Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chocolate Peppermint Sorbet

It's been a while since we've posted. It isn't too much longer that we can legitimately post as the "Chicago Outpost" since each of us is moving back to South Bend within the next month. I've spent the last couple weeks packing, visiting friends, and preparing for my new job as a teacher at Trinity. It has been quite a nice change of pace from school, but I will be glad to begin work. What prompted this post was a nice bowl of homemade chocolate peppermint sorbet. It is such an easy and delightful treat that I thought I would share the recipe. My mom gave me a sorbet maker and it is so easy to use. I especially like it considering that there aren't any brands of frozen yumminess that I can eat. Here's the recipe:

1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c water
1 c sugar or 1/2 c agave nectar
pinch of salt
1 to 2 drops of peppermint oil (a few drops of this on the back of your neck and temples is a great way to cool off as well)

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. When they have incorporated, whisk in the cocoa, salt and peppermint oil. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator. When cooled, add the mixture to the ice cream maker and make according to the directions for the maker. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the mixture in a baking pan, stirring every few hours until it reaches your preferred texture.

This makes about 4 servings.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Victory is ours!!!!

Really, the victory is all the Lord's! Praise the Lord, we turned in our BA's today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you everyone for your prayers!! It was truly awesome to know how many people were praying for us, personally it gave me hope and enabled me to trust the Lord even when I thought I could not finish this.

We did not really sleep last night, wrote till the time we had to print it and turn it in... After rushing to the history office to get it in by noon, we went out to the Point/the lake and ran around for a while, in awe that it was over, praising the Lord for getting us through this.... Then we went home and slept for like 6 hours.... Still exhausted... Praise the Lord, soon enough we'll be able to celebrate with more energy :)


Sunday, April 6, 2008

5 Days

Many of you know that the three of us have been working on our BA theses in History. They are due this Friday at noon. Please pray for us--that the Lord will sustain our minds and bodies and that we can get to know him better through the work that we do in the upcoming week. To God be the glory!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tolkien's Mythopeia

Anne and I are taking a class called Tolkien: Medieval and Modern. I love the first reading assignment we have and wanted to share it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

All three of us in 1 photo!

Anne has indeed been in Paris this quarter... Gina and I got a webcam so we could still talk face-to-face with Anne every so often, that was awesome :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm in Paris

for the case you didn't know. It's almost over though, so it's probably un peu tard to be posting this. But, if you want to see pictures, check out my flickr page . There's quite a lot of them. If you want to hear about what I've done and learned, ask me in person, because there's more than I can post here. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The "Great Man Theory" of History

Our national celebration of the life and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds me of one of my favorite books, War and Peace. In War and Peace, one of the things that Tolstoy tries to debunk is the historical myth of there being a "great man" or hero of historical events. He uses the Napoleonic Wars to illustrate his point. The defeat of French troops in Russia and their previous success throughout Europe, could not, contrary to the popular belief of Tolstoy's time, be attributed to Napoleon. Instead, the spirit of the French and Russian troops was the defining force of the war, just as the sentiment and actions of "the people" are/were the defining forces of history.

I do not mean any disrespect to Dr. King--he was a great man, from what I can tell, who devoted his life to doing what the Lord asked of him. However, there were thousands to men and women who did the same thing fighting for civil rights, and who will never be recognized. Dr. King gave voice to their beliefs. However, the organization and education of people throughout the country, something in which Dr. King was not directly involved, was just as important, if not more so to the success of the civil rights movement, than providing a public face for it.

Ella Baker, who was a grassroots organizer for civil rights beginning in the 1930's, focused on empowering individuals to lead and organize in their respective areas--a "teach a man how to fish" approach to change. I enjoyed learning about her and some of the smaller, yet crucial, organizations of individuals within the civil rights movement in her biography. It gave me a better understanding of the myriad of roles needed to affect meaningful change, as well as the equal importance of everyone fulfilling their individual callings. Just like the unified body that Paul presents in 1 Corinthians 12, there were many different parts of the civil rights movement that were necessary to affect change--each part playing an essential role.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Following MIT

MIT makes many of its course syllabuses and reading lists open and free for public use, which I think is great. While having access to reading lists isn't necessarily the same thing as having an awesome professor lecture and teach on a subject, I think in many cases it can be just as good, or better to follow a self-directed line of study. Following MIT, and also my personal desire to share more of my life, I wanted to post what I will be reading in the courses that I am taking this quarter. I won't do them all at once, but I'll start with a class that I have on the History and Theory of Drama in the 19th-20th centuries in Europe. We will read and discuss the following plays: A Doll's House , Miss Julie, The Cherry Orchard (I was in the play my senior year in high school), Major Barbara, Mother Courage, Endgame, The Homecoming, Cloud Nine, Travesties, and Angels in America. I have not read all of these plays yet, so I am not necessarily recommending them. I'd love to hear thoughts from people who have read any of these.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chance or the Dance

I read Chance or the Dance: A Critique of Modern Secularism by Thomas Howard after my senior year in high school and found it interesting, yet difficult to read and comprehend. After 3 years in college and an increasing interest in art and holism, I decided to try and read it again to see if it made more sense to me. I have yet to finish it as I'm back at school and should be doing my assigned readings, but it is a perfect articulation of a lot that I have been thinking about over the past few years. One of the main things that the book does is contrast the new, secular myth, that "everything means nothing" (i.e. that images abstract reality), to the old Christian myth, which is that "everything means everything" (i.e. that images reflect reality). Instead of acedemic analysis, which breaks things down into parts, fragmenting our understanding of the world, story, poetry and art synthesize the world and fill it with glory. This book is thoroughly refreshing to read right now while I am in the middle of an academic world that is full of analysis but seems devoid of life. I highly recommend the book!

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Creation is groaning for the revealing of the Sons of God"

I just read this article by Michael Pollan in the New York Times magazine. He talks about two seemingly unrelated issues that cropped up in the last year and ties them together under the topic of industrialized agriculture, and the effects of the process of industrialization on the living/natural things involved, pigs for food production in the first case, and bees for almond production in the second. More broadly his argument is about sustainability/unsustainability. He says that what unsustainable "is that the practice or process can’t go on indefinitely because it is destroying the very conditions on which it depends." The mass production of meat involving "raising vast numbers of pigs or chickens or cattle in close and filthy confinement" leads to using an enormous amount of antibiotics on these animals (some say 70% of antibiotics consumed in the US), which possibly leads to the development/evolution of lethal, antibiotic-resistant, viruses etc. And the mass production of almonds in California leads to shipping in foreign bees from all over the country and world who are not at a place in their life-cycle to work hard, which could lead to mass sickness among the bees (and therefore less almond crop) every so often... Read the article to get the full stories...

Pollan is not asserting direct cause and effect situations here, he's careful about that. And even if we don't believe the connections he points to, I at least agree with his overall point. He says at the end of his article, "[this] seems to be a hallmark of industrial agriculture: to maximize production and keep food as cheap as possible, it pushes natural systems and organisms to their limit, asking them to function as efficiently as machines," and points out that this is dangerous. If we keep doing this, and continue trying to solve the problems that inevitably arise in ways that continue to treat them as machines, we are just making more problems. I am all for progress in agriculture, and in production in general, all for innovation. But I believe that we, as sons and daughters of God (creator of all), made in his image and likeness and given dominion over creation, would do well to have a greater respect for all of God's creation, to work with God and with the order within creation to innovate/create systems of agriculture, and society in general. This belief applies to the way we as humans treat humans as well, not just animals/organisms (think the stem-cell issue: embryos mass-produced for the sake of solving certain problems--scary! and probably not fully solving a problem that is actually much deeper than we think!). Pollan's argument and my endorsing it is not solely for the sake of pigs and bees. Ultimately even these agricultural problems have bad effects on us.

One more separate, random thought: there's a line in the article,"the lifestyle of the modern honeybee leaves the insects so stressed out and their immune systems so compromised that, much like livestock on factory farms, they've become vulnerable to whatever new infectious agent happens to come along..." When I read that I immediately thought of myself (and Gina) and UofC as an analogous situation and laughed... UofC has killed my immune system (think sudden onslaught then steady increase of allergies)... Really makes me wonder what is so unnatural about studying so hard...