Monthly Archives: October 2011

Those Darling Little Vampires and Cute Little Devils

I know I have been “out of the loop” for a little bit here.  I am still amazed at how much work it take to get a website “up and running”!  thanks for your patience with me!!

As a child, Halloween was a fun time to dress up in fun costumes.  I grew up in a non-Christian home and this was just no big deal.  One year my mom made me a ‘Flying Nun’ costume.  Yes, it included the winged hat!!  No, I could not fly.

As a youth Halloween became nothing more than a contest to see who could fill a pillowcase the fullest with candy.  My brother would save his and spread the consumption over a period of many weeks.  Me?  I ate it all within a few days.  Yuck!

Even as a young married woman (still not saved), we did not participate in Halloween.  I saw Halloween as a stupid idea of encouraging children to consume way too much candy.  So we never had the kids trick-or-treat or dress up.

Then when I was saved I saw much more to this ‘celebrating’… and the decorations and costumes have become so… creepy and disgusting… it is all so very disturbing.

A dear friend of mine, Bambi over at In the Nursery of the Nation wrote an excellent post about Halloween, which she has graciously given me permission of share with all of you.  You will be blessed by her blog too!

Those Darling Little Vampires and Cute Little Devils

“What is that, Mommy?” a little girl asks with wide eyes.

“That’s a ghost, dear.”

“A ghost? What’s a ghost?”

“A ghost is a dead person who hasn’t gone to heaven or hell, but stays on earth to scare and play tricks on living people,” the mom answers.

“Oh. What’s that, Mommy?”

“That’s a vampire, sweetie–a dead person who only comes out at night. He searches for people whose necks he can bite so he can drink their blood and continue existing.”

The little one shudders, but can’t help herself, so she continues: “And her, Mommy?”

“That’s a witch, darling. Witches worship Satan and learn spells and curses to work Satan’s wickedness,” the mother explains.

“Well, why do all these homes have headstones and skeletons in their yard, Mom? Are there dead people in the yards?”

“No,” the mother answers, “They are decorating festively for Halloween, dear.”

“I see,” the little girl responds, as she continues to take in the scenes surrounding her. Her eyes become surprised and mildly amused as she asks,”Well who is that little boy dressed as, Mom? He’s so cute and funny with his red suit and pointed tail, carrying that silly pitchfork!”

“He’s dressed as the enemy of your soul–the devil. He is a liar and a deceiver. Satan convinces people that his ways are fun and harmless so that he can bring their death and destruction. Satan wants to see you burn for an eternity in hell, honey. And he will do everything in his power to confuse you to believe that the Christian life is one of drudgery and that his life for you is all fun and pleasure.”

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

The bloody masks litter the grocery store aisles, the sexy adult costumes make us redirect our children, and amid the seduction and allurement of the “holiday,” moms attempt to grab that fuzzy puppy costume for the five-year-old. We tell ourselves Halloween is harmless–it’s for the kids.

As chosen ones of the Author of Life, undeserving of his grace and mercy, how can we in good conscience celebrate with our children, a holiday centered on death and superstition? We are lovers of the Way, the Truth and the Life. He has granted us eternal life. We seek a crown of Life. He has given us life and that more abundantly. We are to walk in newness of life by God’s grace, with our Savior, the Bread of Life.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

You may be interested in the following articles:

The origins of Halloween (Purely a secular view and historical facts)

The Scariest Thing You Can Do This Halloween (by Doug Phillips).

Former Wiccan and Self-Proclaimed Witch Explain Why, As Christians, They No Longer Celebrate Halloween by A Second Generation of Homeschooling


Blessings to you all!!   ~Mrs. R

Basic Economic Facts and Fallicies – Thomas Sowell

These short 6 – 8 minutes segments give a terrific overview of real economics.  Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite authors.  Well worth the few minutes to watch!!


PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4

PART 5

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R   — learning the truth right along with you

Pizza! – Gluten & Dairy Free

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie… that’s amoreeeeee!

I love really, really like pizza.  As a young adult I used to go to a pizza place in Minnesota called “My Pi Pizza”.  No matter when you arrived there was a l-o-n-g waiting line.  But most people didn’t even think of getting out of that line and miss eating some of the best deep dish pizza anywhere.  This was a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and the original pizza place is still open in Chicago.  Hmm… to taste that heaven once again…  YUM!  Alas that can never be, and I have been on a quest to find a decent gluten-free crust.

On our Friday Family Nights I try to make something easy, and often it is pizza.  But the Patriarch doesn’t like the gluten-free Udi’s crusts.  I do, though they are expensive and have no whole grains, just all starches.

This month’s ratio rally is Pizza and is being hosted by Karen at Cooking Gluten Free.  This is also where you can get the links for all the other great recipes for this month’s rally!

I first tried to use Michael Rhulman’s pizza dough ratio exactly as written but substituting gluten-free flours (1/4 starches and 3/4 whole grains).  Alas, it was ultra-dense, doughy, and just plain… inedible.  The Patriarch ate it anyway.  I scraped off the toppings and threw away the doughy pizza ‘bottom’.  I hesitate to call it a “crust” and thereby give all true pizza crusts a bad name.  :-(

Still our “ratio rally group” had not posted a ratio.  Sigh.  And I was expecting company for the last week and a half of this ratio… knowing I would have NO more time to experiment.

A couple of other ratios were posted and I chose one of them to make pizza one more time.  This ratio was a 10 parts flour: 1 part olive oil: 4 parts water ratio.  It is good.  Not exactly what I was looking for, but edible none the less.

Pizza Dough – Gluten & Dairy Free

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Get out 2 pizza stones or two baking sheets covered with parchment paper.

240 – 260 grams water, divided

2 tsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce

2 tsp no-salt pizza sauce seasoning (I get mine from Azure Standard)

I used a 1/3 starch – 1/3 rice – 1/3 whole grain combination for my entire 600 grams of flours.

35 grams tapioca flour

150 grams potato starch

15 grams sweet rice flour

200 grams brown rice flour

50 grams each almond meal, sorghum, quinoa and millet flours

1/2 tsp salt

50 grams grapeseed oil

Pizza toppings of your choice.

While oven is heating, heat 1/2 cup of the water to 110 degrees.  Add yeast and sugar, stir to combine.  Set aside to proof for 10 – 15 minutes.

Mix the no-salt pizza seasoning into the can of tomato sauce and set aside.

Measure all the flours and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Whisk to combine.  Add the weighed grapseed oil, the proofed yeast water and using the paddle start the mixer on low.  Add more water until the dough looks like a thick cake batter.  You may use more or less than the total amount depending on the humidity of your home, the temperature, and the kinds of flours you use.  Mix on medium speed for 3 – 5 minutes.

Spread out half the dough into a circle about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.  Use the thinner amount if letting the dough rise and the thicker if baking immediately.  You can see the difference in the photos at the very bottom of this post.

Place one stone into the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the partially baked crust and put second pizza stone into the oven.  While the second crust is baking, top the first one with some of the seasoned tomato sauce and toppings of your choice.

On each of the pizzas I made 1/2 pepperoni and black olives and the 1/2 pineapple and black olives.  I used Applegate Farms natural pepperoni, sliced black olives, drained and dried, fresh pineapple cut very small drained and dried.  For the guys I used regular mozzarella cheese.  On mine I use the Daiya brand dairy free mozzarella style shreds.

When the second crust is done par-baking, return the first crust with toppings to the oven with the heat turned up to 475 degrees F.  Bake an additional 15 – 18 minutes until toppings are heated through and the cheese is browned.  While this is baking, top the second crust with desired toppings.  Bake the second crust once the first one is removed from the oven.  Cut and eat!

We like our pizzas topped with crushed red pepper flakes.

The raised crust has more of a cake like crumb, but is firm enough to actually eat a slice by hand.  The un-raised crust is denser.  Both were tasty.

Enjoy!

Here are all the links… I hope…:

Jenn of Jenn Cuisine is making Moitié-Moitié Sausage & Chanterelle Pizza
Meg of Gluten-Free Boulangerie created Pissaladière (Provençal flatbread w/ olives & anchovies)
TR of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies baked a Teriyaki Chicken Pizza
Erin Swing | The Sensitive Epicure Stuffed Pizza Pie: Spinach, Mushrooms, Sausage
Charissa | Zest Bakery sauteed onion and sausage grilled pizza with basil
Pete and Kelli | No Gluten, No Problem Grilled Pizza
Caneel / Mama Me Gluten Free Pizza crust by ratio (choose your toppings)
Morri | Meals With Morri Everything Peace Pretzels & Pizza Blanca
Meredith / Gluten Free Betty Pizza
gretchen | kumquat Mozzarella Pizza with Pine Nuts, Currants & Arugula
Brooke Lippy /B & the boy Dessert Pizza
Karen/ Cooking Gluten-Free! GASP! Garlic, Artichoke,Sun-Dried Tomato, Pesto Pizza
Lisa at Gluten Free Canteen Rum Raisin Apple Pizza Pie, Gluten Free, Dairy Free 

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

Raised Pizza Crust

Pizza Crust not raised

 

 

 

 

My Other Ratio Rally Posts:

More Strokes & Other News

Hello everyone!  Phew…  In my previous post I told you about my folks visiting and my step-Dad having a stroke while in my backyard.  Well the medical upheaval continued.

Step-Dad was released from the hospital on Saturday, September 24th.  He rested that day and we all went out to dinner (his request) and they attended church with us on Sunday.  He was able to talk with Mr. CR who had lymphoma and was an encouragement to him.  Yes, my step-Dad was diagnosed with cancer about 4 weeks before their annual trip to see us.  His doctor said it wouldn’t be a problem to take the visit.

Monday and Tuesday he and I spent many hours talking about my soap business.  He has been helping me ‘launch’ my business as well as help me stream line the production process where I can, think through establishing a website and all the behind the scenes things that have to happen before the website is ready for the public.  Don’t ask me about domain names… what hard work THAT was!  ;-)

Also on Tuesday we were supposed to visit some local gift shops in order to find a few that would be willing carry my soaps.  We had stopped at 3 and were on our way to the 4th one when my mom said step-Dad’s tongue sounded “thick” and asked how he was feeling.  We then got to the gift shop and I had gotten out of the car and he had opened his door.  He was sitting in the back with Arrow.  He had started to swing his feet out of the car when he slurred a word.  He had not lost any strength on his right side.  We shut the car door and by the providence of God we were across the street from the firehouse, so we drove there.  Also by God’s providence they were “home”!  My step-Dad walked into the firehouse, and was slurring his words a little and sat in their chair.  The firemen drove the ambulance around and brought the gurney in.  By that time (less than 10 minutes) he had lost strength in his right side and had to be helped onto the gurney.  Off he went to the hospital… again.  We followed… not “followed” but drove along at a safe speed behind the ambulance and actually arrived only a few minutes after them.

Step-Dad was taken to the emergency room.  They were very busy.  He was offered the same drug taken previously (t-PA), but because of his very high blood pressure his risk factor for significant bleeding, possibly leading to death, was significantly higher.  They declined the t-PA this time around.  The doctor ordered Heparin, but then changed his mind and after 20 minutes that was stopped.  He had a CAT scan somewhere in there…

Then we waited… and waited… and waited… and waited some more.

The emergency room nurses were unfriendly, stood around the counter talking and acted like we were an interruption to them if we came out to ask for anything.  Step-Dad was unable to find a comfortable position in the very uncomfortable emergency room bed.  There was also no way to get out of the emergency room to other parts of the hospital without having to go through security doors… and then no way back in… we didn’t have a badge to open those doors.  So we couldn’t leave to get food or water.

After 4 1/2 hours he was sent up to the 5th floor ICU because the doctor was up there.  He hadn’t even been “officially” admitted.  Even the nurse said she had never heard of this before.  She had no orders and couldn’t do anything for him.  We were told that the doctor would see him in about half an hour so we went down to have dinner… at 9:30 PM.  Poor Arrow!  It had now been over 9 hours since he had eaten lunch.  He was a real trooper, but v-e-r-y hungry!  We got back up to Step-Dad’s room 45 minutes later and the doctor came in a little after that.  He explained the treatments options and what tests he was ordering.  Step-Dad was given a blood thinner.

The doctor asked how they wanted to have his care handled if his heart stopped.  Mom told the Dr. that they have a living will and wanted no artificial life support.  Step-Dad agreed with her.  The Doc verified that step-Dad was “Do Not Resuscitate” and they both agreed.  I stopped them to ask if step-Dad’s heart were to stop they really didn’t want the hospital to attempt to restart it at all???  They had not understood what the doctor was asking, for all they wanted was not to be kept alive artificially long term.  And your care options are much more limited with a DNR code… so please be careful!  There is no “life saving” treatments with a DNR… for you have asked for no life saving measures.

Thursday step-Dad had another CAT scan and a Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE).  The latter is a more in depth scope of the heart from inside the body instead of through the chest wall.  It showed that his heart is fine.  The cancer raises the white cell count in the blood, making the blood thicker.  The thicker blood is what ’caused’ step-Dad’s  strokes.

The CAT scan showed lesions in 4 new areas that were not there on his CAT scan a month ago.  These new areas are the left axillary armpit, left lower neck, right kidney and the liver.  The first biopsy found cancer in the lymph nodes on the right side, in his back, just above the waist.  That is where his pain has consistently been.  The doctors here said these new lesions were suspicious for cancer and they suspect lymphoma.

The folks changed their flight to fly home on Saturday evening.They have already scheduled an appointment with an oncologist for the end of the week.  They were given copies of all Step-Dad’s scans, records, and treatments to give to his doctors in Minnesota.

May the Lord’s will be done and He be given glory through all this.

Fourteen things I am thankful for:

#1 – medical technology that allows doctors to “see” inside our bodies

#2 – the gift of my step-Dad.  He is like a dad to me and he says I am like the daughter he never had.  :-)

#3 – that Arrow & I were able to be there at the hospital with my folks for support and encouragement

#4 – Step-Dad’s positive attitude and generally cheerful disposition, even through all the hospitalizations, ambulance rides, numerous needle pokes, scans, etc

#5 – Step-Dad’s planner – he had his MN doctor’s phone numbers, list of all his medications he was taking, travel info & phone numbers so travel plans could be changed, and his file on my soap business

#6 – the hospital’s free parking & free Valet parking service

#7 – the general cheerful decorating of the hospital building & grounds

#8 – Mrs. GB, who came to visit with her dear children – such a sweet blessing

#9 – AMcD, who works at the hospital Step-Dad was in & stopped by to see him… twice!  Last time to pray with him the day before he was released the second time

#10 – BMcK, who called to talk with Step-Dad & pray with him

#11 – my church family & extended brothers and sisters in Christ who have prayed diligently for Step-Dad since his cancer diagnosis

#12 – the Lord’s gracious arrangement of small details: changing my menu to accommodate being at the hospital, being “right there” at the firehouse, parking spaces right inside the parking garage,

#13 – I didn’t eat out of frustration, or stress during the entire visit

#14 – I was prepared for an emergency: I knew when to call 911, my cell was charged, when I couldn’t eat anything at the hospital cafeteria (very little gf & df) I could easily pack my own food, Arrow could easily grab some games & drawing materials to keep him occupied at the hospital, my gas tank is kept full, I have maps & atlases in the car (GPS might not work!), I had easily prepared food on hand for those late night meals

Blessings, ~Mrs. R