Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Read Books, Not Blogs

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Sent to you by funkymonkeyerin via Google Reader:


via The Blazing Center by Stephen Altrogge on 9/29/08

My friend Tony and I have been having some good conversations about blogs. I like blogs. I write one for crying out loud. But Tony has freshly reminded me why I want to be reading much more from good books than I do from blogs. Here's a few reasons why.

Books Require More Reflection From the Reader

When I sit down to read John Owen, my brain needs to be fully engaged. His deep theological arguments go on for pages and require intense thought and reflection. When I'm done reading Owen my ears are dripping brain fluid and my heart is warm with truth. Reading a good theological book is like having a deep heart-to-heart conversation with an incredibly godly person.

Generally speaking, blog posts are quick bites. Usually weighing in at 400 words are less, they don't require the same type of intense, heart-searching thought. I want to read more books because they don't pander to my television-created short attention span.

Books Are the Result of Much Reflection By the Writer

Writing a book is like giving birth, except without the intense pain and the hospitals and a baby at the end. Seriously though, writing a God-honoring book requires hours of hard work, deep thought, and prayer. They're the result of many hours of meditation on the word of God. When I sit down to read a book by John Piper, I know that I'm reading the words of a man who has thought long and hard about what it means to follow Christ.

Blogs require much less work by the writer. On a good day I can bang out a blog post in thirty minutes. They're not the result of two years worth of sermons or hundreds of hours hunched over the sacred text. I hope they're rooted in scripture and encouraging to the saints. But books flow out of person's life, blog posts flow out of a person's current thoughts.

Books Bring Accountability

For a book to be published it must go through a gauntlet of tests. It must be approved by a publishing committee that trusts the author, it must be scrutinized by an editor, and it must be endorsed by reputable people. This process in a sense holds authors accountable.

Blog posts can be written by anyone at anytime in anyplace. No credentials needed. No accountability required. All behind the beautiful anonymity of the Internet.

So will I keep reading blogs? Certainly. But hopefully not at the expense of good books.


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Friday, September 26, 2008

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Useful little sayings that i should remember

It's a start of a collection. Which means i only have one so far.

1. Pull off plasters fast. 
Only a masochist would want to extend the pain. Just do it already!
This will also suit for other occasions in life, not just when you have an actual wound on your body.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jesus Inside

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Apparently i'm beautiful. That's a separate issue but on the topic of beauty, i figure even beauty on the inside doesn't count for much, cos of sin. No one is really beautiful on the inside. What makes someone beautiful on the inside, is Jesus. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So annoyed

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I burnt pavlova number 2. This is too much. Am now sitting here, smelling sweet stuff in the air slash carbon urgh-y smells. I'm never baking again!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Pavlova Story

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Yeah, so here's the thing:

Get all the ingredients (ask mum to get it so it's free!).

Firstly, preheat the oven to 130 deg C (that's 130 degrees Celsius for us noobs at cooking, and if you own a microwave oven, that means pressing the "bake" button until the little red numbers reach 130.
After you've got the stuff, here's the next thing you need to do : Learn how to separate the egg white from the egg yolk. You cannot have any egg yolk in this thing.
Method 1: My friend Alison suggests cracking the egg into your hand so the yolk stays and the white flows through the gaps between your fingers into the bowl.
Method 2 (which was the method i used, since i'd rather not have the eggy gooiness in my hands): Crack the egg into half, keeping the egg yolk in one side of the shell, and pouring the white out slowly - this is an accident prone method. You might wanna practice first.

In the end, i managed =)
The unused egg yolks (they disappeared soon after tho, no idea what happened to them)
Chuck the egg whites into the "whisker" - haha, the whisking machine or whatever - and whisker away! (Medium high, according to the recipe)
Then, you'll need to measure out the sugar (the pavlova ended up way too sweet so i'd probably put in less sugar than what the recipe prescribes next time). Check whether the eggs have been whisked to soft peaks (sorry, no pictures, it all happened too fast!) and then toss the sugar in a little at a time until it's all in.
Let it keep whisking til it becomes "hard peaks" (it'll look very nice and smooth and you can pinch a little of it between your fingers to check if the sugar has completely dissolved).
Then, sprinkle the vinegar and cornflour into the mix and fold in (this means not simply stirring the mix together, there's some intricate hand-eye coordination to this thing that i haven't quite figured out yet, but essentially it's mixing it all in slowly)
Then plonk the mix onto your pan (lined with baking paper) and do whatever with it. I was just gonna plonk it in a big blob right in the center but mum made me do some design thingie that looked like a real cake. I didn't like the looks of it but well, it's really up to you. 
You need to leave it in there for an hour and 15 mins (i suggest not waiting in front of the microwave oven like i did. It is NOT like TV and it gets mighty boring after a while).
When it's done, it'll look brown and yummy smelling, although my cake looking thingie ended up quite lopsided but who cares! It didn't BURN! Woo hoo!
You'll need to leave it to cool (mum says: pls take it out of the oven to cool, don't leave it in there, you dingbat!)
It should feel hard-ish on the outside and nice and marshmallowy on the inside when it's all done and ready for decorating!

I put whipped cream and strawberries on top of mine. (Word of warning though: you need to whip whipping cream slowly, too fast and it'll curdle and look funny and be really wet. One of my guinea pigs said it looked like i was putting scrambled eggs onto the pavlova). Add the granulated sugar and vanilla essence to the cream to make it taste good!
Last but not least, dig in! Cos this baby doesn't last very long, and the fresher it is, the yummier!
I've got enough for a second batch for next week, de-lish!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Anna Pavlova

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She's a famous Russian Ballerina yes, but that's not what i'm writing about today. I'm featuring the very yummy dessert named after her, pavlova! It's still in the oven at the mo, smelling real nice, and there's a half hour more to go before she's done.

I used this recipe from joyofbaking.com:
4 large (120 grams) egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) superfine (castor) sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh fruit - kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, or other fruit of your choice
I'll let you know the process next time! Gotta run!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Chronicles of Erin's Aglio Olio

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How i got closer to actualizing my dream, tiny and achievable as it is.
Prep stage: Get ready all the ingredients (which means run over to Grandpa's to get the garlic and thank him for going to the market early in the morning to get the capsicum for me).
 Once i'm done running, wash the capsicum and chop it into wedges (but first, googling the methods on how to chop a capsicum cos i have no idea how to do that). Repeat for the onion (the googling, i mean). Then proceed to chop up onion.
And we're at the part i'm most familiar with : Pasta! Boiling the pasta is easy (just as long as i remember to undercook it because i wil be cooking it again later). I've learnt that boiling the pasta with lots of salt in the water adds to the taste, so i did that.
Next up: Prepare the olive oil, the spices and other fiddly bits to chuck in for taste, like oregano here...
The chopped garlic from grandpa's kitchen...
And mexican chilli powder.
That's mostly what i would put in for aglio olio, the rest (like what meat you wanna put in) is really up to you. But in this instance, i put in bacon (which was meant for my Grandma, but well... too late. I only found out after i'd cooked it).

Toss in the olive oil (i was very generous here) and the garlic. Chuck it around the pan for a bit, then toss in the rest of the stuff (capsicum, onions, chilli powder, meat of choice). You can dump in a little bit of wine if you like. Apparently it makes it smell nicer.  
After everything sort of smells nice, toss the spaghetti in and again chuck it around the pan. (Don't chuck too hard, cos i did, and spaghetti went flying everywhere. Also, dropping the thing you use to chuck the food around the pan with does not help matters here.)
Well, if you're lucky, it'll turn out okay. Not exactly fantastic, but edible and close enough to the actual thing.
If you're lucky, you'll have a good guinea pig too, who'll tell you that for a first timer, your aglio olio is quite good *grin*. Oh yeah, add parmesan! (Not the whole dispenser - that's way too much, as my guinea pig discovered) Just a tablespoon full is good enough, or up to your taste really.

Lastly, please remember to clean up. Mums and Dads don't usually appreciate us using their utensils and kitchen then not having the decency to clean it up =P 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fashion Advice from John Calvin

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Sent to you by funkymonkeyerin via Google Reader:


via girl talk by Nicole Whitacre on 9/10/08

With the changing of the seasons come the new fall fashions. As we stand in front of the dressing room mirror or our closet at home, John Calvin, the great reformer, has two questions for us. In short, he wonders, what do our clothes say about our relationship to God?

"Where is our gratefulness toward God for our clothing if in the sumptuousness of our apparel we both admire ourselves and despise others, if with its elegance and glitter we prepare ourselves for shameless conduct?"


"Where is our recognition of God if our minds be fixed upon the splendor of our apparel? For many so enslave all their senses to delights that the mind lies overwhelmed." (HT: Justin Taylor)

Lady_walking If other words, what brazen ungratefulness is expressed if we proudly admire ourselves for the clothing God has provided, if we dress to attract the attention and admiration of others instead of drawing their attention to God, and worst of all, if we dress to "allure men sexually?" What kind of "thank you" is this to God for His good gift of attractive, comfortable, and warm clothing?

And how can our minds be fixed upon the goodness and the glory of God if they are consumed with thoughts of what we wear? If we are preoccupied with the latest fashions, which (like the grass) will be here today and gone tomorrow, how can we worship and love the eternal Savior with all our minds?

Sobering questions as we consider fall fashions. I am convicted.


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Monday, September 08, 2008

It hurts

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I waxed a very hairy friend once, he told me it hurt. It was funny, at the time. 
My friends told me they waxed once, they told me it hurt. It was funny at the time as well.
Today, vanity claimed me, and i decided to deforest my legs, chinese as they are. It wasn't funny.


I only successfully managed one strip of wax before i decided that it was too painful to continue. I'm sticking with depilatory creams from now on, even though it does grow back faster than waxing.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Birthday Party!

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I spent the morning chasing kids for nice pics (or at least as nice as i can get them). I think it would have all looked better with a bright sunny morning but it was pretty rainy England-ish weather. As the pictures go on, the kids are somewhat in a sort of chronological age-wise order (you'll understand when you get to the end).

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008