Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taming Transitions

"... the Lord will go before you, and God of Israel will be your rear guard." Isaiah 52: 12 (b)

This is for all you parents with bittersweet hearts today as you launch your children on a new leg of the journey. It's my favorite verse of assurance in times of transition. It's the picture of God paving the way... clearing obstacles ahead... while standing strong behind us... protecting and safeguarding.

I've had to remind myself the past couple of days that most transitions tote some degree of uncertainty and fear. But on the other end of most change is a routine... a rhythm... a familiar groove.

Take heart in whatever transition you face today or tomorrow that God is all around you!

(Sunrise pic by ccgd... check here for restrictions.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Browning Bummer

The chip folks (Frito Lay, Heinz, Kettle, Lance) got into a bit of trouble with California regulators for lack of compliance with respect to product "warning" labels regarding levels of a potentially harmful chemical released in high-temperature cooking. I'd never heard of "acrylamide" before so I did a bit of googling and was surprised at what surfaced.

Acrylamide isn't an additive but a byproduct of frying, baking, toasting or roasting foods--primarily plant-derived foods (potatoes, grains, coffee beans)--to the point of excessive browning. Studies on animals have suggested that extremely high levels of acrylamide prove carcinogenic. There are ongoing studies looking at what constitutes safe levels of human consumption. In the meantime, the snack producers are being fined and have said they will modify cooking methods over the next three years to reduce acrylamide levels.

We should perhaps be aware of how the byproduct sneaks into our home-cooked foods, as well. The FDA has a helpful paper on this here.

I used olive oil exclusively now, which is for the most part a good thing. But it's worth noting that the "smoke point" for olive oil is a bit lower than that of other oils. So when cooking with olive oil, attend to it carefully to prevent over-heating. And if your oil does smoke--any type--you're well advised to get rid of it and start over!

(Photos from FDA website. Pics contrast good (left) versus excessive browning which hikes acrylamide production. I know, I know... that's how I like my toast, too!)

On top of my reading stack: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean -Dominique Bauby

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Sweet Treat

This was the perfect end-0f-summer indulgence for me. Elizabeth Reaser is utterly charming in the role of Inge, a 1920's mail-order bride. The multi-generational period piece has elements of winter but plays out on balance more like gentle Spring rain. Fleeting moments of innuendo put the film out of children's reach. But if you're looking for a beautifully filmed and cleverly scripted love story to wind down the summer, Sweet Land: A Love Story is a treat.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Love Letters Ministry

God has worked so powerfully through a gracious and godly woman in my church who has been sending me letters of encouragement for several years now. The letters lead off with a Scripture verse and conclude with a short, personal note that always speaks to my soul. In a world of Blackberries and e-mail and IM, it's a special day when a hand-written note lands in the mailbox.

My Bible study group is launching a "Love Letters" ministry and I'd like to invite you to contact me with the name and address of someone you know who needs encouragement. Tell us a little bit about the person and his or her needs. Then, one of us will send a letter with a relevant Bible verse. You can contact me at: sarah@sarahonderdonk.com

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Firefox Looks Funny!

If you are viewing this blog using Firefox, the layout looks really weird. I'm sorry about that. For normal viewing, use Explorer. I'll try and figure out if there's a fix for Firefox...