrome, otherwise known as a mountain of housework, a pile of paperwork, laundry to boot and more routines to master. Plus I feel tired, like I need another break.

One of the sad things about holidays is that I end up feeling out of touch with my friends who live around the corner. I allow the paper trail of bills, invoices, and docs to grow. And my to do list becomes a to do later list. Do you ever find the thrill of being away somewhat masked by the effort of organising everyone to go and then to return? So this week is about coming home, getting organised, finding my feet and discovering our routines again.

But it has been an unusual week too. My man has been working out of town more than normal, family have had serious medical tests, my sister is nursing a new baby and recovering from a C section, my daughter’s friend lost her Dad via a car accident, our washing machine is not working, my boy has been in a 2 day orchestra workshop and we are juggling the usual kids commitments and teenage requests for social gatherings. But God is good. We are not cold or hungry. We have more than we need. It is all the finishing touches to life that I worry about really. And this week is like any other really. Full of surprises but none greater than I can bare. I am sure PHSS will pass soon enough……